Curb Your Enthusiasm is back, and so is society's ultimate norm enforcer. The show's 10th season follows Seinfeld co-creator Larry David as he navigates the irritations and annoyances of everyday life via a fictionalized version of himself.
As in seasons past, much of the show's comedy comes from David and his unfortunate interlocutors arguing about what the appropriate standard of behavior is in a given situation: When is it OK to ask someone's weight? Should a pregnant woman jog? Can the same dish be used to feed humans and dogs?
This intense focus on seemingly minor everyday questions of propriety makes the show as insightful as it is funny. David, like the rest of us, has to interact with a world full of people who are often selfish or annoying (or find him so). Making it all work is an informal set of rules that everyone either quietly agrees to follow or flouts at the risk of social stigma.
Curb's most recent season even finds a role for commerce in this daily negotiation of behavioral norms: David opens a "spite store" to get back at a coffee shop owner who served him scones that were too dry and coffee that was too cold. Sometimes it's important for someone to sweat the little things. Society depends on it.