About midway through Season Eight of Curb Your Enthusiasm, I was worrying that the show was in the twilight of its run. There wasn’t anything major wrong with the season, but it seemed like every episode had enough minor flaws—it was too long, one story was weaker than the rest, a crucial plot development didn’t make sense, etc.—to prevent the humor from really clicking like it does in the best episodes of the show.
More generally, I wondered if airing at the same time as Louie was hurting my perception of the show. Both are shows about middle-aged, bald, single, misanthropic comedians who often have trouble relating to other people—and they both aired during the summer, when there are only a few comedies airing—so it was inevitable that I would be comparing the two. And the comparison was not working in Curb’s favor. In weeks where Louie was airing such memorable episodes as “Oh Louie/Tickets” and “Come on, God,” Curb was airing uninspired efforts like “Vow of Silence” and “The Hero.” I even started to wonder if Louie was making Curb redundant.
But then Season Eight ended on a run of four straight stellar episodes, and my worries mostly dissipated. Continue reading
What we read while maintaining NPI’s AAA credit rating…
- The most common specialty for blind mathematicians? Geometry.
In case we haven’t made it clear yet, we’re pretty big fans of Curb Your Enthusiasm here at NPI, and we were rather excited for Season Seven. Now that Season Seven has concluded, though, it’s worthwhile to go back and compare our expectations to what we actually got.
Back when F.P., Josh and I went over our expectations for this season, I mentioned that I thought Larry’s relationship with the Blacks would be the main storyline of this season, with a potential Larry/Loretta/Cheryl love triangle developing; the Seinfeld reunion, I said, would be more of a secondary plotline. Well, I was right that the Seinfeld reunion was not the primary story: the show was only central to three episodes, and incidental to two others. But I was way off on the Blacks. Loretta and her family were sent packing in the second episode of the season, “Vehicular Fellatio.”
I can’t say I was upset by this development. I thought there was a lot of potential in the Larry/Loretta pairing, but, as Josh and F.P. each pointed out, there was also the tendency to do trite or obvious jokes with them. Season Six and the first two episodes of this season gave Larry plenty of opportunity to flesh out his dynamic with the Black family. And while the first two episodes were very strong—particularly the second episode (“Do you know what it’s like to have cancer?” “No, but I know what it’s like to be with someone who has cancer.”)—I never really missed Loretta or Auntie Rae during the rest of the season. Continue reading
What we read while condescending others with small fruit…
Two of our favorite things here at NPI are comedy and Larry David. Naturally, then, we love Curb Your Enthusiasm. In fact, we love it so much that it’s hard to pick a favorite season. But that didn’t stop us from trying. In the first part of a two-post prelude to the start of Season Seven (which we are stoked for), John S, Josh, and F.P each offered their own rankings to provide one of NPI’s patented* rankings. Now, these rankings proved difficult (some odd methodologies were used) since there really are no bad seasons of Curb; as proof, we each included our favorite episode from every season. At the end of the list, we each offered a brief justification for our choices, though we were all satisfied with the overall outcome.
*Unfortunately, this is a lie. We have no patent on rankings…..yet.
Without further ado, our rankings of Curb Your Enthusiasm seasons: