HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm is back after a six-year hiatus, and in that short time, a lot has happened. We have a new president, we’re all a little more sensitive, and a Cheryl Hines’ ABC sitcom has come and gone (RIP, Suburgatory). Is America ready for Larry David?
The answer from this reviewer is yes, but it’s hard to watch Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 9 without wondering whether Larry David is going to be run out of real-life business the way he’s driven out of producing his musical in the premiere episode of the new season. Curb started in 2000, before think-pieces could address the psychological damage David did to the little girl with the doll wearing the botched haircut or the fat-shaming in “The Bare Midriff” episode. 2017 is a completely different beast than 2000, and sadly, even 2011. The humor is the same, but the audience might not be.
Early on in the episode, David fails to hold the door open for an androgynous-looking woman Betty (Julie Goldman) because he feels she wasn’t the “type” to want the door opened for her. Later, he tells the same woman who’s getting married to another woman that she’s more of the groom than the bride. Oh, and did we mention his musical is about the Ayatollah, who later sentences him to death after David appears on Jimmy Kimmel?
Guest stars include newbies like Nasim Pedrad and Carrie Brownstein, and the usual suspects including Ted Danson (who reveals he’s separated from “Mary” in the premiere!), Cheryl Hines (I predict Ted will make a play for her, making Larry jealous), Jeff Garlin, Richard Lewis, and of course, Susie Essman.
In past seasons, fans have followed David as he’s opened a restaurant, appeared on Broadway in The Producers, and brought the Seinfeld gang back together. In this season premiere, the show really goes for it when it comes to coming back with a bang, pushing gender and political buttons. The promos for the series included a “bat signal,” alerting David that it’s time to return to HBO. In these dire, hyper-politically-correct times, David may be the hero America and comedy needs to learn how to laugh again. But only if they’re ready to have him foisted upon them.