The magic of Larry David, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and the series finale

Photo of author


In the end, this nudge actually felt soothing, like falling asleep to the ambient sounds of a white-noise machine or a nature show. There they sat in the final scene curb Your Enthusiasm Sunday Night, Snakes on a Plane: Freshly caged Larry David, and all the friends he somehow didn’t lose along the way. There were Susie and Jeff; Cheryl and Ted; Richard and Leon – some of them enjoying the sunlight through a wide-open window shade, others retreating from the intrusive glare, everyone hissing and spitting venom at Larry and each other Was, as it was before.

It was as gentle as the landing of the series, like the Ur-Rud curb Your Enthusiasm The phrase still being displayed may have been shouted, “Go back to fucking jail, Larry!” In its closing moments. The farewell tableau highlights some of the many, many supporters curb Characters who fought and/or plotted against Larry over the course of the show’s dozen seasons, took stands on topics ranging from ice cream sampling etiquette to the structure of the testicles, and made excuses for behavior that ranged from the understandable to the disgusting. Were till.

It was a finale that honored and transcended seinfeld, the place where this whole beautiful mess first started. And it was also a reminder that, sure, you can jailbreak Larry David’s character — as Jerry Seinfeld did on Sunday, while simultaneously freeing the culture at large from the grip of that carceral, controversial . seinfeld ending. And no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to free producer Larry David from the web of his cunning, raunchy, cursed mind. in the world of curb, the society was imprisoned within itself. Standard fines can also result in a shorter life sentence. And there was no one who could reliably judge the senselessness of all Larry’s appeals to humanity.

Over time, we saw the way the characters curb The universe can become a prisoner of its own overthinking. Larry, in particular, found himself preoccupied with such questions: When should one stop milking that sweet, sweet dead-relative sympathy? Or: why do people say No gifts please! If they don’t really mean it? An acquaintance of Larry’s told him not to let him eat sweets no matter what In the early seasons, he struggled to understand why she became so angry when she later tried to keep her solemn oath. (I personally think about this conversation every time I announce it diet starts tomorrow,

Something similar happened this season: Larry took issue with the vague parameters of the word “cordial”, Larry didn’t understand why a golf professional wouldn’t want him to listen to tips he gave in his lessons, Larry concluded. I asked, why can’t he comment that Cheryl doesn’t like Mexican food. (Ted Danson’s presentation of “This is not your story to tell!” was a perfect mix of anger and smugness.) Anyway, what’s the point?

Pay attention to the letter of Any The law, when people are casually changing restaurant health inspection signs from a C to an A right before your eyes? In curb, the answers to these questions always matter less than the rancor behind them. Disagreement has been a matter of interest for a long time. And Larry David, now and forever, is being squeezed.

Larry’s incomprehensible character was once described by a fanatic as a “social killer”, but this gives much operational and logical credit to a man whose day-to-day dealings did not always unfold with the utmost accuracy. , His effect on those around him was perhaps similar to that of the JG Wentworth jingle, which his hated political enemy Irma Kostroski never stopped singing. curbThe final season of. “It’s a bombastic, operatic song that really inspired Irma to perform it,” series creator and director Jeff Schaefer wrote me in an email a few weeks ago. “And it has different parts for different singers, so Larry can join in on the duet. Even though he hates it, he still can’t stop singing it!”

That last part does a good job of getting the Larry David experience within the show. larry is that kind of guy seinfeld Counterpart George Costanza came up with the idea when he tried singing his name to a catchy tune to get a girl. “I’m like a commercial jingle,” Costanza said. “It’s a little nerve-wracking at first. Then you listen to it a few times. You’re humming it in the shower. By the third date, it was ‘By Menen!’ Is”

All these years later, the TV version of Larry has proven himself an equally formidable earworm of a human: annoying, yet memorable as hell. “One of the incredible things that Larry has accomplished curb,” wrote Schaefer, who has worked with David since seinfeld day, “is that he can either be a troublemaker or a victim. And sometimes he can be both in the same story!”

This is true since curbThis is the very beginning. For example, during Season 1, which aired nearly a quarter-century ago when Clinton was still in office, Larry reluctantly decided to do the right thing and held the elevator door for a woman—who then Was able to sign in before that. The doctor’s office delayed his appointment, ruining his entire day. In Season 6, he tries to avoid all Cha Cha conversations – but then, as usual, he takes things too far. And at the beginning of season 12, five presidential administrations after the series premiere, Larry was so kind as to give ‘Auntie Rae’ a bottle of water while she stood in line to vote on a hot afternoon – but He found himself facing criminal prosecution. A backward Georgia anti-election law.

In Sunday’s finale, as Larry’s lawyer tries to present his case to a tough jury tasked with deciding whether he’ll get the same last-episode punishment — a year in the slammer — Joe that was infamously handed down seinfeld With four men in her 90s, she had no choice but to portray him as both a criminal and a victim. (The same actress also once played Kendall Roy’s lawyer — quite a challenging Rolodex!) Technically, Larry Was Committed a crime, he allowed. But in reality, it was the existence of the law itself that was actually morally wrong.

