TV review: Louie

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From the June 28, 2012 edition

After watching/re-watching/dissecting two seasons, I thought I knew what to expect — the unexpected — from “Louie” in Season 3. Boy, was I wrong. Louis C.K.’s capricious nature still provides the content for the episodic structure, but the occasional times he pulls the rug out from under the audience in jaw-dropping fashion is out-of-this-world awesome.

If you decide to check out “Louie” — after hearing the bombardment of critical praise for the previous seasons — be ready for some weird stuff. The season premiere is actually a nice prep for newbies. It’s funny at times, but also representative of the series as a whole; it’s an odd trip inside Louis C.K.’s brilliant auteur mind.

I don’t want to delve into too much about the stories in the first five episodes — some interesting developments happen via nonchalant minutiae or overt bravado — but “Louie” does seem to be embracing a bit of serialization, with narratives and themes carrying over multiple episodes. There’s even a two-parter coming up.

I will spoil that Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”) makes a guest appearance in the second episode. It is one of the most awkward, funny, risque and downright disturbing pieces of television. Ever.