‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ is back! Everything about this show is thrown together in such a seat-of-their-pants fashion that, after the end of every season, the cast and crew have no idea whether the series will continue at all until Larry David finally calls them up one day and tells them that he has some ideas. I kind of feel like the last season’s ‘Seinfeld’ reunion was a good stopping point to go out on, but I’m still glad to have the show back anyway. From this week’s premiere, it seems to be in fine form.
The title of ‘The Divorce’ says it all. The episode picks up right where the last finale left off, with Larry just about to get back together with Cheryl until he lets a petty gripe (“Do you respect wood?”) ruin everything. We cut to one year later, and they’re in the middle of a divorce. Yet they still somehow manage to be pretty amiable and friendly about the situation. They just realize that they can’t live together anymore.
Larry has a great divorce attorney with the last name of Berg (Paul F. Tompkins) who’s masterful at negotiating everything into Larry’s favor while making Cheryl think that she’s making out well too. Unfortunately, when Larry realizes that Berg isn’t really Jewish (which he just assumed based on the name), he obsesses over a fantasy he’s concocted in his head that Berg is running some sort of scam and is planning to screw him over in the end. He fires Berg and replaces him with an ambulance chaser that he met and was impressed with after an incident at a buffet where Larry made an ass of himself. Larry also convinces his friend Joe O’Donnell (Gary Cole), owner of the Dodgers and likewise going through a divorce, to do the same.
As you can imagine, this is a very stupid idea. The new lawyer is completely incompetent, so Larry winds up losing the house to Cheryl. He and freeloader Leon (who’s still living with him!) will have to move out. This gives the show an excuse to change venues to New York for the rest of the season.
It should also go without saying that Joe O’Donnell loses the Dodgers to his wife and is very pissed at Larry.
Other shenanigans this episode include Larry convincing Marty Funkhouser to also get a divorce, Jeff being very sad that he’ll never be able to get divorced because Susie would murder him, Larry having a big dispute with a group of angry Girl Scouts over some cookies he agreed to buy and tries to renege on, and – most disturbingly of all – Larry attempting to teach a 13-year-old girl how to use a tampon at excruciating length.
It’s rare for a sit-com to still be funny after eight years, but I got a lot of laughs out of this episode, and I hope that the impending change of scenery will keep things fresh.