Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 8 Episode 3 (The Palestinian Chicken) Review
After last week’s disappointing episode, it’s nice to see Curb Your Enthusiasm bounce back so well. More than just bouncing back, this week, Larry and company delivered an episode that may be hard to top this season. It was an episode where everything seemed to click together and no scene was lacking in laughs. I was initially hesitant because of the promise of touching on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but the episode used that conflict in such a silly, trivial way that the only people who could be offended are those that thing it made too light of the subject. And, since this is the Movies/TV Zone, I’m hoping that doesn’t become a problem here. Anyway, let’s get to the review proper…
Episode 3 — “The Palestinian Chicken”
It’s hard sometimes to discuss an episode that works as well as this one did. Like I said above, I don’t think any scene was dead or had no laughs. That’s rare, even for Curb Your Enthusiasm, which will, at its best, usually have a couple of scenes that advance the plot or lay seeds, but don’t produce much laughter. Here, that wasn’t the case. There also weren’t many terribly awkward moments in this episode. Nothing that made me want to cover my eyes or dread what’s coming as Larry did something that caused me to yell, “Oh, no! Don’t do that!” In that respect, “The Palestinian Chicken” was quite the tame episode of Curb. Almost like a traditional sitcom.
Except with a woman screaming “I’m going to fuck the Jew out of you!” while having sex.
Despite the affair subplot, there was a harmlessness to every aspect of this episode, a sense that nothing was really at stake or that no serious repercussions would be had. There were no rape victims or battered women or anything like that. There was just some great chicken, a golf tournament, and people finally catching on that Larry’s willingness to say anything could be used to their advantage, an idea once brought up on Seinfeld with Kramer. The only difference was that Kramer would just say things and couldn’t be used as a, in the words of Jeff, social assassin, while Larry embraces the role. The look in his eyes when he realizes that he can harness this tendency that usually pisses people off into a weapon to help himself and others was priceless. He finally found his calling.
Of course, that his two attempted ‘hits’ fail miserably is the funny part. When he’s put up to the task, he can’t pull it off like normal. What I loved was how, in both cases, the habits he was asked to mention and discourage were things that genuinely annoyed him. It wasn’t like he was pointing out things he found charming or cute or had no issue with. The “LOL!” thing was something he said he almost mentioned at the dinner party, but didn’t. And, yet, when he does, Ilene immediately thinks that her husband put him up to it. Same thing with Susie and going “AH!” after every sip.
I kind of wish the little golf fivesome dynamic wasn’t blown up like that, or, at the very least, Ron and Eddie both come back, because Jason Kravits and Larry Miller were fantastic. Sometimes dropping in new people and pretending like they were there all along (or friends that you’d figure would have shown up before) doesn’t feel natural. Here, it did. Both men fit into the dynamic of the group perfectly, bringing something different to the table. Kravits as the one guy who looks at Larry and sees someone confident and strong, someone to emulate, is a funny idea with more potential than what we saw here.
The Israeli/Palestinian stuff worked for me, if only because it was a fight over chicken. Throw in Marty Funkhouser rededicating himself to Judaism and the story takes on that extra little bit of edge it needed. The sex scene was funny and, then, when Funkhouser was sitting downstairs and listening, it became hilarious. He was that extra spice to make the dish pop this episode.
But, my favorite part had to be Sammy Greene calling Larry a ‘bald prick’ after Larry mentioned how she’s really her mother’s daughter. Genius.
It was an episode where everything came together and nothing felt unnecessary or lacking. I think we’re looking at a top five episode, perhaps. It’s too early to tell, especially with seven episode left in this season. I’d love to see them top this one.
The 411: Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty great.
|Final Score: 9.5 [ Amazing ] legend|