09 Feb TV Series Review– Curb Your Enthusiasm
“What I love most of all is that Michael D’Amore is credited as ‘Man in Wheelchair’ in BOTH of the Curb episodes he’s credited in. Larry won’t even give RECURRING characters a name if they’ve pissed him off enough. So good…”
TV Series: Curb Your Enthusiasm (Black/Improv Comedy, 30min run time, 2000 – present)
Created by Larry David
Starring Larry David
I must admit – I’m very much a late comer to the Curb Your Enthusiasm party. I remember seeing snippets of it on TV years ago. It was on very late at night, and I was too tired to get into it so I only remember it as “that show with the tall bald guy that complains all the time.” A few years passed, and I’m listening to a podcast of Get This (a now sadly defunct Triple M Melbourne radio show), and their talk back topic of the day is “what has been your biggest Curb Your Enthusiasm moment?” A flurry of calls ensue, all eager to tell The Late Show’s Tony Martin about the time they “did a Larry David”.
For those who aren’t already aware, Larry David is an aging former stand-up comedian. He purports himself to be “the leader of the bald community”. He’s also the co-creator of hit comedy series Seinfeld.
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” was originally meant to be a one off special presentation/showcase of Larry David’s stand up comedy act at the time. The HBO Special, now known as the pilot of Curb Your Enthusiasm, featured clips of his stand up act which were followed by mockumentary-style reenactments of the subject matter discussed within each of the clips. The special was a huge success, so much so that the mother of one of the HBO execs saw the special, and demanded that it be turned into a show! And so begins the Golden Globe winning TV series about the daily life of Larry David.
So what is the average day like for Larry David?
Well according to Curb Your Enthusiasm, the daily life of Larry David usually starts with him accidentally upsetting/offending someone (usually someone on his payroll). The rest of the day is usually spent trying to either make amends or prove that he’s right and they’re wrong. More often than not, his attempts to rectify the situation end up landing him in more strife than to begin with.
There are so many elements to Curb Your Enthusiasm – the improvised dialogue, the story structure, the feeling that the characters aren’t just based on people Larry knows, they’re based on people you know… All of these elements combine to make a tasty, yet socially inept stew.
Most Curb Your Enthusiasm fans can recall the scene that made them realises how brilliant the show is. For me it was the scene in Season 4’s premiere episode “Mel’s Offer” where Larry David’s vehicle nearly collides with a disabled man in an electric wheelchair.
‘Man in Wheelchair’ (as he’s officially credited) was talking on a mobile phone which distracted him and, according to Larry David, was clearly the reason why there was a near collision. The disabled man argues that he is a pedestrian, and pedestrians always have the right of way. Larry David then argues that his motorized wheelchair is clearly a vehicle and he should not be talking on his mobile phone while driving it. For most writers, disability is too delicate a subject to broach. For Larry David, being in a wheelchair doesn’t give you the right to talk on your mobile phone while driving. But what I love most of all is that Michael D’Amore is credited as ‘Man in Wheelchair’ in BOTH of the Curb episodes he’s credited in. Larry won’t even give RECURRING characters a name if they’ve pissed him off enough. So good.
For consummate neurotics like myself who believe that the world sees them as an offensive social disaster, Curb Your Enthusiasm hilariously confirms every supposedly irrational fear about how society works. You know when you fret about something you did during the day that everyone else thinks is no big deal? Curb Your Enthusiasm believes you. Curb Your Enthusiasm thinks you have every reason to be concerned.
If you’ve ever been accused of over-thinking things, blowing things out of proportion, always anticipating the worst possible consequence for your actions, sweating the ‘small stuff’ – then feel free to get in touch! We have much in common, and can discuss how much you will love Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Curb is back! The ninth season is due to air sometime this year. Even though he’s already made us wait six years, I don’t think Larry cares to hurry things along or give us even approximate release date. I’m experiencing a healthy amount of excitement.