Louie: “So Did the Fat Lady” Review
“Don’t worry if I’m asking you out. I totally am.”
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Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
One of the things that Louis C.K. is known for, both in his comedy and out, is talking about social issues or the everyday things that people seem to do. Some of that social justice sense seems to have spilled over to this episode, which uses the show’s tried-and-true comedy to examine the relationship between men and plus-size women. Much like other episodes that examine issues like homosexuality and aging, “So Did the Fat Lady” is able to marry comedy and social commentary in the best way possible.
The episode begins with Louie deciding he needs to start being healthier and goes with his friend for one last “Bang Bang,” aka eating two full meals at different restaurants. Louie is almost embarrassed to hear the concept explained to a waitress, hilariously making a “Bang Bang” both a source of pleasure and fear for him. This idea that he’s aware enough to know he needs to be healthier but not actually doing it underscores the main topic of the episode and makes the rest of it all the more interesting.
The main story revolves around Vanessa, a new waitress at the comedy club where Louie often performs. Played by Sarah Baker, Vanessa is full of life and not afraid to go after what she wants, and she happens to take a shine to Louie after seeing him perform. In an excellent scene, she introduces herself to Louie and immediately asks him out, only to have him decline. It’s probably no coincidence that in the very last episode Louie was both turned down for a date and accidentally slept with a model, as he always keeps Vanessa, who is genuinely interested in him, at arm’s length. When Louie does finally agree to the date, Vanessa ends up calling him out for his actions (and the actions of most men towards women like her) in one of the best monologues you’ll see this season. “I always have attractive guys flirt with me. They’re secure with who they are,” she says, “But what I don’t get is why I never get attention from guys like you. Are you so afraid to be seen with someone like me?”
Louis C.K. might be using the show as a mouthpiece here, but the general message of getting out of your comfort zone and imaging the worldview of others is clear, thought provoking and funny. C.K. is able to examine the gender double-standard regarding body image in a meaningful way, as Louie struggles to find a reason why he hasn’t had a relationship with a woman like Vanessa before. C.K. doesn’t offer any easy answers to the conundrum, and it’s hard to say if he captured the feelings of each side accurately, but he is able to get you thinking, which on its own is commendable. The standup bits are great again this episode. The ending is unusually sweet for a show like “Louie,” with Louie embracing being with Vanessa and walking away with her.
Overall, this was another fantastic episode of “Louie.” Managing to be thought provoking without sacrificing the comedy. “So Did the Fat Lady” in many ways exemplifies the best parts of Louis C.K.’s comedy. It hits on a very relevant social issue and makes you laugh while it does it.
Did this episode of “Louie” get you thinking? Let us know in the comments below?
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