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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: ‘The Bi-Sexual’

August 22, 2011
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Okay, okay, I get it—Larry’s “juicin’” (is this actually a legitimate term for taking Viagra?), and that upsets his girlfriend because they’re at the Baseball Hall of Fame. I still don’t quite buy it, and you have to admit it’s pretty shoehorned in (would a woman who’s so sexually charged that she’ll sleep with Larry Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and Rosie O’Donnell Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday really have a problem with one of her partners taking medication—especially when she reaps the benefits?), but it’s nice to know that Curb cares.

There’s a few parts of the story that don’t really fit (was there a point to Larry adamantly refusing to be friends with, uh, Dougenstein? If there was, I’ve already forgotten it)—and what’s up with Rosie O’Donnell’s tan?—but the humor more than makes up for any faults.

This is totally the “Larry in New York” episode I’ve been waiting for, and it gives me an appreciation for the sense of location with which the episode, and the series as a whole, has. I’ve been to New York, and while I’m no expert, there’s a vibe to it that Curb captured beautifully: the cramped feeling, the recycled red brick apartments, the semi-elegant trendiness. I probably won’t be able to score some V from a Charlton Heston lookalike getting his ear grazed on by a sexy blonde in the park, but it feels right.

By that same token, I’m now pretty sure that if I ever get to LA that it’s going to be the same sprawling mishmash of extravagance it appears to be through Larry’s eyes. After completing my yearly binge of The Larry Sanders Show, another series that had an uncanny sense of environment, it’s gotten me wondering about the untapped potential of dropping Larry in some other cities. I know it’s an LA show, and hell, New York is his home town, but what kind of epic freakouts could we get from removing Larry far from his comfort zone in some place like, oh, London or Beijing? Maybe it wouldn’t be too different because Larry can be a fish out of water no matter where he is. Just a thought.

But back to New York and “The Bi-Sexual.” Larry meets a sexy woman at MoMA and, giddy with the prospect, runs into Rosie O’Donnell, who just had a similar experience, and the two find out that they’re talking about the same woman. So there’s a friendly competition of sorts as they vie for her affections. The venue for this showdown is a Central Park baseball game, providing the basis for the baseball metaphor underlying the episode and transplanting the physicality of the bedroom to a more pleasant battlefield.

But the real beauty is that, amid the delightful conversations bi-sexuality raises, the culmination isn’t with the bi-sexual herself, rather it’s with a long, expletive-and-slang-laden monologue by Leon, who’s stolen Larry’s car and driven across country to visit. Not only is it great to see more of Leon, but it’s a speech on par with his best moments—the Groat’s Disease, the Flip, the “Open Up His Asshole”—and also continues the theme of Leon being the unlikely hero of the series.

Add to that another great moment in which Larry discovers all the intricacies of Japanese bows (including what’s a worthy bow and what’s a “shit” bow), Renny Harlin’s apartment, and the phrase “I wish I had a daughter to impart this to.” (In real life, Larry David of course has two daughters, and if the line makes you doubt his parenting skills, check him out epically taking one for the team here:

Nevertheless, I can’t help but feel that in one of the most meta shows on television, it may be Larry’s subtle way of actually imparting the balls and bats and catcher’s mitt knowledge to his kids.)

I’m flying off in all directions here, but Curb invites a lot of digressions. Suffice it to say, this is another great installment.

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2 Responses to “ Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: ‘The Bi-Sexual’ ”

  1. Chickie Boom on August 22, 2011 at 10:31 am

    This review is ludicrous…you clearly don’t get the show. I don’t think that his girlfriend cared about the viagara because they were at the baseball hall of fame. Curb is all about parallel themes. It was the same with the Palestinian Chicken episode.

  2. Nat Almirall on August 22, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Maybe the point wasn’t made clearly enough — but yes, it is a parallel theme. Baseball references abound in the episode (Leon’s speech being the most noteworthy example) and “juicing” is slang for taking steroids (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=juicing). Larry taking Viagra, to a baseball fan, is akin to Mark McGuire taking steroids. I don’t think it quite works, but, again, it’s a neat fit thematically.

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