I like Louis CK unironically. I like him for the same reasons I like George Carlin, because he makes me think, then laugh, then think some more. I think both comedians are intellectual giants. Now Louis CK has created the anti-sitcom. It's a tragic comedy minus the comedy. Horace and Pete is 10 episodes of raw humanity that is both disturbing and satisfying.
Horace and Pete focuses on a single family-owned bar but manages to cover a lot of forbidden sitcom territory. Some of the most important and sensitive topics of modern society are forced into the dim light of an authentic feeling bar but done so with brutal honesty and a variety of strong perspectives. The risks Louis CK takes with this new format are startling. The story telling is satisfying and brutal. I finished the series last week and I'm still thinking about it. I'm still thinking about big ideas and small painful realities.
This show is simply the best acted series I've ever seen. I didn't think it was possible but Alan Alda actually made me hate him. I also think Steve Buscemi gives one of his best performances of his career in Horace and Pete and I was already a fan.
While I can't recommend this series for everyone, it does feel like something that made me a better person.
Purchase single episodes or the entire series online only.
I also recommend listening to Marc Maron and Louis CK talk about how making this show bankrupted him and why he produced it as a web-only series.