Tonight’s first episode of FX’s Louie deals with an incredibly sensitive and awkward topic; how men treat women they don’t find attractive, especially overweight women. One of last week’s episodes dealt with Louie landing in bed with a gorgeous astronaut’s daughter in the Hamptons, a perk of making her laugh, but he was perplexed by the situation. He fumblingly tells her that this type of thing just doesn’t happen to him, and she replies, “Well, maybe it’s not really happening.” Most of Louis C.K.’s FX seems to be happening in an absurdist dream-like state, and it’s this disconnection from reality that allows it to go to some startling realistic territory in terms of tackling difficult situations like when Doug Stanhope plays Louie’s suicidal friend and Louie talks him out of suicide by telling him that it’s not his job to talk him out of suicide, or when he goes on a life-transforming roller-coaster of a date with Parker Posey’s character Liz and never finds out her last name or contact information.
In tonight’s “So Did the Fat Lady,” Louie, who is constantly getting rejected by attractive waitresses, gets asked out by Vanessa (Sarah Baker,) a self-proclaimed “fat girl.” In a turn of bitter irony, the much-rejected Louie doesn’t want Vanessa’s advances. He tries to get out of it by saying, “You know, the thing is, that I think I am just tired.” But since he’s unable to really say no, they do get together and have an amazing conversation that eventually leads to a frank and candid discussion about what it’s like to be an overweight woman on the dating scene.
Louis spoke with Kuow.org about how he was able to write Vanessa’s dialogue in this uncomfortable, yet truthful scene. “You know, I thought about the basic unfairness of it, that she’s supposed to just accept it. A fat woman, that’s the one person that gets the most heap of crap on their face in our society. People can be really horrible to women that they deem unattractive, you know,” Louie explained. “And also, it kind of started to me as a romantic comedy kind of thing, you know — the way they used to be. … The premise was always, this is kind of a mess of a guy, and this woman is beautiful, and he’s going to tap dance around to make himself attractive. So I liked reversing that and feeling like this woman is, like, not an automatic for me. But she’s cool — if you watch the episode, she’s very charming, and she’s very sure of herself. To me, it was worth it: Let’s try writing what does somebody like this feel like? And to me, the most effective way is to make myself the target of their anger.”
UPDATE: Here’s the speech –