Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Curb Your Enthusiasm 8.3 'The Palestinian Chicken'


“...Get the fuck out of my driveway you bald prick” – Sammi

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‘The Palestinian Chicken’ was probably my favourite episode of this so far sublime season of Curb; it really had me laughing from start to finish.

The individual stories didn’t quite collide in the clever way that they normally do on Curb, but given that they were all quite closely linked anyway that’s understandable.

I’m actually a little surprised it’s taken them this long to specifically point out Larry’s knack for being “a social assassin” as Jeff puts it, but it worked well even if his actual assassination attempts were quite tame given his track record.

One thing that does frustrate me sometimes with Curb is that we are quite often introduced to new characters just for one episode who are supposedly great friends with Jeff & Larry, such as Larry Miller’s character Eddie here.

You’d think that given Larry & Jeff’s love of golf that we would have seen the other members of their team before. Miller in particular was great in this episode but I’ll be surprised if we see him again and thus a lot of what happened, whilst very funny, didn’t quite mean that much as we didn’t really know anything about any of the characters involved other than the regulars.

The affair would have meant a lot more had we discovered it was someone we know well such as Funkhouser that was stepping out – obviously Funkhouser is a bad example though as he’s just left his wife. Maybe that’s why they had to bring in new characters though, as all the Curb men are now either single or cheat that often (Jeff) that we’ve become desensitised to it.

The whole Israel-Palestine metaphor of the chicken place and the Deli was a very nice way of adding some very mild political commentary to the show and that final shot of Larry stood in the middle of the two warring factions was a great little moment.

I did think that the episode would end with him joining the Palestinians and choosing sex over his religious ties, but the ambiguity kind of worked well and didn’t make him look a complete pig by turning his back on Susie and the reformed Funkhouser.

The Funk man had some great moments in this episode, in particular his reaction to hearing Larry having sex with Shara and her anti-Semitic dirty talk – “fuck me like Israel fucked my country”.

Having so much Funkhouser almost made up for no Leon this week… almost.

There were so many great moments in this episode it really was Curb at its wonderfully uncompromising best.

I feel as though the season has gradually improved with each episode so far, so if the trend continues, by the end of the season we could be looking back on a run that manages to top the previous Seinfeld reunion season.

In the early days Curb seemed to be more about the everyday irritants that everybody could relate to, and whilst these days the storylines are more cartoonish and unlikely to affect ‘normal’ people, David does such a great job with them that it’s hard not to call Curb the best comedy on TV.

A Hail of Bullets:

- Oh… My… God! It was great seeing Maggie Wheeler a.k.a. Janice from Friends back in a big comedy role even if her “LOL” was nowhere near on a par with some of Janice’s annoying habits.

Wheeler always amazes me when I see her, as she doesn’t seem to have aged a day from her debut on Friends, if anything she looks better now than she did back then.

- On the other hand, how quickly has Sammi grown up!? Although I loved her channelling her inner-Susie with that opening quote, it did feel a little out of nowhere that she would suddenly go from sweet little girl to blackmailing Larry.

Speaking of which, it did feel a little silly given all of Susie’s annoying habits that they would invent one specifically for this episode for Sammi to take umbrage with. We could have all empathised with her plight a lot more had it been her vicious temper and profane vocabulary that embarrassed her daughter so much.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Season continues in the UK on Sunday @ 11.10pm on More4


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