Loudermilk is a great Quirky and Cynical Comedy

Loudermilk is an offbeat, quirky and cynical comedy starring Ron Livingstone in the title role as a former alcoholic who is now a substance abuse counsellor.

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Loudermilk is one of those surprising gems you find now and then, a weird and offbeat comedy. The perfectly cast Ron Livingston plays brilliantly the central character Sam Loudermilk, whose blunt and insensitive opinions offend nearly everyone who crosses his path. Much of the comedy revolves around this, with the early episodes being hilarious.

Each episode often opens with Loudermilk offending and insulting some random person he meets. The series starts with a powerful pilot episode. The opening scene is a tour de force introduction to Loudermilk.

Photo: AT&T Audience Network

Sam Loudermilk

Ron Livingston is a talented character actor who gives a stellar performance in the title role and is the driving force of this show. Ron Livingstone, with Jennifer Aniston, starred in the classic Office Space (1999). He also appeared in Sex and the City, Boardwalk Empire and Band of Brothers for HBO. He has recently played roles in Search Party and the early episodes of A Million Little Things. James Roday, from Psych, who played Shaun, is his co-star in A Million Little Things.

Loudermilk is remarkably believable and likeable, if in a somewhat abrasive manner. He is a person best comprehended by his actions rather than his words.

Part of the complexity of Sam Loudermilk’s character is that he was once a successful author and established music critic before his drinking and lifestyle got the better of him. As a result, he has had to transform how he lives to live a healthier and sober life. It is, of course, far less stimulating than the life he had.

A more responsible and empathetic grown-up has arisen as he negotiates life as a recovering alcoholic, and Sam now runs a support group.

The show can be especially confronting and sobering in dealing with the change in his lifestyle. It explores how we deal with changes in our status and social position when making choices about our health and lifestyle. For example, the scene where Loudermilk is polishing floors at his night job is confronting. He gives the impression of being stuck in recovery mode and hasn’t yet moved on to a new career.

The show’s penchant for abruptly shifting from being funny to serious gives it more depth than your usual comedy. The show pulls no punches when it deals with characters’ flaws or inadequacies, laying them bare for all to see.

Photo: AT&T Audience Network

Other Characters

Though initially offensive, Loudermilk’s advice or observations is usually sensible but lacking in tact. His roommate Ben, played by Will Sasso, also a recovering alcoholic and his former sponsor steps in to smooth over the awkward moments. Sam trusts Ben, given his former role; however, it becomes clear that Ben is not the exemplary role model he should be.

He is the least evolved character in the show, though he is Sam’s only friend. Unfortunately, he eventually lets Sam down badly, and picturing him as Sam’s sponsor is difficult.

Photo: AT&T Audience Network

Another recurring character is Claire, played by Anja Savcic, a young woman Sam helps get sober. Before he can do this, Sam must curb his tendency to be abrasive and be more supportive. Eventually, she becomes one of his big successes. A more positive, younger person, Claire, counterbalances Sam’s cynicism and helps Sam to engage more with life and move ahead.

A new tenant, Allison, moves into the apartment block across the hall. She quickly becomes Loudermilk’s romantic interest. However, he soon wrecks everything by criticizing her taste in music.

Photo: AT&T Audience Network

The Support Group

The support group he facilitates is a peculiar group of people that can be frustrating and annoying. Loudermilk is often at his finest when handling the group and its diverse needs. Specific episodes concentrate on the lives of the individuals from this group. Here the show falters from its emphatic start and sometimes struggles with its dialogue and storyline. As we witness their lives, we find their addictions are only part of their problems.

The support group meets in a church hall where the priest, played by Eric Keenleyside, attempts to keep things professional.

Photo: AT&T Audience Network

The Coffee Shop

The series is set in Seattle but filmed in Vancouver, providing the location for outdoor settings. Many scenes take place in the surprisingly comfortable apartment Ben and Sam share.

Photo: Vancouver, reddit.com/r/Loudermilk

Another charming location is the local coffee shop they frequent. It appears like a great place to hang out and is also a music store, with the owner having a band. Sam regresses to his former profession and offers his musical opinions, which are seldom complimentary. Claire briefly joins the band but lacks any rhythmic skills to last in it.

Photo: AT&T Audience Network

Worth Watching

This series is worth watching because Loudermilk takes us on a journey of whether it is okay to be ourselves. Eventually, we can enjoy our lives by accepting who we are, the good, the bad, and the difficult to handle.

Photo: AT&T Audience Network

Three Seasons

Peter Farrelly and Bobby Mort co-created Loudermilk. Peter Farrelly and his brother Bobby wrote, directed and produced Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary and Me, Myself & Irene.

There are three seasons of Loudermilk, the first being the stand-out. Unfortunately, the series was left stranded after the AT&T cable channel Audience Network shut down. Subsequently, Amazon Prime picked up the show’s rights and streamed the previously unaired third season giving the show a potentially much broader audience. However, whether there will be another season remains unclear as they are still without a production network. Still, Peter Farrelly has stated that he is keen to do a fourth season and has already mapped out the storyline.

YouTube: Loudermilk Official Trailer

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