Sunday, October 04, 2009

Curb Your Enthusiasm, "The Reunion": Not that there's anything wrong with that

Spoilers for tonight's "Seinfeld"-ian "Curb Your Enthusiasm" coming up just as soon as I figure out why Christopher Walken was on the boat...
"You know those reunion shows, they're so lame, really. They never work, the actors are 10 years older. It doesn't look right. I don't think so." -Larry
Thankfully, Real-Life Larry is a clever enough man to figure out how to make a "Seinfeld" reunion happen in TV Larry's world, but in a way that's not going to be as disappointing as a real reunion would. This is the last episode I've seen in advance so far, but if "The Reunion" is anything to go by, this plotline is going to be terrific.

We knew from season two that putting Larry in a scene with Jason Alexander was gold.Alexander putting down the character of George (and, by extension, insulting Larry) is a joke that I never tire of, ditto the constant one-upsmanship between the two over things like the tip. And we knew from that season that Julia Louis-Dreyfus could fit into this show just fine. So the real pleasure of this one was seeing Larry and Jerry work together. It's clear from watching "Seinfeld" and "Curb," and from listening to the two of them do "Seinfeld" DVD commentaries, that these are two men with fairly simpatico worldviews and who enjoy bantering with each other. Jerry's still a pretty terrible actor (Larry is, frankly, much more natural than he is at this point), but his awkwardness is almost part of his charm, and it was fun to listen in on their whole digression about Natalie Wood. Not much of Michael Richards in this one, but I hold out hope that an upcoming episode will put him in a room with Leon.

But what I really loved about "The Reunion" was how it was still very clearly an episode of "Curb," even with the fab four in the house, and even with the plot mirroring the "Seinfeld" season four arc where Jerry and George got NBC to produce "Jerry!," down to Larry incorporating previous storylines from the show (giving a doll a haircut, hooker in the carpool lane) into the script. It's still first and foremost about Larry being selfish and myopic and unwilling to conform to society's expectations if he doesn't agree with society.

Larry saying, "This is me apologizing. It's about as sorry as I get" was at least as funny as anything that happened with the "Seinfeld" actors, and the brief hint of the closing credits before Larry stopped to ponder the two alternate futures was hysterical.

What did everybody else think?

28 comments:

alyssa said...

I was wondering if they were ever gonna do a reunion.

I really enjoyed it.

Josh said...

A lot of classic Larry in this one. My favorite was the "benefit of the doubt" bit.

the Stanfield Org. said...

Thought this was the weakest episode so far this season laughs-wise, but set the table nicely for what's to come, and still had enough funny moments. Had not thought of a Michael Richards/Leon on-screen meeting, but think that's definitely in the works, know I read Larry David say that Richards wanted to confront the whole racial what-have-you on the show. Really enjoying the season so far.

Tim Masterson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

Hey Tim, talking about stuff from the season preview special unfortunately qualifies as violating the No Spoilers rule, so I had to delete the whole comment. Sorry. (Wish I had the power to go in and edit them.)

Tim Masterson said...

Yikes! My mistake! Let it be said in my defense that it was not a plot point. I'd just like to get that out there, lest anyone think less of me. I'm a firm believer in the spoiler system and would never want to be "that guy" who spoils shows. I would never knowingly violate the spoiler rules. Really, that was more of a technicality.

I'll just stick to the basics: I loved the look on Larry's face looking down into the classic.

There. Sorry!!

Jon said...

"This is the last episode I've seen in advance so far, but if "The Reunion" is anything to go by, this plotline"

Was this comment cut off?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Yes it was, Jon. Fixed now. Thanks.

Tim Masterson said...

classic = casket.

That's it. I'm done commenting.

Sean said...

The thing I loved was the journey the Seinfeld crew took in getting on board with the reunion; first they were all skeptical (except poor Michael Richards, who just didn't have a clue), then they came around one by one based on what they THINK is the enthusiasm of the other actors based on what Larry has been telling them, and then when they finally come together they remember what a complete neurotic jackass Larry is and why they never wanted to do a reunion with him before.

The scene at the end was terrific;monod thing Larry created has taken on a life of it's own and in one swipe destroyed the whole reason he began the reunion idea in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I gave this show another chance in order to watch the Seinfeld cast, but I'm once again left wanting. It's occasionally slightly amusing but mostly painfully unfunny.

How does this show benefit from being on HBO? The nudity that distracted Richards could easily have been something else. Perhaps Larry's tirades are funnier laced with profanity? What size audience does it draw? Would it survive on a network?

HBO's Sunday nights have really disappointed since Deadwood and Rome were can canceled

Mrglass said...

After years of watching Seinfeld, I just realized tonight that Jerry simply can't act. How did I miss that?

OC said...

as much as I love Meg Ryan, I wish they would have gone with Marisa Tomei. After all, George did have a crush on her and even tried to befriend her (behind Susan's back) in "The Cadillac" Episode

Anonymous said...

