What's Worth Watching: Louie Returns for a Brutally Funny Fifth Season

Matt Roush
KC Bailey/FX

Louie

Louie, "Potluck," Thursday, April 9, 10:30/9:30c, FX

Louis C.K. may put his shrink to sleep, griping, "I just don't know how to live life anymore," but the prospect of Louie returning for a fifth season is exciting enough to keep his fans up at night. Louis C.K.'s tragicomic masterpiece of urban angst and middle-aged despair is more stimulating than ever—the first four episodes are a marked improvement over last year's overindulgent detours into extended arcs—and he's in especially curmudgeonly (which translates to funny) form in the season premiere.

"Potluck," written and directed as usual by the auteurist star, is an audacious odyssey of social awkwardness as Louie tries to fit in with little success amidst a parents' potluck dinner, hosted by a hostile Judy Gold. The only connection Louie seems to make is with a fellow outsider, a pregnant surrogate fearlessly played by Broadway actress Celia Keenan-Bolger. Louie's misery loves company, and that's especially true on those rare instances where he tries to be a gentleman in his own gruff way, which usually spectacularly backfires. Squirm along with Louie. Can't recommend it highly enough.

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