<br/><br/>But, even more than raising the specter of its own history, this episode of Louie is reminiscent of "Knockoffs," the fourth episode of the recently-completed second season of <i>Broad City</i>. The main plot, surrounding Ilana (Ilana Glazer) and her mother (Susie Essman) going to Chinatown to buy counterfeit bags, is funny, but the real meat is in Abbi's plot, where she finally hooks up with her crush object Jeremy (Stephen Schneider), only to discover that he wants to be penetrated with a strap-on.<br/><br/> <br/><br/>"Knockoffs" is just about perfect -- it's a strong frontrunner for the best episode of TV to air this year -- largely because of its handling of pegging. The script never suggests there's anything wrong with Jeremy's desire, and Abbi eventually consents to pegging him partly because she's curious, partly to assuage Ilana and partly just to feel like a badass. She's still with her crush, even if it's not in the way she imagined.<br/><br/>Still, Jeremy and Abbi don't work out, not because of anyone's sexual preferences, but because Jeremy is just kind of an asshole (sorry) when Abbi accidentally melts his dildo in the dishwasher. That particularity -- the ability for a show to present a character as annoying and intransigent without passing judgment on their sexual preferences -- is, in a sense, beyond<i> Louie</i>, which always makes sex (an arena in which<i> Louie</i> always tries to exert control) uncomfortable and bad for its hero. As much as <i>Louie</i> tries to deal with issues like penetrating men with the sort of nuance, humor and compassion that<i> Broad City</i> does, it returns again and again to this idea that sex can't really be good, that there is always an element of coercion. <br/><br/>Getting Louie to open up -- to allow himself to shed some of his perceived control and masculine shell -- requires Pamela enticing him with "the best sex of [his] entire life," which then proceeds to lead to even more catastrophe. Maybe it's because she's younger, maybe it's because she's kickass, maybe it's just because Louie himself is bad, but Abbi at least has the potential to have good sex -- it's just people who are trash. <br/>
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Introduction by Erica Russell / Photography by Tanner Abel and Nicholas Needham