Somehow, I don't see Michael Richards and Leon ending up with a scene together. Based on last week's disclosure from Leon that he's never seen an episode of Seinfled, I can't imagine that he knows who Michael Richards is, or was aware of/cared about his tirade/incident a few years ago. I think the Michael Richards incident is more likely something that Larry and Jerry talk about in hushed tones, if it comes up at all.

Anonymous said...

I hate to be this guy, but I thought Cheryl hated NBC because of GE's politics?

srpad said...

Is it wrong that I got chills seeing the apartment set again?

Eldo Owens said...

Anonymous said: "I hate to be this guy, but I thought Cheryl hated NBC because of GE's politics?"

Not only that, I found it hard to believe that, given the state of NBC's ratings, they wouldn't be bending over backwards for Larry/Jerry if they decided to do a reunion. I'd bet they'd even fire the exec who gave Larry those Laker tickets.

Other than that, loved last night's episode. I especially liked the alternate futures bit at the end with Larry channeling his inner Anton Chigurh.

chiro_ehl said...

Awesome ep! I can't believe nobody has mentioned Jason Alexander's constant digs at the series finale!

Classic stuff!

And Susie Greene - who usually has a jovial demeanor?!?! ROFL!

dez said...

first they were all skeptical (except poor Michael Richards, who just didn't have a clue)

That's because he couldn't stop looking at all the breasteses. Thought it was a nod to the whole "master of my domain" ep that he ran off immediately to see his wife/partner.

I love that Jason Alexander is shown to be an even bigger pill than George Costanza, who was an exaggeration of Larry David, and in doing so, being an even bigger exaggeration of Larry David than CYE Larry is. Er, hope that made sense.

Jordan said...

Why the big desire to see Michael Richards and Leon? I don't get it. Leon is too loosey goosey and chill to cause much spark or drama with Richards. If that's what you're looking for, the obvious would be a Richards/Wanda Sykes scene. That's what I want to see.

belinda said...

That NBC flower wreath cracked me up.

DeeTV said...

srpad said...
Is it wrong that I got chills seeing the apartment set again?


I'm with you, I got such a kick seeing Jerry's old apartment. The only thing was everything was light green whereas, in "Seinfeld" it was all blue (if memory serves me)...

Maggie said...

Yes, Cheryl did have issues in past seasons with NBC/GE, but this show has made an art of blatantly disregarding continuity and I don't think it really matters. Remember Susie falling from the balcony and not losing her baby? Well, they don't have a baby, so what happened to it? Not to mention that their daughter Sammie is actually a boy Sammy in an early episode (I don't think you see him but he's referred to as a "he.") In the original HBO special/pilot, Cheryl and Larry have their own kids.

And what about the restaurant? Is Larry still an owner?

I could go on, but those photos on the walls are really distracting.

Devin said...

The show should be on HBO if for no other reason than to allow Susie to say 'fuck.'

As far as the exec's behavior, CYE has always given Larry a Hollywood life that's almost the polar opposite of Vince's: no one cares who he is and everything goes to hell by the end of the episode.

Tom said...

Was the head of NBC -- a yuppie hipster too arrogant to know you don't dis a guy like Larry -- supposed to be a dig at Ben Silverman? Just wondering.

As for the suggestion that Cheryl flip-flopping on GE/NBC for the shot at starring in a Sienfeld reunion displays a lack of 'continuity' -- well, maybe. Seems to me her character has been consistent throughout. She's shallow and self-involved and hates Larry David (the man) but loved being married to "Larry David" (creator of "Seinfeld").

And is it just me, or does Michael Richards look profoundly medicated? The poor guy looks bipolar or just flat-out depressed.

Anonymous said...

Some really really smart comments. Having just seen the episode, I am like a teenager who has just had his crush fulfilled. Larry David, thank you, you are a genius!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Eldo - I felt the fate of the reunion show was oversimplified and seemed implausible. Would Larry David get whatever he wanted from NBC? Maybe not. But Seinfeld? And whoever has the legal rights to make this show happen? I find it hard to believe that a single executive's hurt feelings, when dealing with talent known to be socially inept, would be enough to kill that cash cow. I doubt there's even an executive who would be so bothered by Larry's social rudeness that it would overcome the obvious appeal of having the reunion.

What would be more interesting would be seeing how the suits react if every idea David had was just TERRIBLE and OFFENSIVE. Then I'd believe they might rather pull the plug. But over a single insult? Meh.

H E Pennypacker said...

This just aired here down under - very nice, the Seinfeld angle got it bumped up from Cable/Late Night to Broadcast Prime Time! (You can say 'fuck' on Australian television!)

I thought the whole executive hissy fit was just to tie it into the lyme disease story - in reality NBC would be begging for that kind of opportunity.

Oh, while I'm at it - sorry about Kath & Kim, no other country should be made to suffer that!