Enthusiasm, Curbed

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For its first couple of seasons, I thought HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm was pretty much the highest form to which the sitcom could aspire. Indeed, I even defended the show against a moronic attack a year or so ago.

But boy did last night's CYE season finale suck. That's an hour none of us will ever get back. Somewhere over the past two years, Larry David's character stopped being the critical anti-hero focus of the show and instead did just become a relentless jerk who escaped the final-act ritual humiliation that made the earlier episodes so entertaining.

Ah well, there's still the presidential campaign around for cringe-inducing comedy.

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  1. I love this show, but have to agree that last night was a little hohum as this show goes.

    Jesse Walker:
    “But y’know, the framed picture would have been funnier if Larry found he couldn’t perform with Bush looking at him,”

    Funny you mention that as when it showed the pic initially, I thought that’s exactly what would happen.
    But, they went with it because “she’s a republican”?

    Jeff’s response was good though.

  2. Asking a dog actor “What’s your motivation?”…

    Good one!

  3. Curb has gone downhill fast this season. The whole “anniversary present” conceit is absurd – so implausible and out-of-character that it’s not even amusing.

    The same arc is echoed in Seinfeld. George Costanza, originally, was neurotic and suffered from low self-esteem. This made him amusing and a little sympathetic (at least sympathetic enough to remain interesting). Gradually he became merely an idiotic asshole who was universally despised, and liked it. Well, I’m sorry – that’s not funny, and it made it impossible to indentify with him, and the show got crappy and unwatchable. There’s a big difference between neurotic and sociopathic.

    This season, Larry David also has started down the path from neurosis to sociopathy, and the show sucks as a result. Sadly, the Cheryl David character has also been forced to become a sociopath (or at least a masochist), and whatever depth that character once had has been destroyed.

    Too bad.

  4. I agree, but the show managed to make jokes on the subjects of holocaust surviviors, surrogate mothers, the blind, and 9/11 victims without being mean spirited. I like the sociopathic tendancies the show has shown because they are funny! The golf club with the corpse was great.
    Also, any show that can get a cameo out of Anne Bancroft gets my support.

  5. The only episodes I saw this season were last week’s and this week’s, and I have to say that last week’s was pretty funny.

    This week’s relied too much on the Producers schtick. And yeah, what was the deal with having a happy ending?

  6. Hm…I haven’t seen the last one but the previous latest ones seem to be pretty damn funny.

    I suppose you could argue that it has gotten more extreme. But I wouldn’t consider it less funny. Subtlety has given way to daring. A trade off maybe, but not a loss, IMO.

  7. Yeah this season’s been much less funny than the last two. But just as “The Simpsons” has been not as good for about the last seven or eight years, well it’s still better than just about every other sitcom on TV.

  8. I liked Larry’s response to the obsequious bell hop (“That’s a window, I look out of it”) and the discussion of social exchanges, like when you should tip and who makes the rules if you ask someone to take your picture.
    I also think the producers gag worked, only because Mel Brooks managed to make it a great self-parody. The idea of wanting to destroy something you created because it’s out of control rarely works as comedy. The execption is Brooks’ Young Frankenstein.

  9. Yeah, the tipping this is funny, but Jesus Christ. He’s based at least half a dozen episodes around tipping etiquette. Get some new material already. Yeah, tipping’s confusing and stupid. We get it, Larry!

  10. Shouldn’t this conversation be continued over at the Jump The Shark website?

  11. Remember the two-part Seinfeld finale?
    Worst ever.

  12. Um, yeah, I thought that the episode had its moments too. However, the amount of recycled schtick was a little too obvious. The tipping thing is one. The instance where he gave one bellhop a $20 bill to split with the other one, but then he never split it….um….does anyone recall the episode where Larry didn’t have any money to pay for the parking garage? This was basically the same thing, but with bellhops. And I dunno if anyone else caught this, but, when Larry gets on the plane, Jeff doesn’t have anything to read, and Larry is disturbed by this. Come ON, Larry! We’re not THAT slow! Putty & Elaine were much more funny when they did the bit, anyway. Putty had that special wierd “something” that made it believable for him to just sit there. Jeff’s just too regular. And I know it’s been like 8 years, but Seinfeld still gets regular syndication on like 12 channels. It’s probably only been a few weeks since I saw that episode. Jeez. But hey, I loved the framed picture of Bush!

  13. But hey, I loved the framed picture of Bush!

    But y’know, the framed picture would have been funnier if Larry found he couldn’t perform with Bush looking at him, rather than if he’d simply decided me couldn’t have sex with a Republican.

  14. I guess this is to be expected in a show with no real script.

  15. I meant “he,” not “me.” Can a typo be a Freudian slip?

  16. Ok, there’s something I have to get off my chest. You remember that episode a few weeks ago where Larry disparages David Schwimmer’s dad’s cashew skimpiness vis-a-vis raisins? And then later, Jeff’s dog bites Larry’s weenus?

    There was never an adequate motivation for the dog to do that. He just did it – why? Lazy writing, that’s why.

    Here’s what should have happened. Larry should have fed the dog some of David Schwimmer’s dad’s cashews. The dog liked them. Then, in the bathroom, the dog sees Larry’s weenus and thinks it’s a cashew, and bites it. There’s the dog’s motivation.

    Then, somehow, Schwimmer finds out. Larry says, “He thought it was a cashew! He thought it was a cashew!” Hilarity ensues.

    Alternate ending: The dog thought his balls were raisins. Still funny, but I think cashews work better.

  17. Yes, Jesse, it cum.

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