Curb Your Enthusiasm has got to be the most consistently brilliant TV show ever, right? It has been on the air for 20 years now, and there hasn’t been a dud season yet, not even a dud episode. It’s impossible for a bad episode to be produced, at this point there’s an episode formula to ‘Curb’ now, it’s like science. There are identifiably ‘Curb’ scenarios such as getting caught deflating a sex doll, and having a lisp, then speaking to a Spanish person who thinks you’re mocking them, and it never gets old.
Right from the first gag, Larry David knocking down a whole row of electric scooters, it’s the most Larry David thing Larry David has ever done, and it represents the evolution of the show too; Larry doesn’t even bother complaining about what he doesn’t like/understand anymore, he just straight up takes action. (also, electric scooters are my main mode of transportation these days, but somehow I completely understand why he’d do that.)
This is a great foreshadow of the season to come, as Larry has never been so resentful and so combative in any other season. Moments later, they’re confronting head on how much Jeff looks like Harvey Weinstein (I’ve been thinking that for years.) The first episode of the season has never been so full of gags and set ups.
“Artificial Fruit” is an all time best Curb episode, as the whole gang, Larry, Jeff, Leon, and Richard all have odd encounters with Spanish people and struggle with the language and accent. Living in Spain, I understood the idiosyncrasies of some of the jokes that may have gone over some people’s heads (It must have as it’s one the season’s lowest rated episodes on IMDB!)
After the sad passing of Rob Einstein, it’s upsetting to see his character Marty Funkhauser not feature as he was a staple of the show. David tackled that by heavily featuring Vince Vaughan as Marty’s cousin. It works really well and Vaughan hasn’t been this funny in 20 years. And, in a show full of actors and comedians playing themselves, does anyone else find it humbling when somebody super famous doesn’t play themselves, but a fictional character instead (like Bryan Cranston playing Larry’s therapist in the last season.) It’s like they’re leaving their ego at the door.
There are so many great guest appearances this season. The season is stacked with Clive Owen, Fred Armisen, Alan Tudyk, Chris Martin, and piece de resistance, Sean Penn. John Hamm shadowing Larry for a role loosely based on him is one of the greatest cameo roles in the entire series of Curb too. I’m starting to fall in love with John Hamm: Comedy Actor.
Season 9 and 10 have a very similar format. It feels much more scripted than it ever has, and with a high budget vacation episode, the show became more of a sitcom than a fly on the wall kind of thing, and it’s really fantastical and less engaging than it has been before. The last season ended with someone chasing Larry, presumably with the intention of killing him because of the Ayatolla, and the finale of this season results in three people Larry has wronged conspiring against him and borderline ruining his life. I understand why people might have their problems with it, but it’s not like the old seasons don’t exist anymore.
Ultimately, there’s never been so much joy in cynicism. I hate how much I love this show. It sheds light on how much I relate to Larry David; Stubborn, unwilling, obnoxious. The only difference between the two of us is that I don’t have half a bil in the bank. Season 10 is another great season of the best show on TV.