Sunday, October 18, 2009

Curb Your Enthusiasm, "Denise Handicapped": Rolling thunder

Quick spoilers for tonight's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" coming up just as soon as I put the pie down...

After last week's out-and-out dud, "Curb" rebounds somewhat with "Denise Handicapped," which didn't work overall but at least had some funny isolated scenes: Larry struggling to make out with Denise, Leon scolding Larry for his technique ("You did your dizzle on her?"), Larry's BlackBerry panic when he spotted Sammy struggling in the water, and the sheer terror on Larry's face when Rosie O'Donnell ran up the stairs after him.

But other parts felt too underdeveloped. I don't see Larry getting all bent out of shape over someone else insisting on picking up a check, though of course the show once did a great episode where he got upset when someone wouldn't do it. It didn't feel like they did enough with the joke about Denise being disappointed that Larry was bald, and the screaming match with Ted Danson about the pie went nowhere; "Curb" when it's clicking ties everything to everything else. And Larry's whole chopsticks inquiry with the adoptive parents seemed another case, like most of last week, of Larry just being a dick, as opposed to Larry having a point somewhere, but being ignorant and/or obstinate about fitting it into social norms.

Still, I laughed a bunch of times, which is a major improvement over last week.

What did everybody else think?


Unknown said...

I agree. A couple of funny bits in an overall epsiode that didn't work, saved by Uncle Leon.

"Bring the ruckus to that @zz Larry!" - awesome.

Anonymous said...

I must just be weird or something because I laughed a lot more at last week's - which still wasn't great - than this one.

christy said...

I actually laughed a lot at this one. When Larry and Rosie actually started physically fighting over the check, and then the pay-off in the end with her being the one to be able to chase him up the stairs in the other ladies' stead. And the chemistry between Larry and Denise Handicapped was good, to the point where I couldn't figure out if they really hated each other or liked each other (and I guess they weren't sure either, until they were).

The disinviting/reinviting was a bit contrived, as was the way he lost his blackberry. But I did laugh a lot.

ScottyG said...

I am so happy Leon stuck around for the show for moments like this, and LD putting Ms. Wheelchair (I want to say Wendy but I forget) in the closet killed me

olucy said...

Agree. This week fell flat for me, even more so than last week. Although I did laugh at the sheer lunacy/slapstick of Larry and the two wheelie girls just running through the back of the concert like The Three Stooges.

And yes, is feels like this season Larry is just being a dick for the sake of being a dick.

Jeff Polman said...

I thought last week's show was basically pointless, but had a tighter plot and train wreck momentum that just seemed to work for me. This one was in supremely bad taste despite Leon and the few laughs, and I agree that Larry seems to be going out of his way this season to make us loathe him. Next week's return of the Seinfelds can't get here fast enough.

Rabble Rouser said...

I felt like this was the funniest episode of the season so far.

They really packed alot in there, some of it hit, some of it didn't, and some got underdevoloped. But there was alot of laughs on my end.

This episode brought back good memories of the Shaq episode where everyone hated him and left him alone, whereas here everyone is nice to him because he's with Denise.

As far as Larry being a dick for the sake of being a dick. I think that's the point. He now has no voice of reason without Cheryl. She was the angel on his shoulder. (Much like Bobby is to Clay in SOA). And I can relate to this as my Grandfather is now a huge dick now that my Grandmother has passed. This is probably something that will be presented as they get back together.

But for the mean time I like seeing LD in the dating scene, cracks me up.

I hate Rosie generally, but really enjoyed this cameo.

I'm also glad they aren't hitting us over the head with the Seinfeld stuff, and are just working it in VERY gradually.

Also Leon's screen time is gold, pure gold.

Overall this leaves me very hopeful for the rest of this (final) season of Curb.


Rabble Rouser said...

one more thing: Can someone tell me who and which show the blonde and redheaded actresses in the "What's Alan Watching" logo are I would appreciate it.

They are stunning, I need to start watching whichever shows they are on!


P.S. Redheads make the world go round...

Anonymous said...

I thought it was really funny...while I agree the check-fighting scene was pointless, I don't over-analyze and just go with it. "A lovely night for a stroll and a roll..." Jerk that he can be, he also has some sensitivity, as in when he corrected himself about riding in a cart when he golfs. Thus you can never quite give up on him!

Anonymous said...

I love that my comment is marked "Anonymous!"

