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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: “The Hero”

August 15, 2011
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Any episode that begins with Jeff and Susie giving Larry the visual “go ahead” when an attractive woman is seated next to him on the plane gears itself up to be a stellar installment. Add to that Larry trying to chat up the woman by not-so-subtly edging her drink away from his side of the armrest, getting shot down and insisting that he has better game, and then heading to the bathroom to prepare, well, in short, I loved this one.

Need I even mention that Larry unwittingly becomes a hero by tripping over his own shoelaces and into a drunk and disorderly passenger (whom I suspect to be Jerry from Parks and Recreation—IMDB isn’t much of a help, but am I right?), thereby becoming a hero? Or Larry meeting up with Ricky Gervais (who, aside from sporting a hilarious scarf, is starring in the Broadway play “Mr. Simington,” which he delightfully describes as “One man’s fear of World War I and what’s going to happen”)? Or Larry attending the Greens’ dinner party and getting seated next to a gent who has racial prejudice against Spaniards?

There’s a bare-bones plot of Larry trying to recover $500 from Ricky; Larry getting incensed about buying a $300 bottle of wine for Ricky and then quibbling with the fact that he has to pay $200 to see Ricky’s play (and just now I realized that that’s where the $500 comes from); and Ricky trying to steal the airplane woman away from Larry (also a nosy waiter), but this isn’t an episode about intertwining plots that all fit together beautifully (that would be “Palestinian Chicken”); rather it’s about big-laugh broad moments (the highlight of which brings back my favorite Curb music: the Ennio Morricone-esque “showdown” tune) and little comic touches (such as Ricky pitty-patting his feet when he’s scared).

I kind of expected more from the interaction between Larry and Ricky, whom I was sad to see relegated to the “asshole of the week” role, and there were a few other parts that lagged some, but for an episode that’s firing in all directions, it takes home a huge bag.

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