I’m on the record as stating that Louis CK is the funniest comedian in America. CK has had his own television show before: “Lucky Louie,” an HBO series that got some bad reviews and was canned after one season, despite the fact that it was dead funny, no matter what some critics may have said.
Well, CK is back for another try. This time, it’s FX giving CK a shot at his own series, and “Louie” appears to be not too far off from its HBO predecessor.
FX, like HBO, has a good habit of allowing creative people the freedom to do the thing they do best. CK was never pleased about the treatment his old show got, and he was more than happy to vent about it to the Onion’s AV Club three years ago:
People are really into ironic comedy and fakeness and cleverness. Every show is (expletive) with you on some level. And our show wasn't. Our show was totally sincere. I think that some people didn't see it that way. I remember reading one reviewer who was just aghast that we weren't a meta-sitcom. He so wanted us to be a meta-sitcom, and he was just writing, "You really are just telling these stories? I mean, you can't do that." And then there's other people that misread the sets being very spare, and the show looking like an old sitcom. They thought we just had a poor designer, as if HBO would let us do a show where we just didn't do a good job. It's like the best-looking network in the history of television, as if they would put out a show that looks spare and theatrical just because they were sloppy.
So I think some people just didn't know what to make of it. But we had some very great reviews from great places. There's two kinds of press that you get when you put out a TV show: The reviews, and the people that just decide what the reviews say. If we got four great reviews and three bad reviews, then somebody just has to write "the beleaguered Lucky Louie, which was a critics-hated show," and it actually wasn't. But people started writing that right away, and then it becomes a fact.
So there’s little doubt that CK is going to compromise what he does much just to get a more favorable reception this go round. I expect him to be just as crass and brutally funny as he has always been. I wouldn’t want it any other way. “Louie” premieres April 1st.