Horace and Pete (TV Series 2016) Poster

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Life is too short not to
rzajac21 February 2016
Why oh why do you have to wait so long before someone figures out that someone might just want to watch a quality dramatic production?

Thanks to Pig Newton (presumably Louis) for putting their butts on the line to do something like this.

It's a fine production. With the exception of some small glitches in sound (occasional ambient echo, one surprising mic tap) production succeeds in mainlining the product straight into the vein. Lots of long takes, dialog that's so direct and lively and full-on it's like latching on to a freight train. An absolute delight to see fine acting talent, new and old, invited to participate in the spectacle, and all take their direction well and otherwise rise to the occasion. Sets and props are great, lighting is balanced and nice on the eyes.

It's funny because normally the first sign of good production is that you don't notice the production. But, trust me, my reflections on production (beside the minor sound issues) are an afterthought.

The important thing is that we get a story. And what a story! That's all I need to say; no need to spoil anything. Duck in and hang on tight.

One odd remonstrance: Let's face it: Louis can't stretch. But he can be forgiven in this case. His standard issue character is on-target, and you sometimes sort of bask, in a backgrounded way, in the realization that this is his labor of love.

Check it out.
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Quality tragedy
fball11410 February 2016
It seems to me that one of Louis CK's strengths is the authentic nature of the dialogue. Given the quality of the actors in this thing, it makes for some captivating viewing.

I found the bar-discussion about politics, etc, to be very entertaining and well-paced. It was almost a little Aaron- Sorkinesque and I loved it. Also amazing to see how up-to-date it is?! Talk about fresh material. I thought the accountant-bit was funny.

The main plot about the family was engaging and managed to pull me in. It was depressing and dark, but still somehow not exhausting to watch. I am not actually a big fan of Louie's darker episodes, I don't have the patience or the inclination to spend my time being challenged and depressed. I want it to be funny and entertaining. But even so, I watch and value the darker Louie episodes, and I watched and enjoyed this. As I said, there is this theater-like presentation and at the same time feels so authentic! When Buscemi says "and you give our whiskey to this stranger" (or something), I get the feeling that the characters have had their own thoughts and feelings while our attention was diverted.

It's fun to see Louis use these very typical, almost cliché transitions (walking down the stairs to change scenes, etc) and making it work? It's very well made. I loved the diegetic music, watching Alda establish his presence by reacting to it.

There is no laughter-track or audience referencing at all. You are totally left to your own devices as a viewer, to laugh or dislike at your own discretion. It's kind of artistic, in that it challenges you to like it or shove off?

While I wasn't enjoying watching it, as it was sad and not my typical kind of thing, I am glad that I did. It's great watching something this well made.
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If you're looking for a comedy, don't watch it. But if you're looking for a drama, don't watch it either!
leonrd06 February 2016
Horace and Pete is an outstanding art experiment. And - as cheap as it may sound - it stands out just because the main goal here is to portray life.

Let me explain. We are all so used to the genre-tagging way productions are put together, that few producers are bold enough to question this absurd system. Usually there will be a "comic relief" to a drama, or a dramatic turn in a comedy. So we can relate more to the story. It's just not enough.

"What is it? A comedy? Musical? Drama?". On the way Louie leads this project, the question "what is it?" shouldn't be automatically answered with a tag. Are you looking for a comedy? Don't watch it. But if you're looking for a drama, don't watch it either! In real life, mood is Gaussian. Most of the time it will be neutral: there will be that core gratefulness and anxiety mixed together. That's routine. Sadness and happiness will eventually alternate. Funniness doesn't come up like in a writers room. There's no 24/7 quote-boom-punchline-quote-boom-punchline. Also, no musical background will come up unless someone's actually playing it or hitting a button.

Obviously there's more into it, otherwise there would be no point on watching this; you could just kick back on a bar and see what happens. Here we have the guarantee we'll watch very interesting characters dealing with their daily struggle, exposing absurd features of social conventions and human behavior.

Louis C.K. is masterfully writing, directing and performing in this. We also have great performances from Alan Alda, Steve Buscemi, Edie Falco and others. That should be enough to just go and give it a try.

