Pretty good, 3.5 readers. Pre-tay, pre-tay, pre-tay good.
BQB here to talk about Curb Your Enthusiam and specifically, how is Fictional LD able to pull so much fictional trim?
For the uninitiated, Curb Your Enthusiasm is an HBO show starring comedian Larry David, who plays a fictional, semi-autobiographical version of himself as he clowns his way through life. He’s the creator and producer of Seinfeld and Seinfeld fans who watch the show instantly realize this is basically Seinfeld with more swearing and not safe for network TV plots.
I remember even as a kid having a hard time suspending disbelief at Seinfeld. Each week, Jerry and George, both big time schmucks, at least on the show, would date gorgeous, charming, sophisticated women who for whatever reason, adored these dum-dums. Yet, each week, these fools would find some slight, miniscule flaw and the relationship would be over. It just seemed so unlikely to me, that these nudniks would actually give up so many attractive, wonderful women over irrelevant folderol, but thus was the ongoing joke of the show. It was a show about nothing about idiots who got caught up by nothing and like a comedy set in Dante’s Inferno, they were forever doomed to a life of meaningless nothing because they couldn’t get past their own problems long enough to develop something, literally anything.
Larry David basically summed his entire career up in an SNL monologue a few years back. LD said his entire life, he’s basically Quasimodo – unattractive and creature like, he should be happy if any female pays attention. When a friend says, “Hey Quasi, I’ve got the perfect woman for you,” he’ll schlump over and say, “Has she got big juggs?”
And therein lies the raw material that LD has been mining and refining into comedy gold for many decades now. He is inherently flawed in so many ways, physically and mentally and yet, he won’t stand for anything less than perfection in his women. Deep down, he knows this is wrong but he can’t help it and his inability to compromise even a little causes him a lifetime of loneliness, as it did for George and Jerry…sometimes even for Elaine and Kramer.
But the older LD gets, I have to admit, the gag gets less and less believable. Curb has put out 11 seasons over 20 years and even when LD was in his 50s, it was hard for me to believe that younger women were attracted to him.
I guess…on some level it’s somewhat believable. There’s an old saying that men are attracted to beauty and women are attracted to security. That’s why a man will leapfrog over a 50 year old self-made wealthy woman to get the phone number of an attractive 20 something waitress. That’s why an attractive late 20 or early 30 something year old woman might look at the hunky studs in her orbit who just sit around and play video games all day and decide that the silver and/or balding hair of an older man can be overlooked if he has his shit together enough that he can pick up a check and pay a bill once in awhile.
To be fair, the show does nothing but insult Larry to great comedic effect. Without fail, literally everyone LD meets inevitably ends up hating him to the point that they call him an “old bald fuck.” If Larry isn’t called an old bald fuck at least 10 times a season, then the season isn’t over. And it’s sort of implied that if Larry wasn’t a hundred millionaire from his Seinfeld days, no woman would ever give him a second or third look.
So in that respect, I suppose it’s believable that a younger woman might look at Larry, shrug her shoulders and be like, “Meh. OK I have to touch old gross man balls but I get to live in a big house and he’ll buy me whatever I want. Deal.”
Then again, I don’t know. The older Larry gets, the harder it is to suspend disbelief. I thought it was very unlikely when the show had him date Lucy Lawless when he was in his 60s. This season, they had him date Lucy Liu for an episode and I just felt bad for Lucy Liu – how a mere 20 years ago she was kicking ass and taking names as a Charlie’s Angels hottie. She still looks good as ever but she’s 50 now so the best Hollywood will offer her is an old weirdo’s date. Sure, the whole crux of the episode is that Larry accidentally does a feeble thing in front of her and she dumps him, the joke being that one moment of looking in front of a hot woman with options is all it takes for it to be over, but still. It’s Lucy Liu. I know Larry has money but there are other dudes in Hollywood with money…hotter, younger and with hair.
Meanwhile, Larry had a date with Julie Bowen of Modern Family and Happy Gilmore fame last week and I just…I don’t know. It’s just getting harder and harder to believe that Larry could even get one date with such uber babes even with all his dough.
