The fourth season of "Curb Your Enthusiaism" debuts and Larry David is still (mostly) out of work.
11:00 PM, Jan 1, 2004 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Well, when you think about it, it isn't. And therein lies the problem with the new season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Far from being "unconventional," the show in its first three seasons was more a "situational comedy" than most so-called sitcoms. That's because the episodes, which are improvised, revolved solely around personal encounters, not witty one-liners or family life or cultural diversity. You got Larry David at the acupuncturist, Larry David at the masseuse, Larry David at the office. That's it. Which can be funny, for a time, until you run out of the everyday uncomfortable social encounters we all experience, and have to start making them up. When you watch "Curb Your Enthusiasm," you can imagine super-rich Larry David opening a restaurant. You can't imagine him starring in "The Producers."
In these new, baldly ridiculous situations, David's shtick becomes tired. You start to long, oddly enough, for a return to banal discussions about buttons and massages and waiting in line at Chinese restaurants. You long for a finely crafted piece of comedic writing, rather than an improvised, rambling dialogue about using the phone in the doctor's office. And sometimes, you long for Larry David to stop complaining and get a job.
Matthew Continetti is an editorial assistant at The Weekly Standard.