'Curb Your Enthusiasm' season premiere review: Larry David enters a new period

I didn’t realize how much I’d missed Curb Your Enthusiasm until Larry David greeted a Girl Scout who asked if he wanted to buy some cookies with a genial, “I find them abhorrent but come on in!” It was as though he was beckoning us to join him as well. Back for another season of intentional insults and carefully constructed accidents that result in Larry’s agony, Curb began its eighth season with a few superb mix-ups and at least one classic moment.

Yes, Larry was still in the process of finalizing his divorce from Cheryl (Cheryl Hines). Yes, he was still hanging out with Jeff (Jeff Garlin), and putting up with Jeff’s abrasive wife Susie (Larry to Susie, entering wearing a chic camouflage print dress: “Good afternoon, General Petraeus”). Yes, Larry was still inadvertently making life miserable for Marty Funkhouser (Bob Einstein). And, yes, Larry continues to trade in stereotypes so deeply ingrained in the character that by this point, it barely seemed offensive that our hero would simply assume that discovering his lawyer wasn’t Jewish, but merely passing as a Jew was an automatic disaster. (Nice job, Paul F. Thompkins.)

But the stand-out, ultra-Larry moment in the season opener proved to be the scene in which Larry was compelled to instruct the Girl Scout, played by Justified’s Kaitlyn Dever, how to use a tampon. Everything about the scene worked. The perfectly silly but logical set-up that ended up placing the kid behind a bathroom door as Larry shouted instructions to the 13 year-old girl getting her first period was impeccable. (This was HBO’s truest blood this week.)

David’s physical and verbal fumbling throughout the scene was that marvelous combination of half-amateur-actor, half-comedy-pro performance style that can make him funnier than comic actors far more smooth and skilled.

If David can sustain the fine asperity he mustered here for the rest of the new Curbs, we’ll have a season that might match the Seinfeld reunion episodes last season, and carry Larry to new highs of lowness.

Twitter: @kentucker

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  • devomblr.tumblr.com

    Ken, one of your funniest reviews ever. Totally agree with you!

  • Bill

    I can’t wait to see Susie’s divorce speech on youtube. It’s about time LD is back.

    • asher

      Susie’s divorce speech was freaking hilarious, love her!

    • Debra

      OMG, Susie’s divorce rant was BRILLIANT!

      • Sunshine

        I have this one on my TBR list buacese The Wednesday Wars is one of my favorite books! I can't wait to get to it.

  • Dave

    Ken, thanks for pointing out that that girl was from Justified. She looked so familiar. And I agree, that scene was great.
    I’m so happy Curb is back. The yelling match with the girl scouts was hilarious. And Susie telling Jeff what would happen if he ever mentions divorce was priceless!
    Does anyone know if Cheryl will still figure into the rest of the season? I hope we haven’t seen the last of her.

    • kate

      The Berg thing was funny too. I dated a guy whose last name was Blomberg and people always thought he was Jewish – but it was a Swedish name. He should have been a lawyer!

  • Justin

    Adore this show. So happy it’s back. Larry is just the funniest guy ever for me.

    • Kareena

      Type your cemmont You may use these HTML tags: <a> <abbr> <acronym> <b> <blockquote> <cite> <code> <del> <em> <i> <q> <strike> <strong>

  • Karl

    I 100% agree with you review KW. The bathroom scene was awesome and also, I have really large testis. Curb is gonna be GREAT this season and my butthole is fully dilated.

  • Sina

    I loved how he told Cheryl’s lawyer he can call him bald like Black people say n**** to each other. I also LOVE that Larry is still hanging out with Leon after all this time. I love Leon and Larry’s dynamic. I also love when Larry talks crazy but then when that girl scout put her foot in the door so he couldn’t close it, the scared look on his face cracked me up. And the whole General Petraeus thing was funny. And when Larry’s Swede lawyer said he desk was a “happy accident” after Larry said he has enough room under that desk to get blow jobs. I love this show.

    • Dave

      Haha, I agree about Leon. I love him, but I’m sitting there thinking, is he seriously still living with Larry!?! It’s hilarious and ridiculous! Leon has been one of the best things about the show over the last few seasons.

      • Sina

        After that episode where Larry had a tickle in his anus and people thought he put a gerbil up there, Leon said this extremely funny commemt about did the gerbil get on a elevator, push up and go into Larry’s a**. That’s when I knew it was time for Leon to stay forever even though his sister left Larry like 2 years ago!

      • Dave

        Omg, that was so funny, Sina. I think my favorite Leon moment was last season when Larry made him pretend to be some Jewish guy to talk to Michael Richard’s about Groat’s disease. I laughed so hard during that scene, I was crying. Everything I ate tasted like peaches! Danny Duberstein is good at two things – math and f***in!

