Now in its third season, the American comedy series Louie has garnered plaudits, critical acclaim and, on Sunday night, its first Emmy award - beating off competition from Parks And Recreation, Girls and Community. Which begs the question: why is no British TV channel showing it?
The show (which airs on FX in the States) is written, directed and edited by its star - 45-year-old stand-up comedian Louis C.K. - and based loosely on his life as a comedian, divorcee and part-time dad to two young daughters. It's quite simply the best comedy we've seen in ages - and here are five reasons why the campaign to get it on UK TV starts now...
1. The writing
This is what Louis C.K. won his Emmy for - and it's not hard to understand why. Whether it's exploring parenting, relationships or the rights and wrongs of the word 'faggot', the writing in Louie is as smart as it is funny. It has fantasy sequences reminiscent of Woody Allen movies (in fact, Louis C.K. is like a ruder, more modern Allen) - and it's also not afraid to choose thought-provoking dramatic moments over obvious laughs or signposted plot lines.
2. The performances
Not just C.K. himself, who's that all-too rare of creatures - a stand-up comedian who can act - but also the supporting actors. From his poker playing buddies (again, real-life comics) to his brother (played by Robert Kelly), his playdate/potential girlfriend Pamela Adlon and the countless women he goes on dates with - or attempts to - the performances are across-the-board wonderful. And they also include...
3. Memorable special guest stars
Those turning up in Louie so far include F. Murray Abraham, David Lynch, Chris Rock, Matthew Broderick, Joan Rivers and countless others - including Ricky Gervais (but don't hold that against him).
4. It's the best mixture of stand-up and acting since Seinfeld
Each episode cuts back and forth between sitcom-style scenes and Louis C.K. doing live stand-up in a club - and his world, like Jerry Seinfeld's, is that of observational comedy. But C.K's exploration of the minutiae of life is never trite, or obvious - and it's just the sort of stand-up that restores your faith in its genre.
5. The music
Like Allen, C.K. clearly loves his jazz, and the show features incidental music by comedian-slash-musician-slash-crazily-talented-person Reggie Watts. Plus the theme tune Brother Louie is a) a great track, b) originally by Hot Chocolate and c) made to fit the opening titles in such a way that the line "Louie Louie, you're gonna die..." plays exactly as C.K. walks into a comedy club to perform. Oh yes - did we mention that the editing's amazing, too?
In short, if you love Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm and the work of Woody Allen, we reckon you'll love Louie. But don't just take our word for it. Here are 10 great clips from the show so far:
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