TV Review: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sky Comedy

When Sky launched its dedicated comedy channel Sky Comedy recently they screened an episode of new show The Righteous Gemstones starring John Goodman. But for me the jewel in the Sky Comedy crown is HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is now back for its tenth series. And if anything Larry David's character – called Larry David – is slightly more irascible and inappropriate than ever.

Not that much has changed actually, there is no major character development or emotional arc, it's just Larry getting into regular spats with his friends and colleagues. There is some useful advice though. Larry teaches us about the "Big Goodbye" – when you've avoided someone at a party make up for it by giving them a grand farewell. Unfortunately for Larry, when he tries it it spectacularly backfires.

Elsewhere he gets into a feud with Mocha Joe, who has just opened a new cafe. When things escalate over the quality of a scone Larry is banned, so he decides to take his revenge by opening a rival cafe, Larry's Lattes, next door. It could end in tears, but will probably end in laughs.

Perhaps inevitably, the major laughs come from Trump and #metoo storylines. Our misanthropic anti-hero realises that he can keep people he doesn't like away from him simply by wearing a red Make America Great Again baseball cap. And at a cocktail party he eyes up the pigs in blankets tray so much the waitress accuses him of harrassment. Larry ends up making an accidental boob-grab that is straight out of the Basil Fawlty playbook, but still reasonably funny.

There are moments where his hatred of humanity is a little too contrived. Does he have to kick over rental scooters and snap strangers' selfies? I prefer it when he just digs a hole for himself by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong place to the wrong person. There is plenty of that too, of course, as well as a potentially fruitful love rat subplot involving Cheryl (Cheryl Hines) while her boyfriend Ted Danson is away. All in all, it's good to have bad Larry back.

Tuesdays, 9pm, Sky Comedy.

 

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