Oskar said...

I must say, I kinda liked it. By far my favorite moment was when we see Larry talking to Wendy Wheelchair, and then they cut to him taking her to the recital-concert-party.

You can just imagine Larry's inner dialouge: "Hmm, lost one wheelchaired person, better get another one! I'll just swap 'em out, no one will notice".

I must say though, I kinda liked Denise Handicapped. It would be kinda nice to see her and Larry start a relationship, but I guess that's never gonna happen.

XWL said...

"one more thing: Can someone tell me who and which show the blonde and redheaded actresses in the "What's Alan Watching" logo are I would appreciate it."

I can answer that one, they were all on Freaks and Geeks, and the pictures show them in their more recent work.

From left to right

Busy Phillips (now on Cougar Town)
Joanna Garcia (now on Privileged)
Lizzy Caplan (now on Party Down)
Linda Cardellini (most recently on ER)

As far as Curb Your Enthusiasm, let this be a reminder to back up your data onto multiple devices.

Rabble Rouser said...

Thanks X-Dub,

Might be time to finally be the dvd set of 'Freaks and Geeks'

Wallace McNerdy said...

funniest episode this season by far. larry + leon & larry + rosie = gold, jerry.

also: i think people are missing the point. many of the situations that seem pointless/dickish are rehashed/revisited seinfeld scenarios. making this buildup a diff sort of seinfeld reunion. get it?

Anonymous said...

"I date the disabled!" has to rank with some of the funniest lines ever.

I laughed a lot at this episode. Sure it was haphazard in spots but there was lots of funny stuff much of it mentioned by other posters.

I think Wallace McNerdy is right about the rehashed Seinfeld bits. I'm wondering if this will include a finale similar to the 'Seinfeld' finale. Everyone that has been wronged by Larry will come back to haunt him in some way.

Recall the scene this season with Jason Alexander. Jason remarks that with a reunion they can get the ending right. Larry was pretty miffed by that. He may be so married to that ending that he gives it to us a second time.

~ RC in Denver

Jamie said...

Another hilarious episode of Curb.

It's undoubtedly the best comedy on TV at the moment, and one of the best of all time.

Larry David is simply a genius.

Anonymous said...

I liked this episode and I enjoyed Larry asking if the child showed a proclivity towards chopsticks. I don't think it was Larry gratuitously being a dick. Rather, it was Larry exposing the over-sensitivity of others, as he does.

gustav56 said...

The chopsticks device was needed to give a reason for the "unvitation" which later led to the couple's guilt over punishing a disabled person by having denied a newly sympathetic Larry access to their party. The street encounter was also how Denise met them, and was able to find their house on her own.

The Rosie check-fight scene was needed to show us that Larry had reason to be fearful enough to run up the stairs away from her.

As lean and mean an episode as any "Curb" to date.

Tom said...

A big step up from last week. The sheer tastelessness of it all was inspired. As for LD being gratuitously dickish, I agree that Cheryl's absence has totally unleashed his inner Phil Silvers. I, for one, approve.

Anonymous said...

It's time to get back to the Seinfeld reunion plot.

Jordan said...

This ep was pretty damn near hilarious. Not sure what some of you are watching. But even if it wasn't overly eventful, developed, or "tight", it was sure as hell funny. Good stuff all around.

Unknown said...

The chopsticks question was just a convenient nature vs. nurture question. Seems like something Larry would wonder about and this was his opportunity to ask it.

Very funny episode. Good use of the extra 5 minutes.

Joe Stevens said...

Really? I thought this episode was one the better ones. I laughed a lot. Maybe its because last weeks episode sucked so bad.

Tim said...

I loved this episode. It had a lot of the classic Curb themes. I also love it when Larry gets in a groove when things are working for him, like with the parking spot and the restaurant seating. It never lasts, but it's always funny to see.

I also agree that the "That's right. I date the disabled" line is great.

Derek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Derek said...

Good-but-not-REALLY-good, say I. To me, the funniest stuff was seeing Larry on the brink of breaking up with Denise, only to discover the "perks" of dating a woman in a wheelchair: parking in the handicapped spot, rolling past the line of customers at the hostess's station and getting a table right away, the warm and admiring smiles from ALL the other diners on the way to the table, free champagne, etc.

