Larry David’s brilliant HBO comedy series “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is finally back after six years, and it’s just as funny as ever.
Larry David, for those who don’t know, is the co-creator of the Emmy Award-winning comedy masterpiece “Seinfeld,” which ran on NBC from 1989 to 1998. Seinfeld was known for being a “show about nothing” (a description David wrote into the episode “The Pitch”). The show focused on the humor of everyday life, with the characters’ neurotic personalities causing ordinary situations to blow up into major conflicts.
After Seinfeld ended, David brought his talents to HBO, where he had no restrictions on what he could show or discuss. Here, David stars as a fictionalized version of himself (Larry) alongside a cast that features the talent of Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines, Ted Danson, Richard Lewis, and J. B. Smoove among others. This season also features cameos from Bryan Cranston, Salman Rushdie and Elizabeth Banks.
Now in its ninth season, the series explains the six-year hiatus as a break Larry took to write his new (fictional) Broadway musical “Fatwā,” based on the true story of the fatwā (religious ruling) issued by Ayatollah Khomeini against British author Salman Rushdie after the release of his novel, “The Satanic Verses” in 1988. The ayatollah demanded the execution of Rushdie, forcing Rushdie into hiding for a few years. This musical becomes the inciting force behind the entire plotline of the new season, as an appearance by Larry on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Ccreates a conflict between himself and a fictional ayatollah.
Larry David not only stars in the series, but also directs, writes, and produces it, and it shows. David’s strange sense of morality and justice is what causes the show to remain so entertaining. Larry’s constant need to interfere or comment on even the slightest flaw that he sees brings about some insanely entertaining altercations. Everything is on display, from pickle-jar heroes to the uselessness of cookie tongs; nothing is too ridiculous for David to cover. The most interesting part of these scenes is that, despite his obvious over reactions, the audience is always able to understand his point and sympathize, (even if they don’t want to admit it or it doesn’t seem politically correct to).
One of the funniest scenes so far this season involves Larry’s antics at a funeral, complaining that someone stole his seat during the service and telling a grieving woman that her crying is “way too loud.” Larry’s lack of empathy is a constant point of discussion for the other characters, though he rarely seems to care about what other people think. The main targets of Larry’s criticisms are self-righteous individuals who try to act more important than they really are (ironic considering that Larry is also guilty of this). Some of the funnier examples are the police officer who considers himself above getting honked at or the hotel desk clerk who claims to hold more authority than he really does. Everyone has met these kinds of people, making Larry’s confrontations that much more cathartic and entertaining.
I cannot stress enough how highly I recommend this show, not just the current season, but the original eight as well. If you enjoyed “Seinfeld” and you want more, this is definitely the show for you. All eight seasons and the first four episodes of the ninth season are available on HBO GO right now.
Evan Burns is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.