Six Years Later, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is as Absurd and Hysterical As Ever
Season Nine PremiereBy AIDAN F. RYAN
October 17, 2017
After a six-year hiatus, comedian Larry David is back to playing his best role: himself.
David is the creator and star of the HBO hit comedy “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which returned six years after its Season Eight finale for its Season Nine premiere. “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” much like David’s other famous project, “Seinfeld,” is essentially about nothing. The show follows the everyday life of a fictitious version of David who seems to find something annoying about everything and often offends or insults someone through his actions and brash behavior.
The show begins with the camera panning over a Santa Monica neighborhood. Initially, this first shot seems too professional and clean to be in an episode of “Curb,” which was defined in its earlier season by gritty and unedited cuts. But then, the camera zooms into David’s house and cuts to a scene of the 70-year-old New York Jewish American singing in the shower and struggling to open a container of soap. Don’t be fooled by its modern aesthetic—“Curb Your Enthusiasm” is back.
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” is such a hit comedy because it focuses on the little annoyances, events, and stereotypes of everyday life. As Larry walks into his manager Jeff’s office building to discuss his new play, he pauses to hold the door for someone but then notices her appearance and believes she is too far away. Short-haired and sporting a tie, the woman confronts Larry about his decision not to hold the door. He responds by saying that she didn’t seem like the type of person who would want to have the door held for her, citing a lesbian stereotype, and adds that she was too far away. The result is an uncensored onslaught of insults and expletives, courteous of HBO’s cable programming.
Cringeworthy scenes such as the door incident are what make the show so amusing. In this episode, Larry also deals with an incompetent secretary “foisted” on him by Jimmy Kimmel. The secretary tells Larry that she had been gone for two days due to constipation, and Larry finds her reasoning to be weak. Later, he tells this to his roommate, Leon, who replies by saying that he once filmed a porno and participated in a hot dog eating contest constipated, and won. Ridiculous and impressive, David and the rest of the cast continue to make audiences laugh by centering on the uncomfortable and awkward moments of everyday life.
One of the unique aspects of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is that most of the show is ad libbed. For each episode, David and the other writers produce a six-to eight page outline that contains little to no dialogue. This gives the show an authentic feel and allows the characters to get creative in their roles. Typically, all of the insults thrown at David are completely made up by the actors. Susie Greene, the wife of David’s manager, is known for her nasty insults, and she doesn’t hold back in the Season Nine Premiere.
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” picks up right where it left off six years ago. Hysterical and absurd, the Season Nine premiere will not disappoint either the diehard fan or the casual viewer.