This is not our usual hacky Fordist sitcom. This is pure handcrafted art (and worths every penny).
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Chunks of funny truth in play format
faxanadonts14 February 2016
I have watched a lot of Louis CK's stand up comedy and it seemed to me that his amazing humour came from him extracting the absurdity of life and him talking about it on stage in a way that was both very funny, honest, and engaging, which is not easy feat I think (the feat being presenting the absurdity and confusing nature of life in way that both the presenter and audience can laugh together at it, as opposed to be terrified/confused/annoyed by the confusing universe). Even though the episodes of Horace and Pete feel formatted more in the way of a play, to me it is still fantastic in the same way. Family and life can be infuriating because as we grow up we see that the more we know about family/life/universe the more we realize that we don't know (that whole Socrates thing), but that doesn't mean we give up hope ... instead we can find it absurdly funny and laugh in the face of absurdity, and try and learn from it, and move forward in a better way, especially when there is a master funny man like Louis CK to extract amazing funny thought lines from the absurdity. In this way it is an honest reaction to the confusing nature of life instead of simply trying to create a sanitized narrative to our lives that might make us feel less fear, but doesn't really address the reality. Anyways, that is more my emotional mumbo jumbo response to why I think this is a really good show, but in more specific terms I find the dialogue really great, the acting great, and the jokes great, and therefore I find it ... very great! Thanks Louis CK!
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Reminds me of Chekhov
nicole-4845 March 2016
Wow. So grim, but I cannot stop watching. Every episode is stomach- churning (the moment in episode two, where Marsha-- Jessica Lange's beau-- tells her his wife is waiting at home....and then that pause before Jessica Lange lets out a brittle chuckle...shiver me timbers!!). It's like I'm flipping over rocks to see the gross, sticky but roiling, thriving stuff underneath.

The cast is outstanding, as is the writing-- I cannot stop thinking of writers like Carson McCullers and Flannery O'Connor. So here I sit, uneasily waiting for...I know not what. One of the darkest and most interesting things I've watched in a long time, with no pat resolution or happy ending in sight.

I hope that eventually its beauty will break my heart; right now I'm still white-knuckling it. But every angel is terrifying, right?
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laurenceclack6 March 2016
I love what Louis is trying to do here. And I think this is one of the few instances when that sentence can still be taken as a huge compliment. Because once out of Louis' hands and into the content devouring public, it really is up to the individual what they take from this. Whether you watch it with an open heart or mind or dismiss it as slow moving nonsense. I believe his aim with this is truly altruistic and comes from the same place as his comedy, a place of compassion, disbelief at the clucked up nature of humanity and the world, and an almost hopeless sense of wanting to change this and make a difference. I notice this same thing in Hicks and Carlin, I guess Louis doesn't get quite as angry.

I think it's beautiful, autobiographical in parts and thought provoking with the thought going towards reconciliation in most cases. Characters in there that we'd all recognize from our own lives, how to deal with them is ultimately up to us I guess?

Thank you Louis. Genuinely. I love this, appreciate you making it (you didn't have to after all) and agree whole heartily that it is a work of art. (and that's not pretentious because it £$%&ing well is)

*Edited to add - If you enjoyed the show check out his conversion recently on Marc Marons podcast. So interesting to get an insight to how it all happened. Heartwarming and the stories from the show and the characters are incredible.
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Perfect casting, beautiful script, wonderful all-around
mikem-3577129 February 2016
What an incredible piece of art by Louis CK. There are very few movies or shows that have managed to captivate me the way this series has. It does an excellent job of presenting different perspectives on beliefs, morals and ideals and really bringing to conscious thought the internal struggles we all deal with but often fail to realize everyone else is dealing with in different ways as well. This is definitely not a comedy although it can be funny at times. The still camera shot style of filming makes it feel like a theatrical drama and it is very raw.

I think opinions will be rather polarizing, with artfully minded, highly empathetic personality types really appreciating the show and everyone else being bored by it. There is so much subtle, as well as not so subtle brilliance present but the subtleties really make the show and I think they might be missed by a lot of Louis CK's general audience. The show is slow paced, utilizes lots of long shots of dialogue and could only be pulled off with top notch scripting, casting and acting, and it absolutely nails it in all these departments.

