Sunday, June 15, 2014

In The Woods: The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

I was hunting for pictures online to use for this post and I couldn't understand why Louie's brilliant comedy series was not coming up first on a Google search.  After a few minutes, I realized that I was typing in Louie c.k. on HBO, and not fX.  That's how good this series is.  I incorrectly assumed that it must be on the Emmy winning paid cable network and not good old basic cable's  fX.  If you ever needed a reason to respect a Fox owned entity, this is it.  You could also make an argument for Fargo.  When I watch either one of these exceptional series, I don't feel guilty for hanging onto my Newscorp stock.

It's hard to call Louie  a comedy sometimes. I didn't laugh once during the recent episode "In The Woods", which was nearly as long as a feature film and better than 90% of the movies you'd pay good money to see in the theater.  It begins with Louie discovering his older daughter Lily smoking pot with some friends in the park.  He yanks her away and the enraged teenager screams that he "knows nothing about smoking pot". The rest of the episode is a flashback to teenage Louie, his nerdy friends and exhausted single mom.  It turns out young Louie knew quite about about the magic weed, and his experience was both harrowing and heartbreaking. Jeremy Renner plays a neighborhood drug dealer with seedy and mildly menacing perfection. Skipp Sudduth gives a brilliant portrayal of a caring high school chemistry teacher who is betrayed by Louie's addiction.  

For me, the most emotional moment in this tale came after the credits rolled.  It was dedicated to the late actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who died of a heroin overdose earlier in the year.  Mr. Hoffman was supposed to star in "In The Woods".  That he never got a chance makes it all the more powerful.

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