There were a handful of premieres and finales this week, …
Louie came back with a beautiful, impressionistic bang last week with two fantastic and very different episodes. This week that trend continues, with “So Did the Fat Lady” exploring body issues and shaming by building to a masterful soliloquy from guest star Sarah Baker and “Elevator Part 1” splitting nearly evenly into a stressful depiction of every parent’s worst nightmare and a sedate, comedic extrapolation of a well-intentioned misunderstanding.
Louie is utterly unique to the television landscape. There are very, very few shows of which this can be said. It’s part standup, part experimental film, part character study, part whatever else Louis C.K. wants it to be, and in its first three seasons, the series that started out well grew increasingly confident, playing with form and stretching C.K. as a filmmaker and storyteller. After C.K. decided to take 2013 off, some viewers may have been concerned he wouldn’t be able to recapture the magic of the first three seasons. Fortunately, with “Back” and “Model”, C.K. picks up right where he left off, as sure and relaxed as ever.
There have been some excellent episodes of Mad Men this season. “The Flood,” “Man with a Plan,” and especially “For Immediate Release” have all been varying degrees of great, but “The Crash” is the first episode to leave me dumbstruck with awe the way so many season five episodes did. It’s an episode in which every scene seems precisely crafted to achieve an effect. What is that effect?