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While it shares the dimensions of a standard sitcom, Louis C.K.’s idiosyncratic FX series is almost impossible to classify. A profoundly human meditation on what it’s like to be a sentient being in post-everything America—call it Portrait of the Artist as an Effed-Up Man—Louie may not be everyone’s cup of chamomile. But besides transforming what it means to make great comedy, the show is also turning the business model on its head. Foregoing the seven-figure budget of the average network sitcom in exchange for complete creative control, Louis C.K. has created what is essentially the first artisanal television program.
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