After two seasons of leching after his friend Pamela and the sexual misadventures from early on in Season 3, it only seems right that Louie should be allowed to enter into a functional relationship, if only for a short time. Last night’s episode, “Daddy’s Girlfriend”, was the first segment of a two-parter. Knowing this show, next week could very well bring a sudden depressing halt to his budding relationship with the hyper-cute book store employee played by Parker Posey, but I prefer to think that she’ll be around for a longer arc. After all, Louie may be a pathetic slob at most times, but does it really make sense that a highly successful entertainer would be single for three years?
He’s not looking for a relationship for his own reasons, rather for his daughters who ask him one day at a diner about why he has no girlfriend. Neurotic as he is, the question becomes an ear worm for Louie and he sets himself on a mission to become part of a couple. In a way, there’s an indelible sweetness to our hero’s thought process. All of his other issues aside, we know that Louie loves nothing more in this world than Lily and Jane. When he fantasizes about women in this episode, he sees them first as surrogate mothers and second as sexual beings. As Posey’s character points out, it would be nice to have a woman around when Lily (ten years old) starts to become a woman.
Maria Bamford, who you might recognize from the documentary series The Comedians of Comedy, is the first target of Louie’s amorous intentions. Apparently the two have been in a tryst for some time, but in this case Louie’s sexual conquest is a pyrrhic victory as Bamford openly criticizes his bedroom talent and abjectly refuses to go on an actual date to meet his daughters.
Later, he sets his radar on the teachers at his girls’ school. There’s nothing weird about a 45 year old guy meticulously peering into each classroom window at an elementary school, right? A one track mind, Louie sends himself into a fantasy world with every woman he encounters, regardless of her looks, while the same 10-second snippet of smooth jazz overlays each sequence hilariously. But each woman is quickly dispatched from consideration for one reason or another. One has an engagement ring, one is too fat, another one simply closes the door on him.
When Louie finds Posey, it is still a deliberate effort (he eschews attention from a male employee at the book store) but their conversation flows freely and easily. Louie’s idiosyncratic nature is only displayed when he musters up the courage to ask her out for a drink, giving a long-winded hedging speech that included the words “torpedoing toward your vagina”. Posey is amused rather than frightened and she agrees. Louie pumps his fist in glory, a callback to an earlier stand up bit, and the credits roll, leaving us to anticipate “Daddy’s Girlfriend Part 2”.
Like the Season 3 premiere, this was a good episode but I felt there was room for improvement. The opening stand up selection about the nature of prejudice wasn’t particularly funny, resembling something closer to the average observational comic’s shtick. Neither did it really set the tone for the episode. There was an element of pre-judging, of course, when Louie sized up every woman he encountered as a potential mate. But the analogy simply didn’t hit home for me. The scene with Bamford also felt contrived. The concept that sexual experiences confuse and disappoint Louie more than they excite him has been explored numerous times before.
The second half of the episode is where it picked up steam, though. The fantasy scenes that I mentioned all combined for a humorous experience and editor Susan E. Morse certainly knows how to piece them together in grey-scale. Parker Posey emulates the same subtle charm that she’s brought so capably to Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries over the years. Here’s hoping that the second half of “Daddy’s Girlfriend” isn’t her last appearance on Louie. Based on the title, she will probably be interacting quite a bit with Lily and Jane, which should be a treat.
So, will the relationship flourish? In a typical sitcom the two would get together and then Pamela, Louie’s true love, would re-enter the picture and comedic misunderstandings would ensue. In this one, nothing is ever really for sure. Few specific plotlines are considered crucial to the narrative, so it’s entirely possible that things could go well in next week’s episode and we’ll still never see Posey again.