Louis C.K. has become quite the revolutionary when it comes to a prolific artist's career. Transcending from one of the greatest stand-up comedians, he quickly found a niche in the television world with his self-titled program Louie.
After an unbalanced first season, [Louis C.K.](tag:3768053) delivered one of the greatest seasons of comedy TV with his second season. The stories became a mix of pitch black humor and some honest sentimentality. It was a look at life through his eyes. They showed that behind the comedian was a fascinating writer/director.
Online, C.K. has also revolutionized the way people consume his content, releasing his last two standup specials straight from his website at the fraction of a cost for most on demand rentals and purchases for about $5. The model, cutting out the middle man, proved to be a success for him; and it only seemed like a matter of time that he would take it a step further.
Over the weekend, Louis C.K. has, under everyone's noses and with no pomp or circumstance, released a new television show with a bevy of talented actors including Steve Buscemi, Edie Falco, Rebecca Hall, Alan Alda, and Aidy Bryant, just to name a few.
The show is called Horace and Pete, and tells the story of two bar-owners played by Louis C.K. and Steve Buscemi, and the lives of their family and customers. It's shot and blocked in both its physical and dialogue as a stage play. The choice fits well with the show's plot, which at times, rolls along like a classic Arthur Miller or Tennessee Williams story.
The fact that he released this in secret makes it all the more admirable. For five dollars for over an hour's worth of content, you really get your money's worth. It still has the same dark humor and wit of Louie, but its ensemble cast gives it more room to be its own thing.
Acting standouts definitely go to Buscemi and Alda. Buscemi is always able to transition from dark and threatening roles from his work in Boardwalk Empire, to more sympathetic characters such as Pete. He is able to balance out both his characters instabilities, as well as his ability to offer sage advice. Alan Alda as the cantankerous, politically incorrect Uncle Pete is nothing short of entertaining, and another fine addition to Alda's list of snide characters.
Its shining moment is a post-intermission scene that turns into a bit of a political debate. At first you roll your eyes, but as the scene goes on it begins to get pretty damn thought provoking.
While there is no trailer available for the show, here is a brief clip of the political scene from the first episode:
Overall, Horace and Pete was a great little surprise for fans, and I cannot recommend it enough. Its story has a classic structure to it, while at the same time making some interesting commentaries and the current state of things. Even if you're unfamiliar with C.K.'s work, this is a great introduction.