Curb Your Enthusiasm, the classic sitcom starring Seinfeld co-creator Larry David as an eternally grumpy and nitpicking slightly-fictionalized version of himself, will return to HBO for its ninth season beginning October 1st the network announced. David will be joined by cast regulars Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman and JB Smoove, and no doubt there will be many celebrity cameos as well (frequent Curb contributors Ted Danson [he of the greatest sandwich in history] and Mary Steenburgen have already been confirmed).
Curb Your Enthusiasm began life on HBO in 2000 and quickly shot to the top of many critics’ best sitcom lists. Featuring improvised dialogue, the show is a showcase for Larry David’s particular comic sensibility, a brand of observational super-prickliness that David sells brilliantly despite being (as he would admit himself) very limited as a performer. Each episode is a cleverly-constructed self-contained comic gem, with David getting into all sorts of self-created pickles with hilarious and sometimes cringingly uncomfortable results.
After several years off-the-air, Curb Your Enthusiasm will finally return for a ten-episode season beginning on October 1st, 2017 according to HBO. The network released a teaser trailer featuring Larry David dressed up as Julius Caesar with a slogan that plays on Caesar’s famous line “I came, I saw, I conquered.” “He Left. He Did Nothing. He Returned.” may not be as inspiring as Caesar’s celebrated expression of triumph but it does neatly sum up what Larry David seemingly has been up to since Season 8 of Curb ended in 2011 with the classic “Larry vs. Michael J. Fox” episode.
The special magic of Curb Your Enthusiasm lies in how Larry David is able to make us relate to his character even though he is a jerk of epic proportions. On the one hand, we don’t want to admit that we actually feel the same way David does about the small, petty annoyances of life, but on the other hand we can’t help but laugh with recognition at the fumbling, eternally-irritated way David navigates the modern world, applying a self-generated (and sometimes completely unreasonable) series of unwritten rules to everyday situations.
The concern for some is that after so many years off, David and his cast will not be able to quite get back to the same level they achieved when Curb was clicking along as one of the best comedies on TV. The eighth season already was beginning to fray a little, with David at times ceding writing responsibilities to others, which led to the show not quite being as sharp as in prior years.
On the plus side, David has had several years to accumulate new gripes to weave into his little perfectly-constructed half-hour stories. We can be sure that while the teaser claims David “did nothing” during his years away, he was actually coming up with many many ideas for situations that would be perfect for the Curb Your Enthusiasm treatment.
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