Saturdays, on Louis C.K. website
(aka Horace and Pete's Est. 1916) An American comedy-drama web series created by and staring Louis C.K. with co-star Steve Buscemi, as Horace and Pete, co-owners of an eponymous Irish bar.
The first half of the episode is set in 1976. Horace senior (Louis C. K.) is abusive and controlling towards his wife Marianne (Edie Falco) and children; he forbids his wife from seeing her sister Abbie (Deborah Offner). In the bar, a broke customer (David Blaine) attempts to scam free drinks with a magic trick. Jimmy (Colin Quinn) and other customers argue about the presidential candidacy of Jimmy Carter. Uncle Pete (Steve Buscemi) humiliates his nephew Horace in front of the customers. Marianne finally walks out on her husband after years of abuse taking Sylvia (Sofia Hublitz) and Horace (Jack Gore), but leaving Pete (Nolan Lyons). The second half of the episode is set in the present. Kurt and other customers discuss Donald Trump. Ricardo visits the bar and tells Horace and Sylvia that Pete is almost certainly dead, and they will have to call the search off. Sylvia tells Horace that she intends to leave the bar and live with Harold. An eccentric and extraverted woman named Mara (Amy Sedaris) interviews for the job, and in the process lifts Horace's mood a little. Horace tells Sylvia he knows what he wants to do with his life now. Pete returns to the bar and picks up a knife. Sylvia screams as Pete kills Horace. As Sylvia prepares to leave with Harold, Horace's son, Horace IX (Angus T. Jones) comes in the bar and asks about his father. Sylvia says there was nothing particularly distinctive about Horace, then breaks down in tears.
Horace and Pete are co-owners of Horace and Pete's, a 100-year old family-owned bar which has been run by a Horace and a Pete for seven generations. The customers often argue about politics (specifically Donald Trump) and the showboating antics of Cam Newton. Horace has a strained relationship with his daughter Alice and his son refuses to speak to him. Horace's sister Sylvia arrives with her lawyer and gives notice that she intends to sue the bar for her share of the inheritance and to sell it, as the bar is unprofitable due to years of mismanagement. Uncle Pete reveals that he is Pete's true father, but he gave him up to be raised by Horace's father because he "doesn't like kids". Pete, a kindly man with mental health issues, can no longer afford to take his expensive medication due to an insurance mix-up and has a meltdown. Horace abruptly asks his girlfriend Rachel (Rebecca Hall) to move out.
I have watched a lot of Louis CK's stand up comedy and it seemed to me that his amazing humour came from him extracting the absurdity of life and talking about it on stage in a way that was both very funny, honest, and engaging. Even though the episodes of Horace and Pete feel formatted more in the way of a play, to me it is still fantastic in the same way. Family and life can be infuriating because as we grow up, we see that the more we know about family/life/universe, the more we realize that we know nothing (that whole Socrates thing), but that doesn't mean we give up hope ... instead we can find it absurdly funny and laugh in the face of absurdity, and try and learn from it to move forward in a better way. Especially when there is a master funny man like Louis CK to extract amazing thought lines from the absurdity. In this way it is an honest reaction to the confusing nature of life instead of simply trying to create a sanitized narrative to our lives that might make us feel less fear, but doesn't really address the reality. Anyways, this is a really good show, I find the dialogue really great, the acting great, and the jokes great, and therefore I find it ... very great! Thanks Louis CK!
This is kind of a difficult show. You have to pay attention. It's a slow, theatrical television experiment that is both incredibly modern and very old fashioned. It's investment TV, but the ROI is big. The entire series will get you thinking about the infuriating messiness of family and relationships, and the future of TV.
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