I have very, very mixed feelings about Curb Your Enthusiasm.
On the one hand the show can often be uproariously funny and deviously clever in the way it juggles its plots. Almost every episode is going to be entertaining or provocative in one way or the other. I will laugh more at Curb than most other comedic efforts on TV.
On the other, there’s no way to really get around the show’s drawback: it’s really a celebration of evil and narcissism. The Larry David character in the show is perpetually getting into trouble simply because he’s a horrible human being who can never resist an opportunity for viciousness. Almost every episode is him trying to lie his way out of his problems. Seinfeld had this quality too but Larry’s influence was offset by the more upbeat, fun spirit of Jerry Seinfeld and the other actors. The classic sitcom achieved a certain level of Zen balance between good and evil. But with Curb it’s all Larry unfiltered all the time and in a premium cable environment in which there are no boundaries to just how much evil will be put on display each week.
So watching Curb is always a conflict: yes, I want to laugh and appreciate a clever plot, but no, I’d rather avoid having to be reminded of the the blackhole of human nature. (I get more than enough of that in my work researching and writing about anti-Semites and the Hate-America Left. Those perhaps curious as to why I’ve drifted toward G-rated entertainment choices in recent years need look no further than what dominates the rest of my time.)
But if the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm continues to be as lousy as the first two episodes so far then I won’t have to worry about this conflict much longer. The first episode of this season of Curb aired on July 10. The plot was too unbelievable and farfetched even for Curb and it had squirm moments that seemed to be inserted just for shock value — just to poke at “bourgeoisie” morality.