This was effectively the same disastrous argument that Larry had tried and failed to use in his personal defense during all kinds of moral and sociological skirmishes over the years – Your Honor, it is. custom This is unfair, I don’t! (One minute you’re eating some pinkberries, and the next minute a witness at your trial is accusing you of “eating the last meal of a dying dog”—it happens to the best of us.) But often, The issue Larry had to face was that the customs he questioned were things like: don’t cut baby doll Hair, Or don’t steal flower from the funeral procession,

In closing, one witness after another shared their Larry David horror stories at length. curb The audience was privy to the contextual justifications and Rube Goldberg-style dilemmas behind the accused’s various misdeeds. what made curb Funny and even escapist was the fact that Larry’s motivations were, often, truly pure: 100 percent self-preservation, eyes on the prize. After 119 episodes filled with examples of Larry acting to his own advantage, it was no surprise when, in the 120th episode, the jury of his peers had no interest in giving him any benefit of the doubt.

premiere of curb Your Enthusiasm Played a huge role in establishing and pioneering the genre of “cringe” comedy at the turn of the millennium that would come to define our modern programming, Office To curse, and one of the real beauties curbOnce audiences became accustomed to the inherent discomfort of its inventive, impressive form, we not only became numb By larry, but For Him.

In curb, Larry was wrong all the time – except when he was completely, utterly right. Larry’s enduring appeal lay in the fact that even though he was a certified curmudgeon, he was never a complete misanthrope. Audiences regularly saw him with a real spring in his step, with a real twinkle in his eye, with a hot girl on his arm, with a generous love for the world bursting from his heart – well, maybe. Like a contingent. The love for the game of golf is hidden somewhere in his soul. but still!

True, Larry could sometimes be found squabbling with a maid over cash tips and toilet misunderstandings, but other times he was just a guy singing in the shower. sometimes that was the definition of that shit boy, and sometimes he was the lone brave soldier ready to face all the little adversities of life, like friends who want you to visit their home. “Sometimes,” Schaefer wrote in his email, “the audience is thinking, ‘Larry is just like the guy who did that to me!’ And sometimes they think ‘This happened to me!’ I wish I had told that man the way Larry did!” But as Larry himself would say: never the twain shall meet,

Addressing a small child whose mother was a helicopter on Sunday night, Larry said, “I’m 76 years old and I never learned a lesson in my entire life.” This echoes what the character said at the beginning of the season in an attempt to explain why he is like this: “I have bad energy,” he said then. “I’ve been expecting more from myself my whole life, and it’s just not there.” All this also had its roots in an earlier era seinfeld The chestnut-mantra, designed to distinguish its tone from most other sitcoms of its time: “No hugs, no learning.” sunday title curb series finale? “No lessons learned.”

curbThe finale storyline ultimately belied that title; David’s creative choice showed that he had studied at least a little for this test. As many had predicted, he went ahead and doubled his seinfeld Running at the speed of its rhythm and rhythm Concluding Statement: A test; a parade of indifferent, vindictive anti-character witnesses; a guilty verdict; A cycle of old Episode 1 jokes – in this case, the “pants tent” – while starting a trip around the Sun from inside Clink.

But this time, David and curb The writers added more, creating the long-coveted meta buttressing curb Your Enthusiasm As David’s magnum opus.

It featured a gumshoe cameo from Jerry, who brought with him an incredible conversation with Larry about a woman with a freshly-trimmed beard; A significant mystery plot twist that points to a shocking real-life story that has an older story curb The footage exonerated a man who was wrongly sentenced to death; And The intriguing suggestion is that while George Ko-stan-za may be the ghost of Larry David’s past, it is Jerry in the present who is rapidly turning into his old creative partner. (The two of them commenting together to the judge looking at the verdict actually suggested an indelible bond.)

And then there’s that final-final scene on the plane. far from finished curb On the kind of incongruous or strange note that the series successfully struck over its dozen seasons, it felt to me like some of the most downright comforting material ever made. curb The team had ever put forward. (Larry’s winning presentation of 877-cash-now after Irma also topped his advance from earlier this season.)

Since the turn of the 21st century, Larry’s character has consistently and repeatedly humiliated, alienated, and belittled (and, to be fair, charmed!) almost everyone he came into contact with: Enemies, employees, lovers, coworkers, roommates, even old friends. , And yet in the end, one of each of them got on that plane against their better judgment (and/or their will), still sticking around amid the dick graffiti and breast cuts, Palestinian chicken and vanilla fuck things, fostering and lampooning. . ‘And the fatwa.

They may have acted as if they didn’t want to be there, and you could argue that their presence alone was proof enough that the world curb, there was really no learning. But hearing the familiar rhythm of their closing argument, and watching the easy choreography of their silly bickering? That, sports fans, felt like a hug to me.

Leave a comment