The complete first season of FX’s Louie will be released on DVD and Blu-ray June 21st. The set contains all 13 episodes from last summer, many of them with audio commentaries by creator and star Louis C.K. There is more than half an hour of deleted and extended scenes from the season, as well as a three minute look at Louis C.K.’s writing process. Perhaps the neatest thing about the set is it is the first ever Blu-ray television release to have the Blu-ray content on one side of the disc, and the DVD portion on the other side, which feels like less wasted plastic than sets including separate discs for each format.
Of course, Louie looks great on Blu-ray. The picture is 1080p and presented in 1.78:1 widescreen, which is, I believe, the same way it airs if you get FX as an HD channel. Which means the original viewing format is preserved in pristine condition. The sound is just as good, with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Now, the series Louie contains neither big special effects or groundbreaking sound tricks, but it is filmed with a slightly gritty, realistic style, and releasing it in this high quality, high definition format protects the content the way it is meant to be seen, in an immersive experience.
The episodes themselves are hilarious. Louie (Louis C.K.) deals with raising his kids while divorced and being a stand up comic. He takes care two young girls part-time to the best of his ability, and grumpily attempts to reenter the dating scene, with not so fantastic, but amusing, results. Some segments show Louie in the club, performing his material. These are actually filmed in a real comedy club with an real audience. Other vignettes are short, and take place out in the world. Each episode has one or two main stories combined with the standup, making it a really unique type of show.
Ultimately, Louie usually does not succeed in his efforts. Whether directing a school bus onto a freeway that it is not supposed to go on, or dating his kids’ friend’s mom, Louie tries to act with the best of intentions, but ends up screwing things up. He is the everyman, but isn’t very good at it. Thank goodness for his comedy schtick, as it is hard to imagine this character in any other career. Which is fine, because Louise is original, and one of the funniest series currently on television.
Louie’s self-deprecating stuff may not resonate with everyone, but most people with a sense of humor will get it. In fact, those in the comedy world show much respect for Louie, who lands big names like Ricky Gervais, Nick DiPaolo, Pamela Adlon, and Mathew Broderick to guest star in this initial batch of episodes.
I recommend that you buy Louie The Complete First Season, and then watch new episodes when season two premieres this Thursday, June 23rd at 10:30 p.m. ET.