Adam Wilson compares Louie to David Lynch's unconventional TV series:
Louie’s post-modernity, it’s worth noting, has been rejected once already. The sixties and seventies saw the mainstream popularity of authors like John Barth and Thomas Pynchon, and filmmakers like Bergman and Lynch, who shattered established notions of character and reality in the same way that C.K. has. Later, Lynch’s Twin Peaks upended all our expectations as to what a TV drama could be. But the trend didn’t continue, and the backlash was tidal. Now we’ve got Jonathan Franzen and Aaron Sorkin on one side, and Suzanne Collins and Spiderman on the other. Realism is back in style, its popularity matched only by the equally traditionalist cult of sci-fi/fantasy. Perhaps, as in the 1930s, financial crisis demands either macho realism or extraplanetery allegory.
In this climate, television may have the most potential as a growing medium.
Demographic fragmentation has insured the demolition of a targeted mainstream, and perhaps even our new way of watching — alone, quarantined by our screens — encourages the kind of departures from convention that Louie gets away with. When you’re not surrounded by family and friends, it’s easier to give yourself over to strangeness, to follow the associative narrative of unmediated consciousness. As anyone whose ever seen a planetarium’s Pink Floyd laser light show knows, the collective dream is a harder thing to achieve, especially without hallucinogens.