My Review - Season One. "Loudermilk." A Misanthropic Comedy
My Score 8/10. Looking forward to Season 2 and Season 3 has been approved
" Loudermilk " won't be everybody's "cup of tea "an irony considering it's primarily about a bunch of recovering drunks and addicts who attend "Sober Recovery " meetings and their lives outside of the Group ,so be prepared for some profanity but no more really than any modern authentic movie or series on Television.
I had to look up exactly what the meaning of this genre Misanthropic Comedy was and found a few definitions like "A Depressing Comedy " or " Challenging Dark Comedy" or the one I think applies to "Loudermilk " It presents despicable behavior but it's filmed like a normal comedy with bright lighting and a light tone (at times). We empathize with normal people who are unsatisfied in their everyday lives .
No spoilers but the plot centres on Sam Loudermilk, a recovering alcoholic and substance abuse counselor with a bad attitude. Although he has his drinking under control, Loudermilk discovers that when your life is a mess, getting clean is the easy part. Sam played brilliantly by Ron Livingston in what I think is an Emmy / Golden Globe winning performance holds the series together with the help of a brilliant ensemble cast of misfits and ordinary heroes. I must have seen Ron Livingston before in supporting roles in shows like "Boardwalk Empire "and "Band of Brothers " but never in a starring role like this.
It's interesting to me that Ron Livingston in an interview said "The one that I go back to on this is Walter Matthau in any number of things, but especially The Bad News Bears," Livingston says. "You have a guy that's basically just the worst possible role model, untrustworthy, completely unreliable, and yet-without changing who he is-he becomes this kind of positive force in the lives of these kids. And always in a funny way. There's a long tradition of the misanthrope, which is comical because you hate all people, but you're still a person. You can't ever quite reconcile that."
In "Loudermilk" and I've only watched Season One ) the result of this misanthropic comedy is that Sam Loudermilk the misanthropist might be the most well-adjusted of the bunch.
The Walter Matthau connection for me while watching "Loudermilk "was the classic 1968 Neil Simon comedy "The Odd Couple" in this Comedy we have another very odd couple Sam Loudermilk,recovering alcoholic and substance abuse counsellor with a bad attitude to life in general living in a Seattle apartment with his dysfunctional " Sponsor" Ben played by Will Sasso they have great chemistry together. Anja Savcic as Clare is also delightful as a recovering addict who Loudermilk rescues and takes under his wing reluctantly at first but Clare becomes a temporary member of the household .
Laura Mennell as the "straight "neighbour Allison who Loudermilk sets his romantic interest on chaotically in the beginning but eventually thaws out her resistance is a welcome character among the misfits .
There were some plot lines and characters I found a little unnecessary or bizarre but the rewards of the clever script writing by people who seem to know the world of recovery for addicts or alcoholics for me make Loudermilk well worth a look.
The Creators Peter Farrelly and Bobby Mort have skilfully made what could have been a dark depressing plot into a story of everyday human struggles infused with humour and pathos and created an entertaining series that many will identify with .
In 2018, Peter Farrelly directed Green Book, which won the Toronto International Film Festival's People Choice Award. At the 91st Academy Awards, he won the Oscars for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture.
Together with his brother, Bobby Farrelly, he has written, directed, and produced several comedy films including There's Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, Shallow Hal, Me, Myself & Irene, Stuck on You, and Fever Pitch. They also conceived the Seinfeld episode "The Virgin"
Commenting about "Loudermilk " Peter Farrelly said
"A lot of comedies are built on the idea that we all have these foibles that we don't know about or aren't aware of that keep surfacing and we keep thinking that we're transcending them and then life kind of drops us on our ass and laughs at us," But in Loudermilk, he adds, the challenge the characters face is much bigger than a "foible": "It's kind of cruelly comic how much these people aren't in control of their lives, and it's also profoundly uplifting the sort of courage and tenacity they put into trying to get back into control of their lives."
As a footnote to my review it's a shame but a fact of modern Film and Television marketing now that the exclusivity of productions on Streaming Networks like Amazon Prime, Stan, Netflix and Disney means that good material only gets to a limited viewing audience in other words if you don't subscribe to that network you can't view the program.
I don't like the corporatism that's taken over the entertainment industry but it's the new paradigm we live with . I want to see everything that interests me so I do subscribe to most Streaming channels but I miss the days when you'd just go to a Cinema to see a movie or just turn on the television and select the channel that the program you want to view is screening on at least there's no adds on Prime, Netflix Stan etc just a menu and trailers to chose from I guess its progress and the profits must be there like in the old Studio days because these series cost millions of dollars to produce.