12 July, 2011
Curb Your Enthusiasm 8.01 - Divorce Is Cool
LD is back and politically incorrect and socially inept as ever. If you’re like me and you’ve watched seasons 1 through 7, none of Larry’s behavior in this episode will make you say “what the fuuhhh?” and force yourself to wonder what show you’ve been watching for the past odd some years (I’m pointing my finger at you Weeds).
Last season ended with Larry and Cheryl watching the Seinfeld reunion and it seemed as if they too would be having their own reunion as the episode ended. Cut to Sunday night’s premiere entitled “The Divorce”. We start off where we left off: Cheryl wants to give Larry a second chance, showing her affection by leaning in for a kiss, which Larry is more than happy to engage in – until he sees the ring stain left by the Mocha Joe’s on the table. It’s a great callback to continuity due to the fact that in last season’s finale, a rift between Larry and Mocha Joe was an important subplot. Larry, being Larry, fixates and can’t let the ring stain go – especially since such a stain caused him to get into a fight with Julia (another callback to the season 7 finale). One minute into the new season and LD goes directly into what he does best – making a mountain out of a molehill. Cheryl tells him “it’s no big deal” and yet Larry can’t let it go and goes so far as to calling Julia so that Cheryl can tell her that she was the one that left the ring stain on her antique table. As the scene develops Cheryl loses her patience and regrets her decision. “Why would I come here? This is ridiculous, I’m not talking to Julia!” she says before leaving Larry’s. The yin-yang relationship that we’ve come to know, the divorce is on.
Only “Curb” could take the fragile and complicated subject of divorce and turn it into a farce on the ludicrous stereotypes society has adopted throughout the years. Larry hires his divorce lawyer on the sole basis that he has to be Jewish – because obviously you can’t handle a deferred compensation package or alimony if you didn’t have a bat/bar mitzvah or touch your mezuzah before you leave your home or office. Incidentally, his lawyer, whose last name is “Burg”, is not Jewish. Instead, he comes from the land of sauna’s and IKEA. When Larry finds out Burg is Swedish he erupts by saying “I GOT A SWEDE LAWYER? SHE’S GONNA GET EVERYTHING!” Oh Larry, you started the episode off by using the N word and now you’re offending the Scandinavian-Americans. You are nothing if not persistent in your inclusiveness. Thanks LD for adding the Scandinavians to the list of people we can hate!
After firing Burg, Larry gets himself a Jewish lawyer named Hiram Katz. LD is relieved – his divorce will be well handled due to the fact that his attorney knows what a shofar stands for (before this episode, I was like WTF is that horn besides something I’ve seen in LOTR?). He recommends this lawyer to the owner of the Dodgers, Joe O’Donnell, (WHAT UP GARY COLE?!) who was also “sweded” by Burg for his own divorce. Unfortunately, although Katz is kosher, he’s a total schmuck when it comes to his profession and loses the Dodgers for O’Donnell and the house for Larry (much to Leon’s dismay), breaking the stereotype that a Jew could do better than a non-Jew. Thank you Larry, because if I ever get divorced, I’ll know not to judge a lawyer by the Torah. SHALOM!
Larry and Joe’s divorces also leads to Marty “The funk” Funkhouser to seek a divorce from his wife. Divorce in this episode is regarded as the latest fad (and with a 50% divorce rate today, why shouldn’t it be?). The Funk is excited about his divorce, acting like me when I know I’m going to be eating McDonalds (NUGGETS! NUM NUM NUM!). Jeff, on the other hand, is bummed out – like he’s not part of the exclusive club. “Everyone’s getting a divorce except me,” he says. And considering what Susie said to him if he ever mentioned the “D” word to her (“I’m taking your balls and I’m thumb tacking them to the wall, you’ll get nothing out of it”), he better get used to the fact he won’t be a VIP in the “D” club.
Just as embarrassing as having your balls thumb tacked to the wall is having your first period in a stranger’s house - which brings me to the subplot: Larry David is the MAN when you’ve got your period and you don’t know what to do. Keira, O’Donnell’s daughter, comes to the David house to sell Larry cookies so that in return he can get Dodgers tickets. Unfortunately for young Keira, she gets her first period just as she’s about to make the sale. The whole scene that follows should be shown in health classes around the nation to add a little humor and de-dramatize the whole “getting your period” thing, which, as Larry points out “that’s no problem!” But the best of all is this gem of a line right here: “You had it in the right place, I’ve got this! I’ve got this!” Larry is albeit overly enthusiastic about helping out this young girl but at the same time, if there was any way to react, I believe Larry’s was the way to go: treating a first period like it’s your kid scoring a homerun at his little league game. Obviously, O’Donnell was less amused and refused to give Larry tickets. Larry, incapable of accepting that he’d done anything wrong, then refuses to buy the cookies, which brings me to my last point: Girl Scouts are ruthless, crazy bitches who will do anything to get their money. They’re the young, innocent, and suburban version of a pimp. I couldn’t help but think back to that great 1980s film Troop Beverly Hills starring Shelley Long.
Babydoll’s “by the way…”:
-What was this, a Best Week Ever reunion? Paul F. Tompkins AND Jennifer St. Clair? Being on “Curb” is a far cry away from Vh1 specials kids, well done.
-You never realize how much you miss a daily dose of Leon in your life until Leon comes back and hit you with one of his truth bombs or should I say ass bombs? This week: “You ran that ass in the ground and you movin’ on” and the ever so lovely, “get out there and get some new ass”.
-Katz “lawyering” the maître-d at the restaurant. When in doubt, always have a lawyer with you. Now I know that I can share my buffet with someone else – although, who would want to share their buffet? Ludicrous!
-The Good Wife, True Blood, Chuck…Gary Cole is popping up everywhere and I LOVE IT. He’s the television actor version of whack-a-mole, if whack-a-mole was about prairie dogs just popping up and not “whacking” their heads because they were so awesome.
-“Sweded” is a term that will go into my urban dictionary as the definition for “being fucked over by a gentile”
Curb your political correctness:
-When Larry opens the door for the Girl Scouts: “First of all, I commend you on the demographics – a black, and an Asian, and are you a Jew perchance?”
-Larry: “Guy turns up to me on a motorcycle guess who it turns out to be?” Jeff: “Portia De Rossi”. I would have gone with Ellen due to the fact she wouldn’t really have as much of a problem with helmet hair as Portia.
-Larry: “What is a Jew doing on a motorcycle?” – Jeff: “I don’t recall ever seeing a Jew on a motorcycle”. I now have a new road game to play called “Spot the Jew on the motorcycle”.