Monday, November 16, 2009

What I’m Watching: Curb Your Enthusiasm

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 7, Episode 9 “The Table Read” (B)

I’ll start with the parts of this episode that were really strong because they deserve commendation. Bringing together the Seinfeld cast and having them read through the script for the reunion show has been a long time coming, and it’s not a disappointment. Larry’s debate with Jason over the mistreatment of his pen while in his care was fun, and it’s also amusing, as a casual viewer who only came in regularly for the show’s fifth season, to see how Larry incorporates elements of his own life into his scripts. It was obvious that George was based heavily on Larry, but it’s cool to also see Kramer given some of Larry’s tics, like hiring a prostitute so that he can drive in the carpool lane, which I know is the plot of a season four episode I haven’t seen. Michael’s terrified response to Leon knocking at his door was hilarious as an expected way of referencing his real-life racist outburst from a few years, but it went a bit too far with him lashing out at Leon and getting caught on camera by all those around him. What’s so great about seeing Larry squirm on this show is that he’s a despicable guy who deserves it, but the show allows the opportunity to really get to know him and develop feelings of love-hate for him. That’s not true for Michael, and therefore seeming him get embarrassed isn’t as fulfilling. Some may have enjoyed it, but I think the first moment with Leon was so brilliant and quick that the next one just wasn’t necessary. Having Funkhouser as the one around on set and the one to tell Jerry the dirty joke feels weird since he’s always been the generally kind-hearted, easily-offended friend rather than an intrusive presence. Larry’s relationship with the 9-year-old was a also bit over-the-top in concept, and while the end-of-episode “Call the police” line was pretty funny, sometimes Larry just has to wake up and realize that he’s saying the wrong thing.


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