'Seinfeld' reunion on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' season finale: Did it work for you? Do you respect wood?

There were three distinct elements of the Seinfeld reunion arc on Curb Your Enthusiasm. I guess you want a SPOILER ALERT for some of the plot details below.

• There were the scenes showing us how the cast got back together again via the Curb universe (it was Curb-Larry’s ploy to get back together with wife Cheryl by writing a role for her).

• There was the episode-within-the-episode we saw on last night’s finale.

• And there was the more-Curb-than-Seinfeld subplot: typical Curb stuff that involved Larry insulting a coffee-stand owner (Mocha Joe, played by the reliably sparky Saverio Guerra); Larry suspecting Jason Alexander of having an affair with Cheryl, and a mildly funny repetition-gag about a drink stain on a wood table (“Do you respect wood?”).

By far the funniest of these three elements were the scenes that brought the Seinfeld cast members into Curb-world, kibitzing with each other and rehearsing. The easy comic timing between all of them was pure pleasure, as were moments such as a scene last week involving Bob Einstein’s Marty Funkhouser. He insisted on telling Jerry a dirty joke against Larry’s wishes, and the scene became a small classic: the joke was funny, Jerry’s delighted reaction was priceless, and Larry got to simmer amusingly in the background.

The Seinfeld reunion episode itself — most of it presented, in fractured form, last night — amounted to a solid episode of regular-Seinfeld, with George having lost a lot of money in the Bernie Madoff scandal. There was some fine, fresh Seinfeld observational humor conducted in “Jerry”‘s apartment, as when Elaine started reading her Blackberry messages. Jerry’s petulant indignance was impeccable: “Oh, you’re gonna do the Blackberry head-down thing on me now?!”

Whenever this jerry-rigged enterprise blurred the lines between Curb and Seinfled, things could get dicey. As Larry’s fury over his imagined affair between Jason and Cheryl spilled onto the Seinfeld set, there were more Curb-ish, churlish moments, such as the tedious Mocha Joe feud. Even so, there were excellent, unpredictable scenes, as when Jerry asserted with comic asperity that he, Julia, Jason, and Michael were all beloved figures — icons — but that Larry was not. Repetition being the soul of Seinfeld, he emphasized the point. “Icon,” said Jerry, pointing to himself. “No-con!” he said, pointing to Larry.

Curb at this point in its history strains to get beyond merely putting Larry David into absurd situations that force him to blow his top. But the Curb season finale gave us a Seinfeld reunion we could love. “We screwed up one finale, we can’t [screw up] another,” said Jerry.

They didn’t. On the other hand, Curb‘s finale — which found Larry and Cheryl reunited, but already starting to unravel again — that finale was more uneven;  a little screwed-up. But you know what? I don’t think Larry David would want it any other way.

I’d like to know what you thought of the two elements: Did you think this season of Curb was, overall, a good one? Did you think the Seinfeld arc was a satisfying success?

Comments (95 total) Add your comment
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  • Al

    This episode wasn’t as strong as the previous two but it was still pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.

  • Dave

    Jerry and Mocha Joe teaming up against Larry was the best part of that show.

    • Caitie F

      I actually hated the mocha Joe stuff- the story line was just kinda stupid.

      • Matthew

        Caitie, have you seen the majority of the Curb Your episodes? I don’t think there is one that isn’t stupid and I love it for that reason. Its an amazing show!

  • Sean

    Loved the Seinfeld stuff but you’re right on about the uneven Curb storyline. Actually, loved last weeks table reading. Felt like I had stumbled upon a hidden final chapter of the bible.

  • G

    Where was Leon??

    • Alan

      Thank God he was gone. You can only take so much Leon per season.

      • UncleRico

        NO WAY! Leon is the best character on the show. He needs his own spinoff so he can give it the DIZZLE!

      • Nihilistic

        Oh please. When Leon pretended to be Danny Dooberstein in the penultimate episode, I almost pulled something laughing my ass off.

      • dave

        Nihilistic, me too! I lost it during that scene last week. “If there’s two thing Danny Dooberstein is good at, it’s math and f***in!”

  • jenna

    Best line of the night: ‘John, Paul, George, and Larry.’lol

    I thought it was a fun episode. Uneven at times, but improv generally is.
    I doubt I would have watched Curb without Seinfeld, so I think it was a success. And it was much more satisfying than the original Seinfeld finale, for me, and a unique way to do a reunion. It was nice to see that comedic timing in tact after all these years.
    Overall, nicely done!

  • Delia from Detroit

    This finale was much better than some of the episodes earlier in the season, which basically were just Larry and his foes yelling at each other on the top of their lungs. I was concerned that the show had jumped the shark when he seemed to go through just picking fights/starting arguments with other people.

    In earlier seasons, Larry actually tried to do good deeds or kind things for people, but his bumbling and big mouth led to the confrontations. In this season, he just seemed to keep going around yelling at people that angered him. It seemed a sign the show was getting tired and should be wrapped up before it wears out its welcome, as “The Simpsons” should have done IN THE YEAR 2000 (in other words, it has lingered on way too long), and “The Office” really should end this year or next, because it is tired and repetitive now, too.

