Louise has a new hairstyle and a new hair color. She is now a blonde. And her once straight hair is now curly, pulled away from her face. She wears red lipstick that makes too much of her pale face. Louise looks so different that her own father-in-law, Ethelred Black, can't think of her as his daughter-in-law at all. Too -- his own son looks different to him; Phineas has lost weight since the last time they met. If Louise and Phineas look different, that is because they are. The cast of The Louise Log changed since season two. Christine Cook --who played the role of Louise -- is gone. Morgan Hallett has taken her place. And Phineas is now played by Joseph Franchini. And while Louise's exterior looks different, her interior has not lost that interesting touch of awkwardness.
Once more, Anne Flournoy's un-real life of the real life of Louise continues to whisper to us in three new episodes.
Season three begins with Louise's creative flow interrupted. Her father-in-law and his sidekick, The Queen of England, show up at her front door. This odd couple has traveled from Paris to Chelsea with plans to take back the old man's rent-controlled apartment, which has been occupied by Phineas, Louise, and their two children, Liza and Charles. If Louise can't convince the old man to let them continue living in the apartment, she is sure she'll end up a delusional person living somewhere in Queens -- or Staten Island if she's lucky. This all rests on how well Ethelred gets along with his two grandchildren -- one of which he shares a very similar hairdo.
Why not include the father-in-law in the creative process? Louise thinks. Convince him that being a part of this up-and-coming web series would be great for him too. To get the old juices flowing, Louise hires an acting coach for Ethelred. But, who would have thought that the coach would be easily seduced by the Queen of England, leaving Louise contemplating on how she is not brave enough to go after what she wants.
When the first plan falls flat on its face, Louise tries to be as accommodating as possible to her father-in-law and his committed monogamous partner -- the Queen. Hot coffee and oatmeal served with fresh raspberries for breakfast may demonstrate how much Louise's services are needed. But, once the New York City subway system proves to be too challenging for Louise to get this odd couple from Chelsea to The New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Louise begins to realize she is unappreciated and their problem is now hers.
Regardless who embodies Louise, Christine or Morgan; it is very easy to get attached to her. Old Louise (Christine Cook) had a pathetic failure thread running through her veins. Yet, she was sassy: able to take the punches, quickly dust off, and get back to the mundane. It may take a while to get used to the "deer in headlights" expression that the new Louise offers. But, she is just as much of a friend to us as her predecessor. For surely some of us can identify with the despair of having the kibosh put on our dreams of success, especially if the success hinges on a reality staged in Manhattan, and not any of the other boroughs. The Queen of England puts a new spin on the series. As much as Louise would like to squash her like a New York City cockroach, the Queen is already a star: she has the confidence Louise lacks. She likes creative people but may not be seeing this in Louise. No doubt, the collision between the two characters will continue. That is, of course, if the man with the Buster Brown haircut can begin to see Louise in a different light.
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