Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 7
After already completing six seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm, one would think creator and star, Larry David, could not come up with any more zany situations to get himself into. Better think again. The Larry David character on the show is a caricature of the real writer/comedian whose show pokes fun of everyday life and odd occurrences. The more uncomfortable the situation, there’s a better possibility that hilarious shenanigans ensue. Larry David’s alter ego in the show just cannot resist any opportunity to proverbially make a mountain out of a molehill. It’s amazing how Larry David takes mundane tasks such as running errands to the grocery store or drycleaners extremely eventful. Larry David raises the bar for both network and cable situation comedies.
Thank goodness Curb Your Enthusiasm airs on HBO and not on any of the major television networks. The show is just too chock full of outrageous moments and lewd language that are integral to the show’s success. The irreverence, taboo subject matter, racial stereotyping, and insensitivity towards almost everyone would never fly on CBS, NBC, ABC or Fox. But that is a good thing. This is not your Dad’s sitcom. It is unique and different but appeals to almost every demographic it sets out to reach and entertain.
Just looking at Larry David makes one smile or even laugh. He is a tall but also an unassuming balding man in his mid 50’s. He is not dapper and wears nerdy eyeglasses. He would easily get lost in the crowd. When he launches into a verbal tirade engaging in a tete a tete with an adversary, he transmogrifies into a holy terror. Most of the time Larry comes out on the losing end of most arguments to his own chagrin. Larry David does exude a certain bit of charm nonetheless and the viewer ultimately becomes enamored with him despite his many character flaws.
Season 7 is one of the most highly anticipated seasons of any current sitcom. The season revolves around a Seinfeld Reunion show. All of the Seinfeld cast members make hilarious appearances and reveal their own “real” alter egos on Curb Your Enthusiasm. They all are essentially playing themselves and no doubt there is a great amount of chemistry amongst the actors. Let’s hope there’s an episode that shows all the bloopers and blunders of the show.
Season 7 definitely pokes fun at some inappropriate subject matter such as cancer. In the first episode, Vivica A. Fox, is on pins and needles waiting to hear from her doctor if she has cancer. Only Larry David can take a life altering and deadly disease like cancer and poke fun at it. He ultimately longs to reunite with his wife Cheryl, who desired time away from Larry in season 6. Larry does not make any cancer patient jokes and the funniest scene has no dialogue. The scene takes place on the street where Larry happens to see Vivica’s doctor in the next lane headed for Larry’s house to undoubtedly deliver the good/bad news. Larry’s facial expressions tell the story. He grits his teeth hoping to win the race back to his home just in time to break up with his girlfriend before she learns whether she has cancer. Larry is not all bad and a not completely as shallow as he wants others to perceive him. Ultimately, Larry looses both the race and the chance to split with his girlfriend. The news is dire and he reluctantly must stay and be the good boyfriend to her –but not without feinting first. It is a bittersweet moment for him.
Situation comedies rarely cause much real life controversy. True to form, Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 7 has caused some unrest with the episode pushing the religion envelope. Some Christians have called on HBO and Larry David to apologize for the episode where a painting of Jesus Christ is defiled. In the controversial episode, Larry David urinates in the toilet of an employee’s home with such force the backsplash of water/urine lands on the painting under Jesus Christ’s eye. While Larry does notice the liquid landing in the spot he casually shrugs and leaves the bathroom unaffected by his inaction. The viewer knows Larry is Jewish but still expects him to clean up the defiled portrait.
The criticism stems from the fact that Larry would never defile a picture of any Muslim for fear of personal retaliation, and that HBO would allow such a blasphemous scene. It appears that the only religion open for ridicule is Christianity. Surprisingly, Nihad Awad, the National Executive Director of the Council on American- Islamic Relations came out against the episode. He said, “It is beyond tasteless to insult the religious sensibilities of billions of people in America and around the world with such a cheap and vulgar publicity stunt. Jesus, peace be upon him, is loved and revered by both Christians and Muslims. Muslims view him as one of God’s greatest messengers to mankind.” HBO and Larry David issued statements not apologizing but rather downplayed the controversy saying the show is full of satire and parody and should not be taken seriously.
This season of CYE, has stepped on a lot of people’s toes not by accident but on purpose. If you enjoy Larry David’s sense of humor, you undoubtedly will thoroughly enjoy season 7 and consider it must see TV. You may question some scenes and episodes and perhaps even feel offended, disgusted, and incredulous, but you will be rolling on the floor laughing hysterically clutching your sides.