Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Will ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ stick the landing?

‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ embarks on its final season
Photo courtesy of the ‘Curb your Enthusiasm’ IMDb page.

After a long three-year break, Larry David is back and concluding his hit show “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” David has finally decided to retire his “character” after 24 years on HBO and now Max. With only a few episodes out of the final season thus far, we see the usual hijinks and miscommunication of the awkward and blissfully unaware Larry David.

Critiques surrounding the past few seasons of “Curb” focus on the humor of the show. When the show started in 2000, the jokes and characters were provocative and often bordered on being offensive. In recent years, David has calmed down that aspect of his humor due to changing times. Today’s humor relates to common sensitive topics such as COVID and evolving technology, and many sitcoms have shifted into this niche type of humor as well.

Despite changing standards, his show does a wonderful job of creating a balance between satire, humor and current events. He never seems to be out of touch or add arbitrary jokes to appeal to a certain audience; he is, and always has been, unapologetically himself.

“Curb” is halfway through the season, with just five more episodes to conclude the series.  The episodes have gotten funnier with each new addition, the most recent being my favorite yet. So far we have been graced by racist lawn jockeys, David being the face of justice and fighting on the golf course. Many callbacks to familiar characters such as Auntie Rae and Mocha Joe appear in the recent season. David continues his journey as a self-righteous character who marches to the beat of his own strange drum, which is always enjoyable to watch.

Despite the highlights of the final season, it seems to pale in comparison to David’s first six-to-eight seasons of the show. Despite being controversial, it is hard to deny that David’s first seasons of “Curb” are some of his best. Earlier seasons teetered on the edge of crossing the line, while still remaining humorous. Recent seasons lack the edge found in earlier seasons and have fallen flat. Due to societal norms, David and the cast are scared to cross the line, inhibiting the ability to laugh at the uncomfortable cringe that is David.

It is no secret that “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has a repetitive plot and predictable characters: Larry says something tasteless, there’s a miscommunication, Susie yells at Larry and so forth. Despite this repetitive structure, “Curb” has found a way to continue to engage its viewers and use this repetition to provide a sense of predictable comfort. The audience knows what they are getting into after watching just a few episodes of “Curb,” yet it continues to make viewers laugh. There’s a reason its has gained critical acclaim while remaining on HBO for so many years. David continues to stick to the bit, even if that means making himself look distasteful or idiotic. There is something to be said for being able to laugh at yourself, but David takes this idea to a whole other level time and time again as he returns as a caricature of himself.

There is no doubt that the world will miss “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” but knowing David and his antics, I am positive that this is not a goodbye forever. The last five episodes of “Curb” are sure to stick with longtime fans of David and instate his legacy in the comedy and television world.

Olivia Baier can be reached at [email protected].

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    Hannah SMar 13, 2024 at 11:26 am

    Amazing piece Olivia!