The confrontation with Danson over the piece of pie was overlong to the point of implausibility. I was similarly impatient with the physical comedy interlude of Larry trying to make out with Denise. The solution was so obvious -- she had a couch right there, practically designed for cuddling; any handicapped person would have just wheeled over, hoisted herself onto it and started the tonsil hockey.

I'll join the chorus of "Yay Leon," that repartee is pure gold. And it was fun to see Amy Pietz show up as Wendy Wheelchair. IMDb reveals that she's been relatively busy guest starring on shows I haven't watched. I hadn't seen her in anything since Caroline in the City.

Gridlock said...

"I'd make that b***h tapdance" - Leon, you are my Curb hero.

The Seinfeld arc, much like the Producers season, seems to be going the way of trite, terrible reunions ("George has an ex-wife", stunt casting etc) but will either turn out to be superb or completely ruin the previous 9 seasons of Seinfeld by being absolutely terrible - either has comedy value.

Gridlock said...

Oh, and about Denise - loved the feet shot of Larry going for it and her legs just lying there, well, paralysed.

But was Larry off his game or was she paralysed from slightly-above-the-waist down? Seemed to be a dangling plot point.

Anonymous said...

I think R. Rouser and W. McNerdy are on to something. Denise's disappointment in Larry's hair and Larry's (initial) disappointment in Denise's chair seemed to re-hash the George/ toupee/ bald girl Seinfeld episode. Also, there may have been some parallels between Larry/ Sammy/ Blackberry and Elaine/Boyfriend in Car Accident/ Jujy fruits. Admittedly, That second one may be a stretch.

I know that Larry often reuses some Seinfeld stuff, but it seems that these are coming up every week.

Also agree that Larry is acting like a dick because Cheryl isn't around to stop him. I can't remember all of the specific moments, but it seems that a good deal of the 'incidents' could have been avoided had Cheryl been by his side. I can picture some sort of late-season montage where he reflects on all of his 'dick' moments while being without Cheryl.

One thing that occurred to me last night: because of Danson's role on Bored to Death, it's easy to forget that he's also 'acting' when he appears as himself on Curb.

Wallace McNerdy said...

c'mon people, remember the previous episode? Christian Slater "double dipping" the caviar? Seinfeld redux of a different sort, i tells ya

Ben Godber said...

Hmm, interesting concept - how long before Jeff has to try and be king of his castle?

Loved Larry pitching the hooker/carpool lane story to Jason, very circular.

dez said...

Overall this leaves me very hopeful for the rest of this (final) season of Curb.

Is this really the final season? Or "final" (until Larry changes his mind again) season?

I enjoyed this ep immensely. I knew Larry would stick with Denise Handicapped once he got a glimpse of all the perks. And he can't be a complete dick--he carried her up all those stairs! Sure, he was trying to prove a point, but I'm surprised he didn't give up after a few steps.

bmfc1 said...

The father of Kelsey is John Ross Bowie who plays Barry Kripke, the scientist with the speech impediment, on Big Bang Theory.

Maggie said...

The Ted Danson/pie bit didn't work for me because there was no plausible reason for Ted to send the pie in the first place - he didn't realize Denise was in a wheelchair until he walked over to the table, so it wasn't part of the "perks" Larry enjoyed by being seen with her. Which would be fine, but didn't Larry and Ted have a huge fight just last episode? I know this show laughs in the face of continuity, but with that still in my mind, Ted sending the pie came across as just a set up for the later confrontation, not something the character would have done.

Tom said...

Maggie -- I think that the Danson pie incident was there to amplify the theme of the episode, to wit, that certain (rich and powerful) folks act generously because it benefits them, and not out of a sense of true kindness. Larry's disabled-dating is the main example here, of course, but Rosie's kicking his ass in a fight over who's going to pick up the check is another instance of passive-aggressive generosity.

As for continuity -- Danson hates LD, but it's a hatred that dare never speak its name. To show overt hostility would be to show weakness, and neither wants to do that. Hence, the forced bonhomie that always, ALWAYS, escalates into a confrontation.

Made me laff, anyway,

Anonymous said...

Don't agree at all. This was the funniest ever episode. Infact the only scene I didn't like was Larry trying to kiss denise. Sometimes curb slips in some completely ridiculous slapstick comedy which you just cant ever imagine happening. would someone fight over a check or desert like that? possibly larry...but the wheelchair /making out scenario just sometimes gets thrown in for easy laughs for those who aren't really following the whole narrative. Brian