Curb Your Enthusiasm, season seven -- An early look
The beauty of Curb Your Enthusiasm has always been its roots. Born from the mind of a man who launched a show about nothing, Curb is little more than an edgier version that's still... about nothing. It only makes sense that one day we would witness the colliding vortex created by those two masses of nothingness and that day has finally arrived. Well, almost. Season seven of Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm premieres on HBO this Sunday night, September 20, at 9 p.m. ET and having seen the first three episodes, I'll say this about the long-awaited Seinfeld reunion - it's real and it's spectacular.
It's been almost two years since our last dose of Larry's "preeettty preetttty preeetttttty" warped sense of humor and having left him in the warm embrace of Loretta Black (Vivica A. Fox) and the rest of her Hurricane Katrina-displaced family at the end of season six, it seemed as though Larry was happy. Sure, the break-up with Cheryl was tough on him, but he found a new woman and and more importantly, he found someone equally as twisted as he was -- Loretta's brother Leon (expertly played by J.B. Smoove).
Back then, I lamented about my concern that things wouldn't work out with Loretta and that would mean no more Leon. Arguably the greatest minor character ever on the show, Leon needs to stick around. Since I know I'm not alone in that department, I'll tease this much -- the season's opening two episodes do a fantastic job of wrapping up the Black family storyline and, without giving anything away, Leon fans will certainly be happy.
However, the Blacks aren't the big story this season and things finally start moving toward "nothing" in episode three, aptly titled "The Reunion." Larry, after years of saying that any and all TV reunions are lame, finally comes around to the idea of a Seinfeld special after bumping into Cheryl and realizing... well, use your imagination.
Meetings happen, deals are brokered, and just like that, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia-Louis Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards are all in the same room by episode's end doing what else? Yelling at Larry. Why they're all pissed doesn't need to be discussed, suffice to say they're dealing with Larry David and this is how he makes people act. If anything, it made me indescribably excited for how the reunion will come together over the next seven episodes, right up to the read through in the show-within-a-show season (series?) finale.
Beyond that, the opening eps are peppered with plenty of the moments and awkwardness that you've come to expect from Larry, including an incredibly irksome "I didn't know you were gay" conversation to Larry's attempt to open a gift from Jeff and Susie. It's relatable stuff which is why it's just as funny as ever.
Additionally, the guest cast has quite a long list, too -- Christian Slater, Meg Ryan, Rosie O'Donnell, and Elisabeth Shue all pop up this season and Catherine O'Hara has a gutbustingly funny turn as Marty Funkhouser's mentally-retarded sister Bam Bam in the season premiere. In short, and to continue the un-PCness, Larry David and retards don't get along.
I do have a few worries and in some regard, I'm glad Jason Alexander shares my concerns -- at least in the world of Curb. During the third episode, he tells Larry that he'd be thrilled to do a reunion because it's a chance to make up for the Seinfeld series finale. I don't need to get into details here -- fans know what he means. However, that one moment raises the bar incredibly high. In theory, it should be easy to top what's arguably one of the worst series finales ever (even though it's from one of the best shows ever).
Time will tell if that's possible or if we really do need to be curbing our enthusiasm for something that could either reward us for being faithful or punish us for being hopeful. That being said, Larry David hasn't let us down yet, and if he does? Well, then he'll just be another