'Louie' Stars Might Be In An Unexpected Showmance

Louie returned for its fifth season last week, along with the the trusty notion that the fictionalized version of Louis CK will always fail to reach even the lowest expectations of the complex women in his life. And with that fictionalized version comes the rumor that won't die: That one that suggests Louis CK is dating Pamela Adlon, his frequent co-star on Louie. This time, rumor mongers may have a little more to chew on, though we should all keep in mind that Louie and Pamela are also longtime pals, so, you know, don't get ahead of yourself.

Of course, on the show, fictional Louie's (albeit weak) efforts to connect with fictional Pamela are met with, at worst, flat-out aggression and, at best, an ill-advised sexual encounter which will almost certainly go wrong. The rest of the time, Pamela shoots him a simple yet elegant eye roll. I can think of several shows (Game of Thrones, Outlander, Scandal, every will-they/won't-they sitcom) whose sets must be brimming with sexual tension and possibility.

And yes, I'm probably imagining said sexual tension based on what I see on screen (and my ability to deliberately ignore the various indignities of being observed by a bevy of beefy film crew guys while getting romantic and the very existence of "the privacy patch"). Still. It's no stretch for me to accept that real life feelings can be stirred up by talk of timeless soul mates, forbidden passion, and all that bodice-ripping jazz. Louie doesn't count any of these among its many charms, but it looks like the ode to the awkwardness of adult men went ahead and brewed a showmance anyway.

The Daily Mail reports that Louis CK has been spotted hanging out off-set with co-star and collaborator Pamela Adlon. But let's think about this. They have good reason for spending so much time together: The two go way back; Adlon also acted alongside Louis CK in his short-lived HBO series Lucky Louie. She pulls triple-duty on Louie, writing, producing, and playing Louie's friend and reluctant, long-time crush Pamela. Plus, Louis CK will return the favor by pulling some creative duty with Adlon's new sitcom. (According to The New York Times, FX picked up Adlon's pilot, Better Things , which her pal directed.)

But professional obligations or not, these recent photos in the Daily Mail of the two arm-in-arm seem to indicate that their creative chemistry has blossomed into something bigger.

On the show, Pamela and Louie's relationship isn't exactly the kind that would set bells ringing and birds singing. (Aside from that beautifully written Season 2 speech, below.) In fact, their eventual consummation resulted in a bit of a cultural firestorm, in terms of Pamela's consent or lack thereof.

It's important to note that, though the characters bear their names, Adlon and Louis CK aren't acting out their own lives on the show. I joke that the Louie set doesn't exactly seem ripe for the realization of romantic fantasy, considering that it's based in the often humiliating and ridiculous reality of our lives. But it's encouraging that, if the rumors are true, Adlon and Louis CK aren't acting on any kind of fantasy. This is a long-term partnership — whether it's platonic or not — which presumably has undergone some trials and tribulations (Hollywood, right?), and as a fan, I hope that the extension of their creative marriage yields some additional happiness for them both.

Images: KC Bailey/FX, Giphy (2)