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Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 8 Episode 6 (The Hero) Review

August 16, 2011 | Posted by Sat
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Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 8 Episode 6 (The Hero) Review  

Apologies if I’m a little distracted for this review. As I write this, I’m doing a Blogathon on my comics blog GraphiContent. That’s basically where you post every 30 minutes for 24 hours for charity. This is the fourth one I’ve done, but, because of my work schedule, it had to happen on a Monday, the same day I write these reviews. So, I’m fitting this in while writing other stuff for that. Thankfully, this episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm is fairly straight forward. Some stuff worked, some didn’t, some stuff went on far too long, and other stuff needed more. All in all, though, it was an episode that I enjoyed, mostly on the strength of the problems Larry had with Ricky Gervais. Let’s get to the review proper…

Episode 6 — “The Hero”

I love how this episode picked up right where last episode left off, on the plane. At first, I almost expected the entire episode to take place there. I don’t think Curb has had a bottle episode before and I could see David trying one because it amused him to do so. I wasn’t disappointed when the episode left the plane either, I just thought it would have been an interesting episode.

We’ve seen versions of Larry in others before, but this episode seemed to feature a couple of them. The first was the Coachy Lady who took Larry to task for using the coach bathrooms when coach passengers aren’t allowed to use first class bathrooms. It was exactly the sort of thing Larry himself would jump on someone else for doing and culminated in both of them basically making high pitch noises at one another, practically mirror images. It’s hard not to hope that this would lead somewhere down the line. She wasn’t the type of woman, physically, that we’ve seen Larry go after (she wasn’t like whatshername in first class), but seeing Larry involved with someone as neurotic and willing to voice it as him would be an interesting turn, even for a few episodes.

Ricky Gervais popping up was a real treat. He fit perfectly into the show, playing a version of himself that’s unlike other characters we’ve seen him play to a degree. Here, he was the respect actor and comedian that everyone loved and tried to be nice to, except for Larry. Their extended dialogue at the dinner party was a thing of beauty. I was surprised it went on so long, in a good way. Their attempts to one up one another and show that he’s the smugger, more pompous man were very funny. The argument over money worked quite well and immediately put Larry in a position where it was his selfishness versus his friend’s well-being. That Jeff didn’t get more upset with Larry is surprising.

Larry’s act of ‘heroism’ and the way that it was revealed as a lie was done so naturally with Susie just blabbing it. Her calmness over ruining Larry’s relationship reminds us how much she doesn’t seem to care about him a lot of the time. If something similar had been done the other way around, she would have bit his head off. Instead, she just shrugs off her own behavior as something done for the best. Her remark about Larry being an appendage that they can’t get rid of was also telling. The relationship between Larry and Susie is so strange that I’m surprised Jeff can put up with it. That tension would kill most people and, yet, most of the time, he just seems to ignore it or wave it off. His freaking out on them during the play was a rare instance of him blowing up at them over their fighting and was especially funny because he was whispering.

Where the episode let me down was the final scenes. The actress getting mad at Larry seemed tacked on, like they needed some payoff for his interactions with the husband, perhaps giving reason for why there was no payoff for Larry’s interactions with the vet’s wife last week: no need. It was just another person pissed off at Larry. The final scene, while funny, seemed so out of character for Larry that I kept waiting for it to return to him on the street or in the subway car having imagined attacking the robber. Again, funny, but strained believability on my part.

Beyond the bigger stuff, there was some nice small moments. Larry getting his own food and the waiter getting revenge by telling Ricky about their talking during the play. Larry flossing on the plane and his insistence on getting bread. Is bread a better gift than a signed DVD? I’m not sure. That Susie felt the need to emphasize to Larry that she thought Extras was the best show ever was another nice bit of sticking it to him. I’m convinced she’s going for slow torture of him at this point.

Not everything worked, but I thought this was a good episode, bolstered by Ricky Gervais who fit in completely. I’m not sure how they’d bring him back based on that ending and that’s a shame. Watching he and Larry trade subtle digs is just wonderful.

The 411: Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.
Final Score:  8.0   [ Very Good ]  legend

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