Each episode is produced and released in the same week, which is pretty incredible. This means that episodes can adapt to and discuss very current events which often makes the topics of discussion much more interesting. The downside is that such a short production cycle sometimes results in somewhat raw editing, but I find that sometimes adds to the charm. I think producing this particular show in this way was a brilliant call by Louis CK and the pros far outweigh the cons.

If you watch the first episode and don't like it, don't expect it to get any better. If you watch the first episode and like it, they keep getting better and draw you in more and more as you learn more details of the characters lives and back-stories. This really is a masterpiece showcase of Louie CK's talents. It may just go down as one of the most underrates shows ever but I hope it gains the recognition it deserves.
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Like a Eugene O'neill play
fredfredrikfreddyfred14 February 2016
Starts out kind of slow and awkward in the first episode. Strange facial expressions and very little action or dialogue. By fifteen minutes in, many interesting characters have entered into the bar and it starts to become interesting. At a half hour I was becoming charmed by the stimulating dialogue and very impressed by the casting which includes many stand up comedy greats doing some serious drama. By 45 minutes I became completely sold and hooked after Steve Buscemi's pivotal performance that just blew me away. Louis CK has done some impressive writing here and it goes a long way to compensate for his acting ability which can be a bit uneven. However unlike his show "Louie," here he is only one member of a very impressive ensemble. I was expecting a comedy but what I got was something I've never seen before on a TV show. This reminded me of "the Iceman Cometh." For a pilot, this was really intriguing. I have high hopes that it continues to develop and doesn't let me down.
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Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller and now, Louis CK
amir-pasbakhsh29 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Mark Twain once said "Comedy is tragedy plus time". This could be the subject line of "Horace & Pete", Louis CK's masterpiece in the vein of great American dramatists.

The story revolves around the titular characters and their eponymous bar, which has been run in the family for 100 years, always owned by a Horace and a Pete.

In the mix is also Alan Alda's senior Pete, and Edie Falco's Sylvia, a brutal matriarch in the vein of Albee's Martha in "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

These are not heroes or villains here, just broken remnants of what could once have been people. This is the anti-dote to superhero movies, special effects and multi-million dollar enterprises. This is about broken human beings, who have accepted their brokenness, given up on finding gold dust in the sand and no longer look forward.

The multi-layered storyline takes us through the trials and tribulations of these characters, without ever asking for forgiveness or defending them. In fact, lack of redemption - the impossibility of it - is a running theme throughout the 10 episodes.

We care about these flawed people, not because they are victims or heroes, but because they are like anyone else. And in the hands of actors who all give performances of their lifetimes, the tangibility of "Horace & Pete" is near unbearable.

Alan Alda is no longer Capt. Benjamin Pierce - the all around nice guy. The character he has created here is one mean, nasty individual without any seemingly redemptive feature (not that he'd want one, mind you).

Edie Falco establishes herself as one of America's greatest TV actresses of all time, with a performance as brutal as it is brutally honest.

Steve Buscemi, fresh from the antithesis of this character in "Boardwalk Empire", portrays his Pete with such surgical precision that you want to reach out to your screen and take him away from his predicaments.

And Louis CK... Arguably the greatest stand up comedian of all time, the Bostonian here proves that his power of observation far surpasses the medium we are most used to see him in.- The fact that he has written dialogue and staging equal to any of the great American post-realists, then directed and acted in it, places him on level with some of the greatest legends in the art form.

"Horace and Pete" is a masterpiece. Each episode has a life to it, as in live theatre, that has thus far been impossible to recreate for TV. But Louis CK not only manages the feat, he smashes it out of the park!

If you are a fan of Chekhov, Williams, Albee, Miller or O'Neill, you will not be disappointed!
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A Rare, Uncompromising And Raw Viewing Experience
Cinnyaste29 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Going boldly back to the stagy, early days of TV dramas - minus the live - Louis C.K. created ten mesmerizing chapters in the life of the family Wittel, a damaged and battered family operating, for one hundred years, a dive bar in Brooklyn USA.

