I recently had the good fortune to watch Horace and Pete, Louis CK’s new online-only series (which you can buy here: https://louisck.net/
Nah. I’d rather not say anymore.
I know I’m asking for a huge leap of faith here. The synopsis of the show and vague compliments don’t paint much of a picture of what to expect from the series. And I get that. It is a series unlike any other I’ve seen. It’s a sobering drama that is better described as episodic theater than a TV series, hardly leaving 2 locations, following a handful of characters and the issues that stem from…
See, this is hard. Because part of why this series works is that mystery. The slowly unraveling drama reveals more and more shades of these characters and their problems and where they’re going (if anywhere). And I really, really, really want to write a review that perfectly encapsulates what made this series really click for me, but a lot of it lies in the nuances of these people’s lives playing out before you, expectations unaltered, and experiencing these things in the moment with the characters as they live them. Especially considering that Horace and Pete is a story about the problems of growing older and grappling with the uncertainty of how to live life, I can’t think of a series that more captures the tone Unlife often strives for.
I’ve always been a fan of Louis CK. My first spec script in LA (for the uninitiated, a spec is basically fan fiction that you write as a resume sample) was a Louie spec, something I will probably re-appropriate someday for another project. I’ve always respected the humor interwoven into with drama that Louis CK seems to perfectly hit every time he’s put in the driver’s seat. He speaks to me as an artist, really, and his work, especially its tone, has had a huge effect on my writing.
So, I’m gonna close this out, not with last thoughts on Horace and Pete, but instead on an episode of Louis CK’s earlier and better known FX show, Louie. Let me set the scene: it was 2012. I’d just finished my second New York Comic Con experience, selling Fenix Gear and promoting Unlife, then a year old. It was challenging and mentally exhausting, and with my marriage in the immediate background and my unfolding entertainment career in the very near future, I needed a mental recovery day. Emotionally, I wasn’t in the best spot, and I thought some comedy was what I need. I was lying in bed watching part 3 of Louie’s attempt to land David Letterman’s Late Night gig, when this scene with his trainer (played by David Lynch) came on…
Even now, this scene captures everything I was feeling. All that pressure and sadness and desire welling up inside me and that desire to prove myself. It prompted more tears and sadness than I could ever describe at that moment, and yet it was also one of the greatest belly laughs I’ve ever had. A scene like this gets at my soul. The material transcends the format.
And it’s that kind of thing that Horace and Pete does for 7 straight hours.
Please give it your time.