Without revealing too much of myself, I must tell you that I felt a certain kinship with Larry David during tonight’s episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. During a portion of tonight’s episode Larry David has to drive John McEnroe around town and things take longer than expected. Mac meanwhile, only wants to make it to the Staples Center in order to see a Paul McCartney concert.
While the specifics of the incident (city, venue, type of vehicle, reasons for travel) differ, I too have been tasked with driving Johnny Mac around. As Larry and I have both shared this seminal life experience I believe that I am uniquely qualified to talk about every event in Larry David’s life this evening, even if said incidents have nothing to do with Johnny Mac.
First, let’s look at how Larry ended up in this predicament. He and Cheryl decided to take a limo to Ted Danson’s birthday party so they can both drink that night. Larry, foolishly, gets the driver, Carl, invited into the party (just to sit "in the back") so that the driver does not have to sit outside and wait for Cheryl and Larry to be finished. Once again, as with last week’s episode, Larry’s attempts to help people go to waste as the limo driver ended up getting incredibly drunk at the party and groping Mary Steenburgen.
Cheryl and Larry had to drive their driver home and then take his limo so they can get home themselves. Carl then calls Larry and has Larry do him another favor, this time picking John McEnroe up at the airport.
Larry’s life isn’t all bad, sure no good deed of his goes unpunished as he only wanted to be nice to Carl and make it so Carl did not have to sit outside in the dark, but he does get to talk to John McEnroe. And, as Larry learns, Mac is a good guy.
But, before we go too far down this road, I’d like to take another look at what we talked about last week. In my last recap I postulated that Larry is actually trying to be a good guy, and his attempts backfire. I think that this season we may be seeing more of a kindler, gentler, Larry. The Larry from the past couple of episodes may not have bought a hooker in order to be able to drive to a Dodgers game in the carpool lane.
Clearly the new Larry still goes too far, and many of his problems are of his own creation, but his heart is in the right place. More and more I think of Larry David as the Grinch from Dr. Seuss’s classic tale. His heart could, quite possibly, have grown three sizes (going from two sizes too small to one too big), and now poor Larry doesn’t know what to do. Could the Grinch’s adjustment really have been all that easy? What if he cut the rare Who roast beast wrong at the Who party? Could the Grinch, quite possibly, have been kicked out of the party just as Larry was tonight? After all, who knows how the Whos would react to the possible defilement of the roast beast? Could it be similar to Ted Danson’s reaction to the defilement of his wife? Probably it wouldn’t be as strong, but we really can’t speak to any Who prejudice can we? Okay, that is going a little too far down the primrose path, but the point remains the same: if we are in fact seeing a kindler, gentler Larry David than the one that has been on display in the past, shouldn’t we expect the new Larry to have problems adjusting?
There are, quite evidently, moments that the old Larry shines through. Larry decided tonight he has no desire to be buried next to Ted Danson after all, and ends up, probably, giving up the gravesite next to his wife to Carl’s father-in-law. However, while funny, all these moments seem extraneous.
What do we think: is Larry David turning over a new leaf? Is Larry the modern day equivalent of the Grinch? Has Larry’s heart grown or are we all just being suckered in for when he turns truly evil later this season? Will Cheryl be buried next to Carl’s father-in-law or to Larry?
Whatever you think about the above questions, admit it, my driving John McEnroe around has piqued your interest. The odds are heavily against my discussing it, but why don’t you see if I do over at The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews anyway.