Monday, October 5, 2009
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" recap: This review is somewhere between begrudging and sincere
Though I love most things TV-related, I must admit there are several critically acclaimed shows I just can't get into. Shows that have garnered love and Emmys, yet leave me cold. It's not that I think they're bad -- it's just that I admire them more than I like them. Chief among these shows is HBO's funny but blisteringly caustic "Curb Your Enthusiasm." The show, as everyone knows, centers on "Seinfeld" co-creator and George Costanza template Larry David (playing himself) and the foibles and faux pas he commits while navigating life in Hollywood. I've only watched the show a few times and, though it does make me laugh, it never fails to set my teeth on edge. In fact, I get so uncomfortable watching it that I'd just rather avoid it. Perhaps I'm a wuss (though I have enjoyed several other comedy-of-discomfort shows, including "Arrested Development" and, of course, "Seinfeld").
Whatever the reason for respectful aversion to this show, I put aside my personal prejudices Sunday night to watch the first episode in the series much-ballyhooed "Seinfeld" reunion arc. And, as usual, the episode did make me laugh. I particularly liked Larry's riff with Jerry Seinfeld about Natalie Wood's death (what WAS Christopher Walken doing on that boat anyway?) and Larry's half-hearted attempt to apologize to the head of NBC ("Too begrudging?"). Plus, it was good to see the "Seinfeld" cast together again, including the recently-embattled Michael Richards. And I approve of any excuse to get Jerry Seinfeld to say the word "apoplectic."
But...sigh. I just can't like this show. I always sit there waiting for Larry's plots to go awry. And, in this episode at least, they didn't go awry in interesting ways. As soon as Larry started interrogating Julia Louis-Dreyfus's daughter about the birthday party, I knew it was going to be Louis-Dreyfus's OTHER daughter who had the party. And I knew Larry would find someway to jeopardize the NBC deal.
So I probably won't watch the rest of the "Seinfeld" arc or, at least, will just check in with it periodically. Because I've really tried to like this show. But, I just can't.
What -- too begrudging?