Arts & Entertainment

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” Returns Strong After Six-Year Hiatus

Courtesy of HBOJimmy Kimmel (left) is the first celebrity guest to appear in the new season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

After six long years, HBO’s sorely missed comedy “Curb Your Enthusiasm” returned with its ninth season premiere on Oct. 1.

In 2011, the popular series took an indefinite hiatus, but announced its return in 2016. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” comes from the mind of “Seinfeld” co-creator, writer and producer, Larry David, who also stars in the show.

The show pushes “Seinfeld”-style dissection of daily social etiquette even further, resulting in David’s string of awkward social confrontations that viewers will either find hilarious or uncomfortable to watch.

The season debuted with a fantastic episode that will have fans thrilled that it’s returned. The premiere, entitled “Foisted!,” follows David’s fictional appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” where he accidentally insults an Ayatollah, a high-ranking expert in Islamic law.

The new episode addressed something “Curb Your Enthusiasm” fans had been wondering for years: Will the show be different with today’s sensitivity to political correctness? For the most part, the answer is no. David and company have brought back everything that die-hard followers of the show love, including David’s well-intentioned mishandling of sensitive issues such as race and sexuality.

Part of the brilliance of David as an artist is his ability to address such difficult, complex and taboo topics in clever and inoffensive ways. He made his career doing this with “Seinfeld,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” only continues this legacy.

His deft hand is put on display in the opening scene of the new season, when David is accused of not holding a door for a woman because she has short hair and wears a tie and pants. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is a show of confrontations, so naturally he and the woman proceed to have an argument over David’s poor door-holding etiquette. The interaction is the perfect way to invite fans of the show back into the style of comedy they fell in love with when it first premiered in 2000.

David goes on to interact with more fan-favorite characters throughout the episode, including Leon Black (J.B. Smoove), Richard Lewis, Jeff (Jeff Garlin) and Susie Greene (Susie Essman). The dialogue between them is loose and casual — as those familiar with the show would expect. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is almost completely improvised, aside from the detailed plot treatments David writes for each episode. The brilliant dialogue is born from the talent of the comedians riffing on-screen, and their chemistry is as tight as ever. The actors make each other laugh while filming, but the cameras keep on rolling, leading to some infectiously funny improvised banter.

As the return of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” continues, audiences should be glued to their screens awaiting the socially complicated situations in which David will find himself. The new season will have a multiple-episode arc that deals with David’s relationship with the Ayatollah, as was established in the Oct. 1 premiere. This gives fans another reason to tune in to the show every Sunday night. With a new season begun, Larry David has returned to his form of comedic brilliance and shows us how to step back and laugh at ourselves amid our turbulent times.

A new episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” premieres every Sunday at 10 p.m. on HBO.

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