As much as we’re fans of Louie CK the person and “Louie” the show around here, his most recent season gave us few moments of pause. The most glaring of which was the rape- kiss scene between Louie and Pamela. Even after the season ended on a happy note for their characters, the scene can still best be described as “unnerving.” Or “awkward.” Or, “seriously Louie, what were you thinking? Isn’t this show supposed to be a comedy?” Pamela Adlon who plays Pamela on the series offers a little bit of insight into what they were thinking in a recent Vuultre interview. Specifically she doesn’t like it being referred to as a “rape scene”:
And the fact people were talking about, Did Louie try to rape Pamela? Was that a rape? Or calling it rape straight-out, which was nuts, because I never saw it like that, because they had this kind of over-the-edge connection and relationship. They do a push-me/pull-me thing.
Her statements don’t do much to absolve the scene of its inherent rapey-ness, but they do offer a really interesting look into the creative process when dealing with uncomfortable topics.
When I read [the script] I was dying laughing, because in the script he said, “Louie approaches her closing off the ring” — which is like a boxing terminology — and then he said, “and she’s holding on to the walls and furniture like a cartoon cat.” So when I read it, it read hilariously. Then on the day that we were shooting it, I was like, “Let’s really get into it,” and I grabbed the dresser and all of that. And then at a certain point, I looked at him and I said, “Somebody might get mad.” [Laughs.]
Adlon has the benefit of a long, personal relationship with Louie the person, and had access to the script itself complete with stage direction, two things which clearly colored her perception of the scene. At the very least, it looks like there was something lost between Louie and Pamela’s intentions concerning that scene, and what the audience took away from it, as she alluded to in the interview: “The notion that we’re being careless and putting some kind of dangerous message out is offensive to me. But I can’t help what people feel and what reaction they give to things.”