A Work of Quirk

“You should write about ‘Louie,’” my wife suggested. “It’s very quirky.” I groaned, because “quirky” is an overused word that means everything and nothing.

In some ways, “Louie,” whose third season airs Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. on FX, is the opposite of quirky. In classic sitcom style, stand-up comic Louis C.K., above, plays a version of himself: an exasperated, divorced dad with two daughters. And Hollywood loves him — he was just nominated for writing, directing and acting Emmys.

So where’s the quirk? Let’s examine.

Louie’s younger TV daughter tells a strange riddle: “Who told the gorilla he couldn’t come to the ballet performance?” Her answer: “Just whoever was in charge.” Louie loves it! In this joke, he marvels, “you have no idea what’s going to happen.”

That’s true of the show, too. Louie gets a crush on a guy lifeguard who saved him even though he wasn’t drowning. A dispute over sexual favors leads a blind date to bash Louie’s head into her vehicle’s window. A hot woman filches from Louie’s plate; he says, “You just ate a strawberry you can’t have.”

Louie is like that ballet-loving gorilla. He’ll never quite fit in. And he’s … quirky.

Marc Silver has been watching TV since the days when people wrapped aluminum foil around TV antennae to improve reception.
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