To be fair, the universal running joke of the show is that Larry keeps finding himself in too good to be true situations with these women but he’s such a dope that he inevitably finds a way to screw it up to hilarious results. If he could just tell his stupid, foible finding inner voice to shut up for five minutes, he might be happy for once in his godforsaken life.
What gets even more unlikely is Larry’s BFF/agent on the show, Jeff (Jeff Garland) is a fat, ugly (the running joke last season was that he looks so much like Harvey Weinstein that everywhere he goes, women shout at him, slap him, throw drinks in his face, etc.) yet somehow he’s constantly getting younger women. There was a whole episode about how he constantly gets to bang a hot younger real estate agent, that it’s the “perfect crime” in that he can cheat on his wife under the pretense that he’s with this woman so he can buy his wife a house and then they’re going on a date to a place where they can get it on. This season, Jeff has a fling with a dental hygienist, gets her pregnant, pays for the abortion and other expenses but fears he’s being fleeced, thus sending Larry the spy in to find out if the paramour really needs the money or if she’s taking advantage and I just…I don’t know.
I can sort of suspend disbelief for Larry. This version of Larry is at least trying to find a wife. Sure, he’s old, decrepit, rude and gross but all these women he dates, his end goal is to find someone to have and to hold, love and cherish and protect and make happy, albeit with his limited emotional ability to do so. He inevitably screws it up due to his insecurities but his goal isn’t to use them and loose them. He’s trying to find a wife. And though old and ugly and bald, he’s rich and connected and people in Hollywood know him, so it’s not entirely impossible that a younger woman might be able to get over the old man vibes to have financial security.
Meanwhile, Jeff is married…unhappily. His wife Susie is a comedic genius who mostly serves the need for someone to tell Larry that he’s a stupid old bald fuck at least 5 times a season. She is a caricature of a domineering shrew, so while it is understandable as to why Jeff would want to cheat…I mean he’s rich and powerful, perhaps not as rich and powerful as Larry but he’s still got it going on…but he’s not offering these women anything other than his gross old penis and flabby belly flopping around on top of them. It just seems unlikely that a real estate agent babe or a dental hygienist babe, both hot and half his age, would just want to be with him for the joy of being with him.
I doubt Larry will ever read this fine blog but I wonder if maybe a season where the script is flipped might not be in order. Larry, hire me and I’ll write you a new, fresh season. Picture it. For some crazy reason, Larry loses all of his cash. With it, he loses all his power and fame and glory and he no longer gets invited to hang out with all the cool kids. Instead, he moves to a retirement community and has to live the life most old people his age live – i.e. he has to go to bingo games and watch Matlock and eat dinner at 4 at the early bird special. Even worse, he has to date an age appropriate woman. Larry struggles with the desire for a younger, attractive woman and winces as his 70 something date has to put on a wig and put in her false teeth in the morning. On the other hand, this old broad gets all his jokes and references and likes doing all the old person stuff Larry does so…is this the one? Will he finally act his age and give up the chase for young tail now that he has found someone who finally gets him? No, he’ll screw it up somehow.
Maybe Jeff could lose his money too. Susie kicks him out of the house and he can only find women who have a similar look. Jeff dates a chubby woman and has an internal debate about whether or not he should stick with a woman who understands his struggle and accepts him as is, or if he should try to get all his money back so he can bang hot real estate agents. Still, it’s never explained what the real estate agent is getting out of this. Are women that attracted to money and success that they’ll just bang a dude and ask for nothing in return? It feels like comedy gold isn’t being mined in that one of these babes that Jeff bangs doesn’t come around demanding money lest they tell on him to Susie.
Either way, Leon will still be Larry’s forever house guest. Leon is getting up there in years too now, but somehow, given his style, he’s the only one whose non-stop train of booty is believable.
I’ve noticed that the show doesn’t really try to hide the fact that Larry is old. He’s constantly watching movies that only old people would be into. He does impressions of actors from 50 years ago. Every episode, he’s at the golf course. Even so, he’s always chasing the young babes and I just wonder if one season where Larry wrestles with an attraction to an age appropriate woman wouldn’t be hilarious.