It won’t get nearly as much attention as Peter Dinklage’s everything-but-the-mic-drop performance on Sunday’s Game of Thrones, but Louie guest star Sarah Baker deserves ALL the Emmys for her role in “So Did the Fat Lady.” On any other show, Vanessa would be the Cat Lady (like Baker was on Go On) or, well, the Fat Lady, without nuance or even a personality beyond her weight, but on Louie, she’s captivating. No wonder the floating camera stayed focused on her, and nearly only her, during the marvelous river-side chat with Louie, amusingly filmed with skinny joggers blurring in and out of the shot.
Considering its topic, “So Did the Fat Lady” is an episode that’s bound to get think piece’d to death, even though it stands up to any criticism you might want to throw at it. It’s not one-sided, it’s refreshingly honest, it’s not blah blah blah male-gaze perspective — Baker’s unbroken monologue, which sounds like a discussion she’s been having with herself for years, is truly one of the most astonishing things I’ve ever seen on a sitcom, and the episode as a whole, from the way it’s never directly stated why Louis turned her down, even though we ALL know the reason, to the self-loathing Bang Bang, is right up there with “Oh, Louie/Tickets” and “Daddy’s Girlfriend Part 2.”
As for the “ambitious” half of the headline: “Elevator” is actually the first part of a SIX-EPISODE arc; FX hasn’t given out screeners for future installments, so I have no idea if Ellen Burstyn or Amia will continue to be involved, or how Jane’s seemingly unrelated “subway rules” fits into the overall story, but if “Elevator” is anything like the “Late Show” trilogy, it’ll keep getting better and better. Can’t wait.
“So Did the Fat Lady”
1. Don’t use “I’m tired” as an excuse to not go on a date.
2. Do “Bang Bang” Indian/diner over barbeque/IHOP.
3. That don’t being said, don’t attempt a “Bang Bang.”
4. Do convert all money into “amazing dollars.”
5. Don’t tell a fat girl she’s not fat.
“Elevator, Pt. 1”
6. Do remember the subway rules.
7. Do wait until the fire department comes to get out of a stalled elevator. Otherwise, *slice*.
8. Do sing Bob Dylan parody sings while you’re peeing.
9. Don’t shake a stranger to wake her up in an apartment that’s not yours.
10. Do help the old crone stuck in an elevator — you might get some pie out of it.