Monday, August 15, 2011

What Would Larry David Do? Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 8 Episode 6

Wouldn't life be interesting if people acted more like Larry David does on Curb Your Enthusiasm? We all know someone who does, to a degree.. but nobody is as picky, as forward, and as brutally honest as Larry David is in Curb Your Enthusiasm. 

Larry can, and will, take an awkward situation to a complete other level of awkwardness. He'll also do the same with a scenario void of all awkwardness. For the rest of this season, I'll present some of these instances, give you a chance to think about what you would do if you were in Larry shoes, and then answer the burning question: What Would Larry David Do? 

(episode spoilers ahead)

What Would You Do
..if you're on an airplane, and the stranger directly next to you puts her drink on a napkin partially on your side of the center console.

You might say something, or most likely bite your tongue and ignore it. I don't think Larry has the capability to bite his tongue. Maybe he doesn't even have one.

What Would Larry David Do?
He doesn't hesitate to push the drink towards the woman, look at her and say one word: "Encroachment".

Awkwardness Level: 5/10
If she was put off, it would be a really cross-country flight. But it happened in kind of a flirty scene, so that brings the score down a little.


What Would You Do
..if you buy someone a bottle of wine, and they choose a $300 bottle?

This would never happen to me, but at a smaller level I'd probably be furious. I definitely wouldn't say anything to them directly, but I'd warn everyone I know not to ever buy them anything. I'm sure it would eventually make it back to them in the end, which would be exactly what I wanted. I'm more of a third party insulter, than a face-to-face one (a/k/a chicken shit).

What Would Larry David Do?
Of course he calls him out on it. Guest star, Ricky Gervais reacts by telling Larry that he didn't even look at the price, because it was a gift. This sets Larry off even more, as it would set me off. If someone is treating to dinner, I always choose the second cheapest item on the menu. I'd choose the cheapest, but I don't want to be too obvious by ordering the grilled cheese.

Awkwardness Level: 2/10
If Larry called Ricky out in the restaurant it would be much more awkward. This was later in the night, after a little bickering between the two of them. It wasn't as unexpected by then.


What Would You Do
..if you're invited to a dinner party and the host assigns seats to break up the couples and change things up a little?

I wouldn't mind as much if this was anywhere other than dinner. Eating is awkward enough, so I guess it depends on how well I knew the guests, and who I was forced to sit next to. If I was stuck at the weirdo end of the table, I'd be super upset and complaint the entire ride home. I'd also probably text my wife a bunch of times complaining about the seating.

What Would Larry David Do?
Larry takes it to a much more entertaining level when he calls out Susie and Jeff for assigning all of the cool people to sit together. It was a pretty epic callout, in front of about a dozen people including Ricky Gervais.

Awkwardness level: 7/10
Getting called out in front of your guests is pretty harsh. But it would have been much more awkward if it wasn't 100% true. Everyone at the loser end of the table knew it, and so did the people at the cool end.


Episode Recap:
Ricky Gervais is one of my favorite people ever, but I feel like he suffered from "TV Celebrity Guest Syndrome". Celebrity guests are often pretty toned down on the show, and can feel a little forced. This was definitely no different, but at least Ricky was interesting because he was playing a much more cocky version of himself. At least I would hope so. 

I loved his scarf and the classic Ricky Gervais promo push when he brought a signed Extras DVD as a dinner party gift. Ricky just felt a bit underused (comedically) but also a bit overused (screen time), and in the end his part in the show wasn't what I hoped it would be.

Although the episode felt a little slow, there is a hugely awesome ending that is up there with some of my favorite endings in the show. I would put it up there with the ending of "The Lefty Call" from Season 6, where Larry mistakes a cancer patient for a skinhead. 


Next week:
Season 8, Episode 7: The Bi-Sexual
Larry Competes with Rosie O' Donnell for the same woman, explores the nuances of Japanese bows, and refuses lunch with an L.A. acquaintance.

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