Spoilers for "Curb Your Enthusiasm" coming up just as soon as I get a good seat to watch a walkathon...
When you have a show about a man who does awful things every day, it becomes hard to top yourself after a while. And yet, deep into season six of "Curb," Larry David has managed to reach new highs -- or lows, depending on your point of view -- of behavior.
Larry arranging a fake mugging to suck up to Cheryl's therapist was maybe in the upper reaches of bad "Curb" behavior, but letting his own therapist (hilariously played by Steve Coogan) go to jail and get raped to preserve the lie? Wow. (And I don't think there's any way to read Coogan's bow-legged walk at getting out of prison other than him becoming, to use a word from "Oz," a prag.) And then, when Cheryl's shrink fell for him, Larry faked Alzheimer's? Double-wow.
There are times when I'm too appalled by Larry's behavior to find "Curb" funny, but there was a gonzo energy to "The Therapists" that made me not mind. My grandfather died of Alzheimer's, and so I should have been offended by that entire thread, but Funkhouser's description of his father-in-law's behavior ("He screams at the cat because she didn't vote.") and, especially, Larry hanging his head at the realization that he doesn't even like chicken salad had me clutching my sides.
As a comedian, Larry's always been a believer that any subject can be made funny with the right absurdist spin (see also "The Survivor"), and throughout this episode he approached problematic material from a ridiculous right angle to make it work. The scene where Larry and Jeff approach Leon (essentially their only black male friend) to play the mugger could have been awkward and painful, but Leon's insistence that someone would need to be fucked up -- and Larry's opposition to same -- instead made it hilarious.
Seems a shame that the season is coming to an end only next week. We had a great first few episodes, then a bunch of awful ones in the middle, but this has been three weeks in a row of brilliance, and since "Curb" seasons tend to have strong finales, I don't expect this one to disappoint. The good news is that Larry seems amenable to continuing the show -- maybe even for two more years, per the NY Post.
What did everybody else think?