At once funny, tragic, shocking and lewd, "Horace and Pete" is an uncompromising truth beyond rare in contemporary entertainment filled with phony sentiment and easy solutions. The episodes - ranging from sixty-eight to thirty minutes - ultimately rips the heart from viewers courageous enough to sit quietly and take the ride along with Louis and an amazing cast whose work deserves every award imaginable. (If ever a show deserved a Peabody, it is "Horace and Pete.") It's doubtful anyone will look at Alan Alda or Jessica Lange in the same way.

It's a pleasure to watch a groundbreaking show setting the storytelling bar at a new, almost unreachable level for future shows to scale. Fair warning, "Horace and Pete" is not for those easily shocked or upset by raw depictions of a family in, to say the least, desperate ruin. Its universal themes of extreme family dysfunction and decades of patriarchal abuse may resonate deeply and touch within or send some searching for a convenient pillow to hide the proceedings from sight.

Not residing in the same Universe as "Cheers," even Bukowski, the vagaries of politics and contemporary life are bandied about by barflies whose wisdom is directly proportional to their alcohol intake. They're not despicable, eschew your pity, and will spit judgment back in your face. They just are with neither delusion, apology nor rationalization. They're someone you know. Or a family member (God help you).

In one extraordinary episode among many, the venerable Laurie Metcalf - playing Louis' ex-wife - admits infidelity against her second husband in a locked down closeup held for ten minutes without a cut.

The production is raw, too. Especially the first episode. There is camera shake, and audio is disrupted when actors thump chests near body mikes. Oddly, a missed match-frame edit making a slight jump cut is allowed to pass. No editor worth their salt would allow such a glaring error. It seems Louis might be underscoring the story rawness within the production. Or he wished to make it look cheap for fund raising purposes. It's really irrelevant as the tech credits are generally fine. Story and character are king here, not pretty pictures.

Enough gratitude for this show cannot be expressed. A show mounted by Louis on a prayer by asking viewers to pay a few bucks per episode - a self-distribution model working well for a show Louis would never offer to networks who wouldn't touch it anyway.

There are not enough kudos to lay at the feet of Louis C.K. and the brave cast. "Horace and Pete" is an unforgettable experience that just might haunt you. Do Not Miss It.
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Alan Alda's Best Work Since M.A.S.H
LouieInLove20 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This show is a credit to Louis CK. Its basic aesthetic-formula can only succeed if the writing & performances are very good, which they are. A special mention has to go to Alan Alda who is wonderful in the role of Uncle Pete.

The show is funny & engaging & also authentic, which is half the battle of any good show. By 'authentic' I mean it has an accessible & familiar look & feel. I know these people, these people look like they could live next door to me as opposed to a Barbie castle. No Ken dolls or mind-crushed girls with heels & no knickers in sight. American TV is screaming out for a show of this calibre. This is a show with actual substance as opposed to; look at the shiny-shiny.

I watched this round at a pals house, apparently this show isn't on TV at present, although I watched it on my pals'.

PS. It's honest, that's what it is. Normal folk can relate to it. There's no pseudo-liberal middle-class sentimentality which so much TV is drenched in these days. It's not scared to offend!
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Louie fans will love this; others – might as well
shakurazz10 February 2016
After 2 episodes, this, for me, a Louie series fan, is great. Those who love the awkward, uncomfortable comedy, will find it abundant here. I hadn't expected anything specific before watching this because this is Louis C.K., he does it his own unique way. I think Louis himself sums it up perfectly:

"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."

So, if you've enjoyed anything that Louis had done, definitely check this out, if not – I sincerely recommend you to. What you can expect is great dialogue, untouched by political correctness. This is very refreshing.
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Absolutely excellent
mountainclegane20 March 2016
Great actors, superb writing and a joy to behold in a country that is being strangled to death with PC Political Correctness

Louis C.K is brilliant weaving in family drama with explosive comedy.

Has anyone who has not sat at a bar stool in Brooklyn, Chicago or Boston not meet any of these individuals discussing politics, Sports or their sorrows?

Alan Alda is incredible in his role as the older sharp tongued bartender. And Steve Buscemi and Jessica Lange are equally as good in their roles.

