The iconic Larry David returned for what has been touted as the final season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and for a show that has been running for 11 seasons, it came back and didn’t miss a beat. You could say it was “pretty, pretty, pretty good..” (see what I did there?)
The show excels at putting Larry in situations that are both uniquely uncomfortable and universally relatable. These scenarios often start with what many would see as a minor social faux pas, however, Larry’s tendency to escalate these incidents leads to him offending someone in a manner that only he could, triggering a series of events that spiral out of control. This matriculates in the premiere during a deeply uncomfortable situation for Larry- being forced to mingle with people and be cordial doing it. The episode had Larry traveling to Atlanta to attend a party hosted by wealthy African businessman, Michael Fouchay. Fouchay booked Larry to attend his party, along with Maria Sofia from Larry’s show, “Young Larry,” which was the main plot point of last season. Viewers will remember Maria Sofia as the absurd girl that Larry was forced to cast due to a conflict with her father. Absurd is putting it mildly. I still have nightmares of Maria Sofia gyrating during her scene work classes with Cheryl, but I digress. In a shocking turn of events, the Maria Sofia of last season is no more. “Young Larry” became a huge hit, elevating Maria Sofia to celebrity status, if you can believe that. Leon also tags along on the trip, with the intention of visiting his Auntie Ray who also lives in Atlanta. Viewers will remember Auntie Ray from the season when Cheryl adopted the Black family, when they lost their home to a hurricane.
As viewers know, there is always a moment at the beginning of the show that ultimately ends up biting Larry in the, well you know, at the end. While at the airport waiting to board their plane to Atlanta, Larry butt dials Leon’s phone. He explains that it has become a huge problem for him, leading to both him and Leon delivering hilarious one-liners including Leon describing how he “dick-dials” people, and Larry describing how he butt-dialed a man he hadn’t spoken to in fourteen years, leading to him being forced to have dinner with the man. Maria Sofia struts down the hall to the gate with her new dog, Pechuca, in tow, a Corgi that she claims is her emotional support dog. As you would anticipate, the dog ends up causing Larry a multitude of hilarious problems throughout the episode.
The show’s hallmark lies in Larry’s ability to navigate, or more accurately, misnavigate, the complexities of everyday social norms and expectations, often highlighting the absurdity of unwritten social rules. In this episode, Larry finds himself unsettled by two distinct social situations. First, the hotel maid scans the room and casts him a disdainful glance, prompting Larry to react in his characteristic manner- by excessively escalating the situation to the extent that the maid throws his clothes off the balcony. Additionally, Larry commits his most significant social faux pas at none other than Fouchay’s party, of course. Fouchay introduces a friend of his as “Brookie,” but when Larry tries to call her that, Fouchay corrects him and tells him only her good friends call her that. As expected, this doesn’t sit well with Larry, especially when he finds out a man who has only met her once is allowed to call her Brookie, but he isn’t. Larry’s antics lead to the host deciding not to pay him for his appearance, pointing out that Larry had agreed to a contract that required him to be cordial- a condition that he blatantly disregarded. Larry’s witty comeback, “I did well for someone who hates people, yet had to be among them,” might have described his personality perfectly. Fouchay appreciated Larry’s candor and agreed to pay him. That is, until things take yet another turn. Maria Sofia’s dog, Pechuca, accidentally sits on Larry’s phone, butt-dialing Fouchay, who overhears Larry’s relentless griping about him to Maria Sofia.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an episode of Curb without a satirical plot point to end the show. As Larry attempted to return glasses that he borrowed to auntie Ray, he met up with her at a polling station where she had been standing for hours in the sweltering heat. In a rare kind gesture, Larry hands her a bottle of water. Pan to a couple of cops arresting Larry for violating the Election Integrity Act, as the ending music comes on. The final shot of the episode is a Trump-style mugshot of Larry- orange face and all. The Election Integrity Act has been a point of ridicule for people, due to its barbaric nature.
The premiere did not disappoint and thankfully, we have several more episodes to look forward to. For now, here are some notable moments:
- Auntie Ray trying on Larry’s glasses is not without drama, as he claims that she stretched them out with her huge head. This led to him having to borrow a very feminine looking pair of hers. The glasses end up being quite the distraction at the party, and ultimately, they are what led Larry to meet up with Auntie Ray at the polling station, where he got arrested.
- The laughs start right at the beginning of the episode, when Larry is sitting in his car attempting to direct Siri to a restaurant. After numerous attempts, Siri cannot get the location correct. This relatable scene was an absolute laugh fest, especially when Larry called Siri the infamous “C” word, and she responded by providing him with directions for how to make a bundt cake. Larry is ALL of us at that moment. We have all been there.
- Susie Green wears an iconic Susie outfit, while she dines at a restaurant with Larry and Jeff. The server’s mother just passed away and when his grief delays their order, Larry debates what is considered socially acceptable in this moment. Eventually, Larry’s hunger wins over and as the man stands talking to a group of people, a tray with Larry’s food in hand, Larry gets up and takes the tray from the guy uttering, “sorry for your loss.”
- Larry and Leon are put off that Michael Fouchay calls himself African, since he is a white man from South Africa. Leon quips, “if this guy’s African, I’m Huckleberry Fucking Finn.”
- Guess who’s back? Irma (Tracey Ullman)- whom Larry used to get a law passed to his advantage, has made herself right at home at Larry’s, walking around singing the J.G. Wentworth 8-77-CASH-NOW song from the commercial, annoying the hell out of him. A flashback shows Irma’s sponsor telling Larry that he cannot break up with her for at least six months, as she would not be able to handle it. As Irma leaves the house, Larry is seen crossing off another day in the calendar that he is using to count down the days until he can be rid of her. It will be interesting to see if he can actually last six months. This is Larry David, after all.
What did you think of the episode, Curb fans? Can Larry last 6 months with Irma? What will become of Maria Sofia’s new found fame? Leave your comments below and follow me on Twitter @MiddleofCanada. I’d love to hear from you!