Oh, Larry David, how many lives can you ruin in one week? That’s right – a lot. The eighth season of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ is fully in swing.
Like most episodes of the show, ‘The Smiley Face’ crams several major storylines into one very packed half hour. In the main plot, Larry is dating the hot hostess at his favorite restaurant (Rebecca Creskoff from ‘Hung’ and ‘Justified’), even though all of his friends have warned him of the foolishness of this action. When they break up (and even Larry acknowledges that they’ll eventually drive each other crazy), he won’t be able to go to the restaurant again. Nevertheless, Larry insists that he will indeed eat there again, even after they break up.
It doesn’t take long before Heidi (the hostess) starts annoying him. First, it’s that she includes smiley emoticons when she texts him, which he hates. When she borrows $60 and doesn’t immediately pay him back, that takes the cake. Stupidly, he breaks up with her while they’re lounging at the pool and she’s in the process of applying suntan lotion to his head. Rather than finish the job, she simply draws a smiley face on his forehead and walks away. Naturally, Larry falls asleep in the sun and winds up with a sunburn everywhere except the smiley face.
Defiantly, Larry returns to the restaurant after the breakup. “I have shat where I eat, and now I shall eat where I shat.” He’s quite proud of himself, but that fades quickly when his food comes and he suspects that she’s done something horrible to it. Is he paranoid, or did she really tamper with the meal? In either case, he can clearly never return there again.
In the second major storyline, Larry’s assistant Antoinette has been out of the office for three weeks while she sits vigil at her dying father’s bedside. Larry thinks this is a bit much. He even starts to think that the old guy is lingering on purpose just to be annoying. He begs Antoinette to come back to work for just one day to straighten out his affairs. Of course, that’s the day her father dies.
Antoinette’s mother is less broken up by the death than Antoinette herself. She offers to come to the office and fill in for her daughter. She does such a great job that Larry considers firing Antoinette and hiring her mother permanently. He’s such a nice guy, isn’t he?
As if that weren’t enough, Larry also manages to get into a bitter feud with his office neighbor (Harry Hamlin) over cabinet space in their shared kitchen, inadvertently ruin the career of his dermatologist (Michael Gross from ‘Family Ties’), and mistakenly spread a rumor that Jeff has cheated on Susie. When a furious Susie spots Jeff consoling Antoinette’s mother for her loss, she assumes that’s his mistress and assaults the both of them.
Nice going, Larry. Is there anyone in Los Angeles you haven’t pissed off yet?