Horace and Pete – My Views So Far…
March 21st, 2016
If you’re not a close follower of Louis C.K., you might have missed his latest creation. And I’m here to fix that.
On January 30th, out of the blue I’ve received an email from Louis C.K. as all the members of his mailing list did. It went like this:
Horace and Pete episode one is available for download. $5.
Go here to watch it.
We hope you like it.
That’s it. Simple and direct to the point, pretty much in Louis style in recent years. No explanation of what Horace and Pete was, no premise or trailers. A very orthodox move in a world where we now have teasers of trailers for movies and TV shows coming out in a year time. Regarding this point, Louis had a good explanation on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
The following week we then got a bit more of information about this new web series:
Horace and Pete is a new show that I am producing, directing, writing, distributing and financing on my own. I have an amazing cast: Steve Buscemi, Edie Falco, Alan Alda, Jessica Lange, Aidy Bryant, Steven Wright, Kurt Metzger and other guest stars. Also Paul Simon wrote and performed the theme song which is beautiful.
The first that has to be mentioned here, is how wonderful the cast is. Steve Buscemi and especially Alan Alda are providing the show which such a level of intensity that will make you want to come back for more. In addition to that, the show will attract you because of his dark but always on the point tone. To fully enjoy Horace and Pete I believe you need to have a slightly darker sense of humour and you can’t be easily offended. As with almost everything that Louis CK does, this show has a firm grasp on reality, which is then presented to you without any filter.
When things are going good, the show is relaxed. When the “shit hits the fan”, the show enters a downward spiral of which you don’t see the end.
To me, this is by far the most interesting aspect of this show; there’s no false sense of security, you must be prepared to ride this rollercoaster of emotions that can turn you upside down at any given time.
The best example would be Episode 3. The episode opens with a fairly innocuous 10 minutes monologue from Laurie Metcalf (playing Sarah, Horace’s ex-wife). First of all, the quality of the execution of this monologue are stunning. Not many actors could hold a single camera on them with such a grace. Second, there’s the aforementioned safety net, slowly but surely disappearing from underneath the viewer. This monologue it’s a very good example in which she start telling a seemingly normal story, but then the expression on her face starts changing, and the voice starts breaking up and suddenly the viewer starts piecing all the parts together and you realize that you’re about to hear something very uncomfortable.
This very peculiar rhythm is what hooked me up on this show. Most of the TV shows out there have to please to a sizable audience if they want to stay on-the-air and so they have to play it safe. Being a web series, and being written/directed/produced by Louis CK and being basically crowdfunded, Horace and Pete has the freedom to explore the darker corner of human relationships, giving you the good and the bad on the same level, without any filters.
The set and filming technique used also have an immense influence on the feeling and the vibe of the show. It looks like live theater being recorded. And as Louis CK said in the above interview, they are playing like if they were on a theater stage, without an audience in front of them. Plus, there’s no laugh track and the music is only used to transition from a scene to another. Is a tangible clue that we are closing the curtain on something and once they re-open we’ll see something else. There’s even an Intermission black screen from time to time and the entire show seems it’s going to be divided into different acts all together.
I guess technically you could call it an hybrid between theater and television, populated by a list of flawed character, quickly evolving in front of our eyes.
In a way, if you were a fan of the TV show Louie, than you’ll find yourself almost at home. There are many common elements shared by the projects, but Horace and Pete delves deeper in the world of inter-personal relationships rather than presenting the entire world as viewed from the perspective of one single pair of eyes.
As there are no trailers or clips I can point you to, I can only leave you with the words of the show’s creator, to give you a final push toward buying the first episode of Horace and Pete:
Warning: this show is not a “comedy”. I dunno what it is. It can be funny. And also not. Both. I believe that “funny” works best in its natural habitat. Right in the jungle along with “awful”, “sad”, “confusing” and “nothing”. I just think it’s fair this one time to warn you since you have every right to expect a comedy from a comedian. I will not warn you again.