After a six-year hiatus, Larry David returned to television with the ninth season of his critically-acclaimed HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
With a career spanning over three decades, Larry David is no stranger to those interested in the world of comedy or television. From co-creating the hit sitcom “Seinfeld” to numerous writing credits and guest appearances on “Saturday Night Live,” David has shown the world his comedic musings, often involving a humorous analysis on the various social intricacies present within our daily lives.
With “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” David took center stage, playing a highly fictionalized version of himself. Similar to real life, the character of Larry David was a well-known figure in the entertainment industry. The series followed David throughout the city of Los Angeles, where he commented on the minuteness found in everyday life, criticizing various social conventions and aggravating the public at large due to the many social faux pas he committed. Alongside David and his escapades were his best friend and manager Jeff Greene (Jeff Garlin), Greene’s easily volatile wife Susie (Susie Essman), David’s wife and voice of reason toward his madness Cheryl David (Cheryl Hines) and David’s exploitative roommate Leon Black (J. B. Smoove).
With the ninth season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” David incurred a fatwa (an Islamic death sentence), given to him by the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, while promoting his new musical, comically titled “Fatwa!” on the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” show. David’s project “Fatwa!” was based on the real-life Satanic Verses controversy in which Ayatollah Khomeini ordered a fatwa against British novelist Salman Rushdie in 1989. Celebrity guest stars for this season included Bryan Cranston, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Elizabeth Banks and Nick Offerman.
With the six-year break between seasons, one wondered whether David would be able to maintain the same wit and comedic sensibilities he has shown throughout his career. Thankfully, the recent season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” maintained the same level of charm and energy that previous seasons carried.
With the newest season, David brought his neurotic perspective on both current and untimely aspects of social interaction. Whether it was analyzing the proper conduct of a thank-you or examining the results of sending “purposefully accidental” text messages, David found himself in top form, bringing the same creativity that made him a household name. Though some moments were too reliant on callbacks to previous seasons and even a few jokes were lifted from “Seinfeld,” David was still able to create a unique twist for those familiar with his work and an interesting insight for newcomers.
Acknowledgement should be given to Smoove, who found himself elevated to main cast billing this season along with greater screen time. Smoove’s increased presence this season gave him a chance to interact more with David’s various storylines, providing a fresh comedic element to David’s various exploits of which previous seasons had only scratched the surface. The cavalcade of guest stars also lended themselves quite naturally toward the series’ foundation. Banks and Miranda in particular gave standout performances this season, being able to effectively bounce off of David’s natural comedic talent and enhance various plot lines.
With the ninth season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” ending, David expressed an interest in pursuing a 10th season. While a 10th season has yet to be confirmed and David is known to take somewhat extensive hiatuses between seasons, judging from the creative output presented in this recent season, any future continuation would definitely be worth watching.