Tell your friends about this show, with so much useless comedy this show is a treat.
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Skillful and magnificent
MarkoVelasevic16 March 2016
I love all the actors, meaningful and sane dialogues, deprived of pathetic emotions and realistic display of ideas beautifully expressed. I like Louie C.K., it seems like his sense of reality comes from keen insight of human pain and suffering, and my not so impressive analysis of this theater-like TV show is completely objective, and if you're reading this because you're asking yourself "should i watch this?" You definitely should. I'll now sound like a 14 year old girl with all this admiration but, this man is certainly a wizard of methods to entertain and pack ideas, humor, and reality into a one big package. Hope it lasts for a long time.
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maxime-chesneau3 April 2016
So...I just finished watching the whole show, as I followed week after week, and I'm speechless. THIS WAS PERFECT. When it first began, I remember feeling weird about it, like...not sure I was going to enjoy watching those long monologues with people talking random. Seemed pointless. Plus, I'm 27 and all along I thought I was maybe too young to get everything,like I didn't live long enough to appreciate what was going on. And then something happened. I think it was episode 4 that I realized this was something special. This Laurie Metcalf episode got me on the other side. Since then... IT WAS PERFECT. It's not funny haha let's all jump in the pool with our clothes on funny. It's not even TV funny imo, even though it deserves all the Awards in the World. It's...the pure product of dramedy. Tragedy. TRAGEDY yes. Upsetting, unsettling, weird...it's everything you want, but it's above everything I've seen in a long time. The actors, ALL of them, even those who stayed sat for the entire run, wow. Louis CK just delivered his tragedy, and with genius ! Can't wait to see what he'll be doing next.
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Wow, Amazing, Unique, Story, Cast, Production, Wow !!
andyro45216 December 2016
How can you describe one of the best shows you have seen on T.V. ?

Well, do you mean, this month, this year, this decade ?

How about EVER !

If this work does not win every award it is eligible to receive, than the awards aren't worth winning.

The cast alone will draw you in. They are a group that create their own high expectations, and they exceed them. Thoughtful, real, nuanced, brilliant, moving, all of it.

Watch it on a big HD TV, and you will feel like you are in a small theatre. Hey, where's the coat check ? It is a visceral theatrical experience. They way it is set up, shot, and presented to the audience is amazing. It comes alive. You are there with them.

The story ? Uncommon, touching, all while seeking and hitting deep points of your emotions. Every day life bits of humor and quirky characters, who are brought to the point of life.

I can't wait to watch it all again, and again.

It really is a masterpiece.
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Horace and Pete, astonishingly good
twomansoloband1 December 2016
I haven't written a review in a long, long time, but this just blew me away. I've always enjoyed Louis CK, but never been a huge fan, following all his projects. If he was on, I'd watch him. It always seemed to me he had a keen eye for the dramatic though. His comedy, especially what I've seen of his series, was always funny yet interlaced through real-life drama.

Horace and Pete is set as a theater play, and it's the stage from which Louie CK can now give himself a platform to do anything he wishes. The characters are, as you would expect from a play, portraying an idea rather than a character. Sometimes this can lead to shallow characters, but when done well, provides incredible insight into the surroundings. This is what Horace and Pete does so well. I have never seen anything come close to portraying modern America so well. The clash of the old ways and the new, the right and the left, nostalgia and progressiveness, right and wrong. It's as good as any play I've seen in the theatre, by any of the great playwrights, and I will now be very excited to see what project he comes up with next.
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an amazing piece of art
wachberg28 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
it is the best piece of original American culture i have come across in a very long time. it is fantastically written and stunningly executed. all in very reduced style; fresh, unexpected, taking dramatic twists.

one episode starts with a twelve minute, stationary camera shot of a woman above sixty and your eyes are glued to the screen. it reminded me of a monologue within Bergman's's 'persona', but for me even exceeds by being rougher and more reduced.

