A review of last night’s Curb Your Enthusiasm coming up just as soon as I’m okay with gratitude sex…
If I didn’t know that there were two episodes to go in this season, “Never Wait For Seconds!” would have struck me as a season finale — which for Curb Your Enthusiasm, especially at this late date, would mean it was designed to function as a potential series finale, too. But it was also weirdly reminiscent of the Seinfeld finale, which almost everyone hated, and which Larry David seemed to have freed himself of back in 2009 with the faux-Seinfeld reunion on Curb.
Larry’s mysterious Muslim savior interviewing people Larry had encountered in the past — including Krazee-Eyez Killa, Denise Handicapped, the hooker from “The Car Pool Lane,” and Michael J. Fox — to determine whether he deserved punishment was pretty much a mirror image of Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer being tried for violating that town’s Good Samaritan law. Of all the Seinfeld ideas to revisit here (which David has done many times in the past), you would think this is one best left alone.
At least it was interesting to see this trial come to the opposite conclusion from the Good Samaritan one, as the interrogator encounters a bunch of people who paint Larry as being in the right morally, either by universal standards (Michael J. Fox really was klomping on purpose) or from the interrogator’s perspective (Larry refused to adhere to Orthodox Jewish law when stuck on the ski lift with that woman). Curb is usually at its best when there’s at least a kernel of Larry being right about things — among this season’s many flaws is that he’s mostly just been an oblivious jerk — and the comic highlight of “Never Wait For Seconds!” was Larry passionately defending the eponymous theory about the buffet line.
(There are, of course, arguments to be made for both sides — i.e., let everybody get their firsts before going for your seconds — but Larry’s not being wildly unreasonable here, especially at a restaurant where there will constantly be new people getting in line for their firsts.)
But if David was going to take a second shot at his most universally-derided story idea, he probably should have gone all the way and devoted more than just a few minutes to the concept. Instead, like pretty much all of season nine — and most of this episode — it was one underfed idea among many, wrapping up before it had a chance to really start generating laughs. The only story this week that felt fully-developed was handyman Cesar (Hemky Madera) flipping the tip so that Larry would be indebted to him, which ended up preventing Eddie’s admission to the boarding school(*) and possibly dashing Larry’s relationship with Bridget, the rare woman who not only isn’t turned off by Larry being Larry, but seems to find the behavior appealing.