I’ve been fortunate enough to see three episodes of Lucky Louie and I’m impressed. It’s not so much a reinvention of the sitcom but a updated return to greats like All in the Family or Roseanne. Here’s part one of the things I think this show does right.
Much is going to be made of Lucky Louie using swears, more than really should be made. The characters toss them off casually and there’s no emphasis on filth for filth’s sake. None of the swearing is excessive, it’s actually honest. It’s not just how a man who works at a muffler shop would talk with his weed-dealing friend, it’s how almost everybody talks. It’s jarring but not because it doesn’t fit the scene, but because you’re not used to seeing it on something that looks like a traditional sitcom. Americans say “fuck”, “shit” and “Jesus” (and not in the reverent way) and it’s time the three camera sitcom format used those words.
The first episode of Lucky Louie revolves around money - an issue that central to so many marriages. Louie even tells his wife he’s unwilling to have sex with her because he’s “aware her pussy is a chamber of financial ruin.” The trend towards sitcoms revolving around glamour - where the viewer has no idea how they afford where they live or sometimes even the main characters are just rich - destroys such a mine for storytelling. It’s a whole avenue of human experience that’s completely ignored almost everywhere on TV (save strangely for cartoons like The Simpsons). We shouldn’t be wishing we were the characters in a comedy… we should be laughing and cringing at situations that are so close to our own lives.
To see for yourself, watch the first episode here.