I’m sure there’s some very serious study somewhere that says that people essentially consume media — TV, movies, books, music — for two reasons: escapism or identity. We either want to see things that are so far removed from reality that they take our minds away from our own lives (which we all need sometimes), or we want to see things that closely resemble our own experiences so that we feel less alone in them.
In the latter case, one of the most satisfying aspects of watching a show or movie or hearing a song that addresses an topic that’s personally relevant to you, or speaks to a feeling that you’ve felt in real life, is that the people in the screen or in the song almost always handle the issue way more articulately, fully and honestly than we ever do. Characters get to say the things we wish we had said when it’s too late to say them. They think of that perfect word that escaped us in the moment. They are unafraid of consequences. Or even if the characters are afraid, the writers putting words in their mouths aren’t – since no one’s real life is on the line, they can just go for it. The boss always gets told off in the end, secret loves always get confessed, the bully gets put in his place, and always in a thoughtfully worded way that completely exceeds what most non-fictional humans are capable of (I mean, we could speak like that too if our words were selected by a room full of writers with hours or days to think of the perfect way to phrase something. But no, we have to frantically grab at words in the heat of the moment when are brains are melting under the pressure.)
Watching these things play out gives us a kind of relieving resolution that could only be topped if we could accomplish it in our own lives. And hey, sometimes watching someone on TV say and do the shit we wish we could actually makes us feel more empowered about conducting ourselves that way in our real life.
Louie is always good for these moments, largely because Louis CK isn’t afraid to own his shittiness as a man, a parent, a human, and all his own personal little brands of grossness. So he writes his autobiographical character into scenarios where not only does he get to call out other people in ways that feel gloriously validating to his audience who live vicariously through his biting ability to cut to the core of what’s wrong with the world, but also scenarios where the same relentless real talk is directed at him. It’s awareness of the world mixed with awareness of self mixed with intelligent and humor, and the perspective that we’re all just waiting to die so none of it really matters so why not just be fucking real about things.
Only in a show like that would you have a scene like this.
In case you have one of those gross job things and can’t watch the video right now, here are some of the best “you go, fat girl” lines:
“You know what the meanest thing is you can say to a fat girl? ‘You’re not fat.'”
“It really, really sucks (being fat). You have no idea. And the worst part is…I’m not supposed tell anyone how much it sucks because it’s too much for people.”
“(Men) can…say you can’t get a date, you’re overweight, and it’s adorable, but if I say it, they call the suicide hotline. I mean, can I just say it? I’m fat. It sucks to be a fat girl. Can people just let me say it?”
“On behalf of all the fat girls, I’m making you representative of all the guys: Why do you hate us so much? What is it about the basics of human happiness, you know, feeling attractive, feeling loved, having guys chase after us, that’s just not in the cards for us? Nope, not for us. How is that fair? And why am I supposed to just…accept it?”
Louie: Stumbling over words “Look, you’re a really…very beautiful…”
Sarah: “Come on. If I was a ‘really, very beautiful…’, you would’ve said yes when I asked you out. I mean, come on, Louie, be honest here.”
“I flirt with guys all the time. And I mean, the great looking ones? They flirt right back, no problem. Because they know their status will never be questioned. But guys like you never flirt with me because you get scared that maybe you should be with a girl like me. And why not?!”
Sarah: “Have you ever dated a girl that was heavier than you?”
Louie: “Yes, yes I have.”
Sarah: “No, no, no. I didn’t say, ‘Have you ever fucked a fat girl?’ I’m sure you have, every guy has. I mean, when I met you, if I had said, ‘Hey, you wanna go to the back room and screw on a can of peaches?’, you would’ve gone for it. No. I’m saying have you ever dated a fat girl? Have you ever kissed a fat girl? Have you ever wooed a fat girl? Have you ever held hands with a fat girl? Have you ever walked down the street, in the light of day, holding hands with a big girl like me? Go ahead, hold my hand. What do you think is going to happen? Do you think your dick is going to fall off if you hold hands with a fat girl?”
“I can get laid. Any woman who is willing can get laid. I don’t want that. I don’t even need a boyfriend or husband. All I want is to hold hands with a nice guy and walk and talk.”