Before I even begin, I just wanted to let you readers know how qualified I am to write an article about Curb Your Enthusiasm, so as to give my analysis a little more weight.
I love Curb. Not only do I watch Curb Your Enthusiasm every week, it's the ONLY show I watch. That's right. No 30 Rock, no Office (anymore). I don't watch "Always Sunny" or "Pushing Daisies." I don't even watch dramas. Never seen an episode of Sopranos, The Wire, Friday Night Lights. No Nip/Tuck, no Heroes, no Dexter. I don't watch Kid Nation or Survivor or Top Chef or any reality show. I don't even italicize those shows because I don't consider them real shows.
You get the point. I don't watch television beyond sports, and the fact that I continue to watch Curb is a testament to how much I love that show. But this article isn't about Curb in general or at least, it shouldn't be. It's about last night's episode.
Of course, this is my first morning after Curb so I feel it's necessary to talk a little bit about the show beyond last night's episode.
There are two types of people in this world: people who think Larry is usually right, and people who think Larry is usually wrong. These two people watch the show in entirely two different lights. For the former, Curb is a show about a bunch of aggravating people and one normal guy who just tries to get by. For the latter, the show is about one aggravating person in a normal world. There is no right or wrong answer, but for the record, Larry is usually right, and anybody who doesn't think so, is wrong.
Last night's episode, in which Larry begins dating a doctor, seemed very "Seinfeldian" to me. The entire premise seems like something that already happened to Jerry or George. Dating a doctor and going through all of the little doctor things that people hate but on a more romantic level.
I can even hear Jerry use those jokes in a stand-up comedy bit at the beginning of the show. "Doctors what is with these doctors? Can you imagine dating a doctor? Can you imagine how hard that must be? Waiting before a date, reading Architectural Digest before going out receiving cards you can't read. Having to take them to a pharmacist. Excuse me? Can you tell me what this means? I think it says Happy Birthday but I can't be sure." (Cut to Theme Song)
Which isn't to say that the premise was bad. You see, for me, calling something "Seinfeldian" is a great compliment. It's like an artist calling a painting "Seinfeldian." (I'm sorry, I don't follow art)
This is also, I believe, the only episode ever not to feature Cheryl, Larry's wife, and I think I missed her more than Larry did. These past two episodes have been great because they not only make you laugh as usual, but they make you, for the first time, a little sad.
Yes, episodes have featured funerals, and death, even rape and incest, but this is the first time where the show actually gets a little real about it's sorrow. A little depressing.
So what about the negative? Obviously this show is not perfect, every show has it's weaknesses, and I think last night's episode highlighted one of those weaknesses.
How much are we to suspend disbelief when we watch an episode of Curb? Obviously, everything is going to be a little bit contrived because there are just so many pieces in the air. Every one thing has to lead to another, and that is understandable. But, how logical was everything, even in the reality of the episode?
For example, in last nights episode, there were jokes that fit the logic perfectly (the pharmacist having to read a seemingly racist letter), jokes that seemed to be a little bit of a stretch (Larry getting a boner when hugging Auntie Rae) and jokes that seemed to be a little too forced (Doctor getting mad at Larry when he didn't get hard, Larry refusing to simply say "The N-word." The black doctor getting so mad that he just shaved Jeff's head?)
I understand that lots of events have to happen in order to keep the episode filled with hilarious moments, and that sometimes these events will not make perfect logical sense. That is the price you pay when you come with with a show as convoluted and silly as Curb. However, last night it seemed to hinge on these illogical moments more than normal, and that took me out of the "fake reality."
Anyway, as with most flawed episodes of Curb, I still loved it, it still made me laugh, and once again: Larry was right.
Oh, one final interesting fact: Dr. Cromm was played by the same woman who played Sue Ellen Mischke! The Bra-less candy bar heiress! And if you don't like that, then you definitely didn't understand this article.
Brought to you by Seinfeld Season 9, available on DVD 11/6