Curb Your Enthusiasm
Season Eight sees Larry David get a divorce and move to New York as HBO say they are 'optimistic' of more Curb Your Enthusiasm in the future.
Pretty, pretty good news. Larry David may not be finished yet in his role as the world's greatest bald curmudgeon.
The eighth season of the magnificently funny HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm began its run on British television yesterday with a late night run on More 4 but the new season has already been a ratings hit in America, notching its best viewing figures since 2004.
HBO president of programming Michael Lombardo joked the network was "cautiously optimistic" there will be a ninth season of Curb, tweeting: “For the first time ever after this season, Larry didn't say 'I never want to do this again.”
HBO expects David to make a decision at the end of the summer and let's hope he signs on for more mayhem.
Even though the opening episode to series eight - called The Divorce - wasn't vintage Curb, it was still packed with the sort of hilarious and edgy humour that has made it one of the finest comedy shows of the modern age.
Some of the scenes in The Divorce had a familiar air to them (Larry arguing with girl scout cookie-sellers was reminiscent of past squabbles with trick-or-treaters) but nobody does un-PC like David. In this new episode he greeted the three scouts with the words: "I commend you on the demographics: a black, an Asian and … are you a Jew perchance?"
The action was set one year after the collapse of his reunion with wife Cheryl (Cheryl Hines) following a row about a wood stain: "Do you respect wood?" Larry asks her as he narrows his eyes.
The ensuing argument results in divorce and there is a witty scene where Cheryl calls to collect her things and Larry half-jokingly suggests they have one last romp in bed. He is asked: what did the marriage bring for Larry? "I wouldn't be tongue-scraping if it weren't for you," he tells Cheryl.
The plot spins around Larry choosing an inept Jewish divorce lawyer - having rejected an ersatz Jew because he was revealed to actually be Swedish. Adversary Cheryl has chosen a hairless lawyer whom Larry suggests should recuse himself for breaking “the bald code.” Naturally, Larry's friends - with the brilliant Jeff Garlin as David's manager Jeff, and Susie Essman as Jeff's wife Susie squabbling as usual - chip in on the subject of marital splits with Marty Funkerhouser (played by the excellent Bob Einstein) telling Larry he'd like to leave his wife but is "too lazy" to get a divorce.
Yet the episode had a feel of treading water - of things being tidied up before the rest of the series, which takes place in New York instead of Los Angeles, can take things forward. The usual brilliant juggling of different plot lines was absent in an episode credited to numerous co-writers.
Even the most outrageous scene - Larry standing outside his toilet door and reading out instructions to a 13-year-old daughter of a friend in how to insert her first tampon - didn't quite work and dragged a little.
But these are minor quibbles. A new series of Curb Your Enthusiasm is a cause for celebration and waiting in the wings are guest appearances from Ricky Gervais, Rosie O’Donnell and Michael J. Fox.
And with Larry re-entering the world of dating - and moving in next door in New York to a group of women from a refuge in the next episode called The Safe House - there are bound to be excruciating situations galore.
Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Safe House (series 8, episode 2) will be on Sunday 25 September at 11.10pm on More4.