Monday, October 22, 2007

Curb: California Split

Spoilers for the latest "Curb Your Enthusiasm" coming up just as soon as I set Season Passes for all of my wife's favorite shows...

Art imitating life or an amazing coincidence? Ordinarily, I hate learning and writing about the personal lives of celebrities, but given how much of this show either spins out of things that happened to Larry or things he wishes had happened, it's hard not to look at the break-up of his on-screen marriage without wondering about the parallels to the real one. Larry and Laurie have said it's an amicable split, but was a faulty TiVo involved in any way? Or did Laurie find out that Larry was writing a separation into the show and start getting ideas? For what it's worth, the real-life Davids announced their split in July, which was several months after "Curb" wrapped production for the season.

Okay, that aside, "The TiVo Guy," while not great, was still a significant improvement over the last batch of episodes. Cheryl coming to her senses and dumping Larry was a long time coming, and there's a lot of fun to be had with the premise. I loved Larry trying to justify his value to Cheryl with the omnipresent tissues/mints/pen supply, and him asking Cheryl -- who for a moment seemed willing to listen sympathetically to him -- corroborate his story for the skeptical hostess, and I really loved how quickly Funkhouser caved on his loudly declared intention to side with Larry in all of this.

More importantly, the new status quo (however temporary) allows Larry to date. I know people weren't crazy about the Mel Brooks arc from season four, but I loved the parallel arc with Larry repeatedly failing in his attempt to fulfill Cheryl's promise to let him have sex outside the marriage before their 10th anniversary. (Interesting that Gina Gershon, who played one of those failed conquests, wasn't in this episode, even though Larry's single and he stopped by her dry cleaning establishment twice.) The very married in real life Lucy Lawless was a good sport as Larry's first date; I look forward to him humiliating himself many times over with the opposite sex.

Oddly, though, my favorite part of the episode had nothing whatsoever to do with the split, or with anything else: Larry showing up the D-bag with the Bluetooth by having an equally loud conversation with himself. In an episode in which he was wrong on so many, many things, Larry could not have been righter in that moment.

What did everybody else think?


Unknown said...

the establishment of long balls larry was possibly my favorite moment of the season so far

Matt said...

100% agreed on the D-bag with the bluetooth headset. Bluetooth headsets (along with Crocs) make you look like a jackass.

Anonymous said...

...except when you're driving, Matt, when BT headsets make you look like you have both hands on the wheel. Granted, though, in almost every other situation (and that it was a terrifically cathartic bit).

Funny moments aside (and there were several, including - as usual - pretty much every word out of Leon's mouth), this episode was much more uncomfortable than usual, given the real life parallel.

Anonymous said...

So much for Funkhouser being Larrys' BFF! And how long until Susie makes Jeff chose Cheryl?

Watching Larry date will be fun for awhile, I think, but I hope he and Cheryl get back together because I would *love* to see how all the friends who chose Cheryl interact with him afterwards.

Those aren't just long balls, those are long-ass balls, Larry! I lurve J. B. Smoove!

Anonymous said...

You mention Cheryl "coming to her senses" but actually I always saw her as just as twisted as Larry, just ina different way. I think deep down she actually enjoyed the superiority she felt over him. People don't stay in a relationship for this long unless they are getting something out of it and I think what she got was validation everytime she had to sigh, roll her eyes or scream, "Larry!"

Or maybe I'm just reaidng too much in a series that had a subplot about Long Balls.

Anonymous said...

Alan, now that Cheryl is single, can you post her number?

Anonymous said...

While I agree with those underwhelmed by this season, I'd rate it higher than last season based on J.B. Smoove, Bob Einstein and Vivica A. Fox when she cuts through Larry's BS.

I agree that Cheryl relishes her role as the saint who can tolerate Larry. It also gives her the moral high ground when in reality most of her financial and social life seem to derive from Larry's fame and fortune.

One of my favorite lines ever was in "The Shrimp Incident" when Alan Wasserman screamed, "Why don't you take your $475 million and buy yourself an f---ing shrimp boat?!" I wish they referenced Larry's angst over his massive wealth more, though maybe it hits too close to home.

Cheryl's TiVo picks are startingly similar to my wife's. I don't want to think about what that makes me.

SJ said...

"Long Balls" Larry.

Another great episode, and perhaps for the first time I felt sad for Larry.

Anonymous said...

It also gives her the moral high ground when in reality most of her financial and social life seem to derive from Larry's fame and fortune.

Maybe that's where art imitated life too much for the real Mrs David. Or Mr.

Tom said...

Second favorite moment of the episode: Cheryl dumping Larry by saying that when all of her friends ask how she can put up with him, she says Larry has another side. Now she realizes there IS no other side. Larry is...Larry. As Larry likes to point out to Cheryl as they have sex, there is a difference between real and artificial crabmeat, and it's important for people to know the difference.

Favorite moment: the closing shot. Larry, who's not a cool guy, sitting with his long ass balls on ice, staring at his frozen TiVo, all alone. It was funny, apt, and dare I say it? Poignant.

Undercover Black Man said...

I know people weren't crazy about the Mel Brooks arc from season four...

Uhhh... who wasn't crazy about the Mel Brooks arc from season four? The payoff was jaw-droppingly brilliant.

"Long balls" reminded me of David Milch. One time he wanted to do a funny subplot in "NYPD Blue" about Sipowicz having a conflict with the stationhouse plumber because the water in the toilet bowl was too high and Sipowicz's balls kept getting wet.

Alas, it didn't happen.

Anonymous said...

I'm liking the breakup plotline. I actually hope it becomes permanent. If they eventually get back together, the show will just resume being more of the same like it's been the last couple of seasons. Cheryl leaving Larry gives David the opportunity to bring the show into some Ricky Gervais style misery.

Jake said...

I laughed a lot. The breakup was kind of wild, but I'm thinking this may end up being a permanent arrangement. It would be pretty gutsy, if so.

And I agree that the bluetooth dinner was the best part--Larry's story, involving brushing his teeth with an apple, was so weird. Two thumbs, way up!

Unknown said...

Pretty, Pretty , Pret - ty Good

I liked that they threw so much in and it all worked -- in less than a half hour no less!

I loved that they fit in the $10,000
party plus got Richard Lewis to be the 'special guest'.

Loved when Lucy Lawless whispered that Ted Danson was an A-hole.

Phone convo was funny and the fact that it ended with Funkhowser & Blossom choosing with Cheryl made it that much funnier!

I love seeing Kaitlin Olson even now as Cheryl's sister...because "Sunny in Philly" is classic..and it kind of is like an over the top/edgy version of seinfeld/curb -- the NON pc aspect anyways!

It would really be sad if Susie made Jeff choose Cheryl...but Jeff is Larry's can he not go with Larry?

Wouldn't be awesome if Curb was combined with the Larry Sanders show...both classics!!

Anonymous said...

After Leon tells him he has 'long-ass balls', Larry says: 'Who Knew".