HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s Season 8 premièred in Britain on More 4 Sunday, late Sunday night too – perhaps fittingly and keeping in the spirit of the program as nevermind the 9 o’clock watershed an especial watershed is needed for Curb Your Enthusiasm – loosely Around Midnight – alongside Brass Eye, anything with Sarah Silverman and?!…
In this season opening episode Larry David is finally finalizing his divorce to his – it is a cliche but it is apt – long suffering and seemingly ageless wife Cheryl, played by Cheryl Hines.
Curb Your Enthusiasm’s was Larry David’s follow up to his co-creation Seinfeld – that ran the best part of the 1990’s and an awe-inspiring 174 episodes – awe-inspiring because this really was great quality in great quantity. But Larry David was but its writer/spectator if also a core part of it in the form of George Costanza, played by Jason Alexander, the Seinfeld character said to be closest to his own character. And watching Curb Your Enthusiasm – which I will now lapse into the familiar and refer to as Curb – that is quickly confirmed. Curb Your Enthusiasm is Larry David – whom I will now lapse into the over-familiar and refer to as Larry – spectator and performer, and the show has already outlasted Seinfeld in terms of its length now settling into its second decade and eleventh year. On the other-hand a mere eighty-one episodes, Curb being a more leisurely LA affair than the frenetic paced New York based Seinfeld.
For Larry is creative cup runneth over – can he ever be curbed?
And where was I? Oh that’s right, Larry is cutting himself adrift from his wife. But can Larry exist without Cheryl? Does he need a wife to provide an anchor in his life, to avoid him regressing to complete adolescence?
Though he has been engaged to be divorced to Cheryl since Season 6 Episode 7 The Tivo Guy when Larry demonstrating his own unique sense of perspective is more worried over his unreliable PVR than the turbulence to his plane – his TV viewing pleasure of more concern than loss of his own life and wife’s!
But here in this ‘The Divorce’ episode it is at last nearing fruition with his lawyer Mr Berg – and whom he believes to be Jewish, like himself. But suspicions are aroused against his Jewishness (!) when pulling up alongside him in traffic he eyeballs Mr Berg – on a motor-bike! It will transpire that he is not Jewish but Swedish! On this basis his lawyer is ditched, and not to his advantage, his replacement Jewish lawyer then loses him their family home, far worse than the original likely settlement.
Also in this episode the inevitable quintessentially squirm-in-your-soul moment which has Larry answering the door to a girl-scout selling cookies only to then find she is having her first period. And then having to describe the process of using a tampon to her through his water closet door – like many moments like this in Curb Your Enthusiasm I am glad I watched this moment alone! In equally typically Curb fashion another tampon moment was reprised later in the show – I won’t spoil that one!
I do recall one other awkward men-and-tampons comedy moment in an episode of the 1980’s UK Comedy The Young Ones where character Rick, played by Rik Mayall, discovers a tampon in the handbag of a visiting party-guest, played by a young Jennifer Saunders, and what then ensues with a glass of wine is predictable enough but which moment was embarrassing only for the character Rick, this being Curb the moment was embarrassing for we the viewers too or rather we the male viewers!
Another quintessential moment is a Susie Greene expletive-laden tirade – this time when her husband Jeff Greene calmly comments that if they ever get divorced she could have the house and pretty much whatever else she wanted! And he thought he was being reasonable!
- Michael J. Fox On ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ (celebs.icanhascheezburger.com)
- Curb Your Enthusiasm! (packwise.wordpress.com)
- Larry David Returns With Curb Your Enthusiasm in NYC This Weekend! (fresh1027.radio.com)
- Curb your Enthusiasm – season eight, episode one (guardian.co.uk)