      • WillFerrellStinks

        My favorite Leon moment was when Larry thought that he spotted his missing Joe Pepitone jersey on someone and Leon made the guy take it off and give it to him . That’s how I dooz it Larry , that’s how I dooz it !

    • Mortimer

      Leon is like Larry’s new Kramer.

    • Justin P.

      That “happy accident” line is hilarious.

  • kate middleton

    Oh Ken – the period scene was ANYTHING but logical. It was funny and cringe-worthy, yes, which is Curb’s wheelhouse, but certainly not logical.

    No girl ever suddenly realizes her first period has arrived and needs to address it immediately, at a strange man’s house. If that ever happened, she probably wouldn’t have realized it, but if she did, she would have been so embarassed that she never would have said anything and would have gone home to her mom for help. And no girl would ever use a tampon immediately after getting her first period. It was SO over the top and unrealistic.

    But a good, typical Curb/Larry David scene. Just don’t call it logical.

    • Bob

      That’s why it’s called a COMEDY, Ms. Stickler-for-Details!

      • jay


    • lori

      WHY do even watch!? IT”S A COMEDY SHOW FOR GODS SAKE!

    • kate middleton

      Bob and Lori – did you even read what I wrote? I said it was a typical Curb thing and it was funny. But it was not “logical”, as Ken wrote. That is my point.

      • Loosey McDrawers

        I can’t use a tampon, I have to use a sheep. I’m just sayin …

    • Karate Pants

      Kate, that bothered me too. No girl has ever felt the start of her first period. Cringeworthy indeed. Larry trying to give her tampon instructions through the door, while over the top, didn’t bother me as much as the ridiculous idea that a girl feels her first period and recognizes it as such. Pfft.
      That detail aside, I loved EVERY other last bit of this brilliantly funny premiere. Welcome back, LD!

      • kate middleton

        Thanks Karate – that is exactly my point. I love Curb and laughed a lot last night….but this scene was just too unrealistic. Larry’s at his best when he acts ridiculous in a realistic setup.

      • Tampa X Factor

        My first period was more of an exclamation mark, followed by a question mark and later a hyphen (I was a virgin). Fortunately, I was wearing the red panties my mother had laid out for me.

    • ginny

      You’re right. That scene would have been funnier if it were even a little bit plausible, but every woman knows that it was based on nonsense.

      • Shane

        Oh for crying out loud…typical wimpy Americans.
        I did indeed use a tampon for my first period, did it myself in fact, cause my mom was at work! I didn’t even tell her til like a week later cause I was proud of handling it myself.
        And while I can’t say I “felt it”, for sure I had cramps within the hour so caught it pretty much at the start.
        I think American women must be really f’in odd.

    • Prince Charles

      Oh, Kate, have you learned nothing about our royal family’s history, for it was my discussions of being a tampon for Camilla that led to our union.

    • Jim L

      Logic takes a back seat for LD – if it flows as an undercurrent in the scene that’s gravy – if it fails to achieve the suspension of disbelief – he simply overcomes it with the jokes – his objective is get the ball set up on the tee e.g. Girl Scout, LD, Period – and “bring the club head through”. trust me – I’ve golfed with him

  • Jackie D

    Larry is back!! All is right with the world again.

  • Toastie

    Just sad that seasons only last for ten episodes. Ten weeks, and then it’s gone for another a year-and-a-half!

  • RoeLuv

    **Twin beds** that’s all I’ll say

  • s2ino`

    LD is back!

  • Souvien

    when will Larry finally yank that thing off the top of Funkhouse’s head?!?

    • Melissa

      … and put it on Joey Lawrence’s head?

  • Mike

    Hilarious episode! Great to have Curb back.

  • PurrPrincess

    Thank you ONE PERSON for saying that whole period set up was completely ridic. I totally agree and said, “I can tell a guy wrote this episode” to my bf as soon as it started. In fact, I thought the whole girl scout story didn’t really work.

    The rest was a good ep, that first part just kind of annoyed me. We’ll see how the rest go..

    • Justin P.

      I can understand why you didn’t thing the period thing worked. But, why not the girl scout part? Larry agrees to buy 5 boxes of each type to impress the owner of the Dodgers. Once he and the Dodgers owner have a falling out, he refused to buy the cookies. And, then, the whole crew tries to get him to buy the cookies.

    • kate middleton

      YES. Finally someone who agrees with me. I think the show is hilarious, but that scene was just too unrealistic. The thing that makes it funny is when Larry is in a realistic situation and takes it too far – that one would have never happened. I was cringing the whole time and had to explain the my husband why it was so unrealistic.

  • zee

    prettay prettay prettay good! Love Susie and her vile mouth…why can’t we have Curb all-year round?

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