Friday, March 23, 2007

Curb my enthusiasm, Larry!

I, like most people on the planet priveleged enough to own a TV, loved Seinfeld.

But, how's this, I was so naive and unworldly that I didn't realise all the characters were Jewish... it took my Jewish ex-boyfriend to point that one out to me. I just thought they were typical Nu Yoricans (and I guess they kind of were). Amazingly, he didn't dump me on the spot for being so flaky.

Much as I enjoyed Seinfeld, I was never tripping over myself to make uninitiated friends/family watch it. Some of the lines wore a little thin after much repetition. Forget Raymond - everybody loved Seinfeld. The canned laughter started to annoy me. The applause as any of the main characters entered the room started to annoy me. Jerry Seinfeld is a very funny man, but the show lost a little magic for me over the years.

I have been meaning to check for myself whether Curb your Enthusiasm (written by and starring the co-creator of Seinfeld) lives up to the hype, and the conclusion I have come to after watching series 1-4 back to back is that it is actually pret-ty, pret-ty, pret-ty, pret-ty, pret-ty good. Only people who watch the show will get that, but never mind. Actually, I fahked ahp. It is brilliant.

Curb Your Enthusiasm represents the next generation of comedy. It is so much funnier, more tragic, sharper, more complex, and edgier than Seinfeld. Clearly Larry David was destined for better things, and the freedom of writing for HBO has allowed his creativity to flourish. Larry David - the man, the character, the comic - is the show. His love of words and odd phrasings and voices shines through in the comic exchanges between him and his various cohorts. Larry himself is an enjoyable character to watch bumbling around on screen, saying the wrong things, digging himself into holes, and looking bewildered when events spiral out of his control. Each episode weaves together at least three story strands, sometimes more successfully than others, but always with a neat pay-off at the end.

I also love the fact that this show has never hit the popularity peak which Seinfeld enjoyed (being slightly geekier and more subversive), and as such, being a fan is kind of like belonging to a slightly more exclusive club - albeit mostly composed of geeks and writers - compared to the mindless hordes who guffawed every time Kramer skidded through the door in Seinfeld.

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