There’s a lot of TV out there, and some of it is like a really, really adult version of other network shows, sometimes from the same people.
Yup, let’s talk Curb Your Enthusiasm.
What’s the premise?
The show follows the day to day miseries of Larry David, playing a fictionalized version of himself, as he continues to do things to make his own life miserable.
What’s the appeal?
David co-created Seinfeld, wrote many of the classic episodes of that series, and was the main inspiration for George Costanza.
The sense of humor and the general pacing of the series is similar to Seinfeld if you took out all the other character plots, let people swear as only HBO will let you, and made the subject matter a lot darker than anything NBC would do. Ever. Except maybe Hannibal.
Anything stand out?
It’s a truly funny show. David surrounds his fictional alter ego with a mix of famous people playing themselves and various reoccurring characters like his wife and agent played by actors instead of the real thing.
And as much as Jason Alexander (who has appeared on the show as himself) gave a somewhat lovable, charismatic side to George, Larry is mostly just abrasive, and it always bites him in the ass by the time an episode ends.
Curb may be the best example possible of what’s known as “cringe comedy”. This is a comedy where the audience is asked to laugh at the character’s failures and embarrassing behavior. Much like Girls, the characters in Curb are people with all kinds of weird issues that seem to prevent them from finding any level of happiness or success. The only difference is fictional Larry has found success as the co-creator of Seinfeld, just like the real Larry has.
Besides, they did the Seinfeld reunion on this show. That should be worth something.
Cringe humor is an acquired taste for obvious reasons, and Larry David is not what you might call a very talented actor. Basically, he always plays Larry David, even when he’s in something else, like the funny HBO movie Clear History, which makes sense since David wrote that too.