So the eighth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm has come and gone. I already expressed my dismay with this season’s first few episodes, and with the exception of the final LA based show featuring the demise Jeff and Susie’s dog, Oscar (and his missed last meal), an indictment of pig parkers, and the revelation that the move East is Larry’s way of avoiding a charity picnic, the season began on a groan-inducing note. But I had hopes once the location shifted.
Curb’s initial NYC offering was hardly a classic, but it had guest star Ricky Gervais, like Larry David, playing a more obnoxious version of himself and sparring with Larry at every opportunity. This was followed by Larry and guest star Rosie O’Donnell competing for the affection of the same woman. Some nice baseball gags and a surprising cameo by All My Children vet David Canary did not add up to anything more than a slight amusement. This was followed by “Car Periscope,” which actually gets my vote for the best episode of the season. The titular invention cleverly figured into the plot, loved The Fugitive parody (but not as much as Larry’s disbelief that Jeff had seen The Sting II and not the original classic), and the whole thing was highlighted by strong guest turns from Aida Turturro and Grant Shaud. Sadly, next up to the plate was “Mister Softee,” one of the worst episodes in Curb history (45 final seconds of Bill Buckner getting to be a hero of a different kind to the entire city is not enough to redeem Larry’s trauma in the face of an out-of-nowhere childhood memory and the utter ridiculousness of his car transformed into some sort of a super vibrator). The season ended with Michael J. Fox once again proving that he possesses the best sense of humor ever in the face of a debilitating disease. Add to that the “fabulous” son of Larry’s new girlfriend, the best decorative use of a swastika, and Larry once again running away in the face of charity (this time to Paris), and you had a good finale. Not amazing or even great. Just good.
And with that, I’ll stand by my initial assessment of the season. The stinkers outweighed the gems, and while the show is still able to manage a few solid episodes and laughs here and there, shouldn’t David throw in the towel before the show becomes a total shadow of its former self? I vote yes, yes, and yes.