    Finally, somewhere around the accidental swan killing episode, and “Officer Krupke,” the show picked up and seemed to return to “normal.” I actually found it funny again, and I truly enjoyed seeing a 2009 version of what “Seinfeld” would be if it were airing on NBC right now.

    The coffee subplot was a little lame, and it was typical Larry offending someone because he was splitting hairs over semantics — what is a “favor,” and does it require a tip? The drink ring stain thing was easy to predict that it would pop up in the final scene(s), as this always happened in “Seinfeld” and earlier seasons of “Curb.”

    Overall, not a bad finale, but I think the show should either end this year or season be the very last.

    • SM

      Why is everyone overusing the phrase “jumping the shark” these days? Why can’t we just let a series be? Is there even a way to tell if the shark has been jumped while the show is still on?

      • Dan

        So you are suggesting that the phrase “Jump the Shark” has jumped the shark?

      • Lois

        I’m so tired of the phrase “Jump the Shark.” That phrase is supposed to mean that a show has passed the point of no return, and that it can never recapture the original qualities that made the show a success. But “Jump the Shark” is used everytime any show has an episode, or even a scene or character, someone doesn’t like. It’s grown tiresome.

  • randyfitzimmons

    it was alright. i didn’t like the ‘seinfeld’ episode, though. way too topical for seinfeld. do i really need to hear george talking about bernie madoff? the line of the night was “all he’s got from you is a story about traffic”.

  • SiR

    Great finale last night. Jerry looked a bit goofy staring into Larry eyes there but other than that perfect episode and here’s hoping for an 8th season.

  • paige

    i thoroughly enjoyed last weeks episode “the table read”, especially the joke about the mother with the daughter with a rash in a very uncomfortable place… also, is it me or has Jerry Seinfeld been absolutely perfect this season???

    • Craig

      Jerry was brilliant this season, and you could really see the natural chemistry between him and Larry David. It makes me wish he were a regular on the show.

      • Sean

        That should BE the show. Just Larry & Jerry talking for half an hour. That would almost be worth the price of my cable bill.

      • Nancy

        I was thinking the same thing! I wish they would do some more episodes together!

    • Peg34

      Paige, don’t you know??????? Jerry is always perfect. lol I was afraid I was going to miss his show, but thanks to reruns, can watch him every night on one of our local channels. I also got to see him at one of his stand-up shows and it was hilarious. HE CAN DO NO WRONG!!

    • Kayli

      Got it! Thaksn a lot again for helping me out!

  • Dick Hertz

    An OK episode. Not that funny, but nice to see the Seinfeld crew back together.

    On Curb, it’s always better when Larry’s the victim rather than the one antagonizing others. That was mostly the case last night.

    Having said that, I hope the show ends. It hasn’t been consistently funny since The Producers season.

  • michael ellis

    I enjoyed the Seinfeld elements, but Curb has become completely predictable — Larry gets into a disagreement with person #1 over “nothing,” gets into a fight with person #2, then person #1 gets back at Larry by helping person #2. See Christian Slater episode, women in wheelchair episode, black swan episodes, etc. Yawn. This is why I stopped watching the show a couple of years ago.

    The Seinfeld material was great, both behind-the-scenes and the show-within-the show. But LD has become completely obnoxious and unlikable. The last scene with Cheryl was especially painful. Is this his wish fulfillment for his (real life) failed marriage?

    One other random observation: LD doesn’t seem to trust the audience to follow multi-ep gags–set-ups that pay off much later. Everything is self-contained, i.e., black swan, wheelchairs, Jeff’s cheating, etc. It’s a sharp contrast to a show like Arrested Development, which really rewards long-time audiences and repeat viewings.

    LD should hang it up. Not that he cares, but I won’t be back next year.

  • dee dee

    I had a smile on my face for the entire episode. It felt like old times watching the Seinfeld “episode”. Couldn’t have loved it more…and yes..Jerry was surprisingly funny!

  • Sina

    This was one of the funniest Curb episodes. Leon should have been in it though. I loved when Larry started inspecting Susie’s table for rings stains and he pushed that book and she kicked him out. I loved during Jason’s book party how Larry and Jerry were talking about people saying “having said that” and how Jason’s book is a pamplet. I also loved when Jerry was looking into Larry eyes to see if he was lying. Also when Jerry called Larry Wood Detective. I just love this. Also Julie Louis doing her mouth the way Larry does and that’s who she knows he’s lying. I also didn’t know Jason ALexander could run that fast and jump like that. But honestly I had no NO idea Jerry was that funny. Every episode he has been in has been super funny. His facial expression, everything is so funny. ALso one of the best was when they had Larry play George. Larry and Jerry have the best chemistry. I’m still waiting for a movie with those two playing best friends or something. Larry may be back next year to play up the Native American angle since on George Lopez show he found out he was 37% Native American

    • Lois

      I loved it when Larry played George! He thought he could do it since George was based on Larry. But he was so awful, and it was hilarious.

  • Dave

    No-Con !!!! Best line of the episode.

  • Gabby

    “Do you respect wood?” and the whole “There is no way I said I was busy with beans” were classic.

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