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Trying to Create a New Catch Phrase, Failing

The return of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm"  is good news for those who need a "Seinfeld"-style dose of Methadone.

If Jerry and the gang starred in a show about nothing, Larry David's "Curb" is even less substantial. That's why "Curb" is sporadically brilliant. It picks at minor social mores until they yield comic gems.

But few shows can mint a catch phrase better than the old "Seinfeld."

"Curb's" eighth season, which began July 10, already delivered a near-classic episode with the recent "Palestinian Chicken." Larry beds a hot Middle Eastern women, a friend's affair gets exposed and several recurring characters ask Larry to say things they're too afraid to say themselves to their loved ones. That means Larry must tell a friend's wife that her lip-smacking routine after every sip is driving people insane and saying "LOL" is hardly the same as laughing at a funny joke.

"You're a 'social assassin,'" Jeff Garlin says to Larry about his gift for telling it like it is no matter the consequences.

It's a funny line, but it feels too manufactured to really hit home. The term comes up later in the episode as well, but it's doubtful people will start using it among friends and strangers alike. HBO still doesn't hit as many homes as NBC, and few people live the life of a social assassin like Larry.

Which means yada yada yada, puffy shirts and Festivus have nothing to fear from Larry's "Curb."