Spoilers for the return of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" coming up just as soon as I order some black log cake...
I'll admit, I was ambivalent about the return of this show. I thought most of last season was terrible (exceptions: "The Larry David Sandwich," "Kamikaze Bingo" and the finale) and that Larry dying and going to Heaven was the perfect ending for the show -- even though he got kicked out in the end. And for a good chunk of "Meet the Blacks," I was convinced that Larry hadn't taken Jerry Seinfeld's advice about leaving on a high note, and that "Curb" was just going to linger as a shadow of its former self, making me think less of the great stuff that had come before.
But somewhere midway through -- I want to say it was the visit to Ted Danson's house, though it's hard to say now that I've seen the episode a few times and am now more favorably disposed to the whole thing -- I started laughing, and by the time Larry tried and failed to prevent the two Black children from looking at the Funkhouser cake, I knew the show hadn't lost it yet.
Obviously, it helps to have Danson around, as his contempt for Larry is funnier than the six seasons of "Becker" combined. (Bob Einstein's even funnier as Funkhouser, but either something was off in his first scene or I just wasn't back into the spirit of the show yet.) And I like the addition of Vivica Fox as Loretta Black, who sees Larry for the fool he so often is but doesn't let herself get worked up about it (the way, say, Suzy always does), instead doing literal slow burns on her cigarette, weighing her options on what to say to this moron who happens to be helping out her family in their time of need.
Though I grew to like it as it moved on (and even moreso on repeat viewing), this was actually my least favorite of the three shows I've seen. So I'm glad to have "Curb" back in my life, and not just because I love playing manic conductor when the theme song begins.
What did everybody else think?