Louis ck created a new streetcar named desire, yet while there is enough tragedy all over the script, humour lurks through from all angles. the material is so dense that you won't be bored watching it twice immediately. actually it helped me to see more of the funny little things Louis so elegantly spreads in between the drama.

i like Louis ck as a comedian, but i now LOVE him as a serious actor and film maker. surprisingly enough this mini serious catapults him among the very best directors|actors in America.

an amazing, amazing piece of art.
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God bless louis C.K
joaquindelatorre25 August 2016
Once you get inside of the hole of darkness and crap that is Louis C.K. legacy you will released that this is not that surprising,actually it is quiet predictable, if you bought this show thinking that you will sit down in your dirty sofa and have some laughs with the great sense of humor of this guy ,man you made a bad decision , instead of that ,"Horace and Pete" is basically a yell of narcissism from a dude that believe , deep in his himself that he is much more than just a comedian , that's the reason why there are not canned laughs and breaks , because Louis don't want the comedy to be the center of the show , the real reason because of what he has made this beautiful piece of darkness is because he want us to released than he can make the crowd fell thing much deeper than just laughs and happiness.So in conclusion at the end this is just a wonderful try from a egocentric man to prove that he is better than what most people believe he is. And this episode is the perfect example of that.
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Why do we tear ourselves to pieces?
hobbes-526-7430534 April 2016
It does not happen often in a my short life span that I hate and love a show the way I do with this one. The dark realistic humour and despair you only can find in bars like this one. A bold move in creating this show because it is so not like other series, also you might think so when buying the first episode. Cheaper than a beer, but yet so much more in value. A must see for all people in their quarter and mid life crisis period. This show is why I like Louis CK even more than I did before.

I don't know how he pulled it off, but during each episode he and the actors made me laugh and cry at the same time.

Before I wrote this review I searched for a bar that looked similar to it, and then I came to the conclusion this show shows us why we created places like it in the first place. We need them to think, or maybe because of a drink
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A dissection of society portrayed brilliantly
MarkSaltzer12 March 2016
Louis C.K.'s new show "Horace & Pete" is a breathtaking masterpiece, and I'm only 15 minutes into it. I actually took it back and watched it from the beginning again, because the acting and writing is absolutely top shelf. This show could win a Golden Globe, an Emmy and a Tony. It's like watching a live stage show shot on multiple cameras with the flawless cast portraying characters that slice, dice, resonate and connect with you like you've known them all your life. Sublime Entertainment that leaves an indelible stamp on your psyche. Just completed the first episode and I am totally blown away. Every actor in this visual banquet delivers a stunningly natural and powerful performance in each scene. Buscemi's speech to Uncle Pete gave me chills, the passion in his delivery was truly electric.
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One sip at a time
LeelouLO19 April 2016
The episodes should be sipped one at a time, you should really savor every moment and not rush through the story. In the end it left me with mixed feelings but one thing I am sure of: this is an authentic work, it has the author's spice into it and it is deep, thoughtful, insightful. You can really watch the characters showing their true colors through the skillful craft of the actors. It is delightful to see so much talent in one show and so rare. I really enjoyed Louis CK's work. It brings the ordinary into the spotlight and guess what...it invites reflection. It is an experiment but I strongly recommend this prescription to anyone who is curious enough to go to places not really comfortable or amusing. It's where the precious unpolished stones are...
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This comic tragedy makes me laugh and cry at the same time. Thank you!
john-480216 August 2019
Louis's writing makes me want to live, keep living. You are saving people's lives with your art Mr. C.K. We must support independent artists like you, they just don't understand yet ... give them time.Our society is moving towards needing true creative talent like water and food. This series is that sustenance for the soul. Feeling empty and soul starved? Stream it on Hulu. Bless them.... They can dominate if they keep streaming independent artists trying to be free.
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Brilliantly dark
drmhroberts13 October 2017
This is something special. Feels like a stage play, with long shots and slow pacing. The performances from Steve Buscemi and Louis CK are truly outstanding. Awkward, achingly difficult to watch, but really outstanding. No trite feel-good resolution here, just a voyeuristic study of the darkness that oozes from the heart of man.
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Holy Crap
tntmatracia29 December 2016
Well, thank you everyone involved in this show. Have you ever watched a show with other people in the room and nobody said a word until it was over? You know - that completely absorbed, stunned, dumbfounded,completely satisfied kind of feeling that leaves you speechless.That is Horace and Pete. I don't chase stars and I don't write letters to celebrities but I would really like to thank Louis CK for this outstanding effort. You just don't get this kind of entertainment very often from anyone. All of the acting was outstanding the characters were heartbreaking and believable. I wish there was more to watch - but what the hell. This was darn near perfect.
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