Seinfeld Reunion on Curb Your Enthusiasm - Chatcast 1

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Seinfeld Reunion on Curb Your Enthusiasm - Chatcast 1

Matt: hi. do you have a free moment?

Jaclyn: sure

Matt: i watched curb last night

Jaclyn: congrats!

Matt: awww, thanks
here's what we can do re: discussion, some ideas i had...
we can do some sort of joint thing, like emails back and forth on the subject as it's occurring
or we can do that, but wait until the arc ends ends
or, we can wait until it ends and record a podcast, of course based on the pretense that our podcast capabilities will be up to snuff in a month
or, we could just talk about it and bag the idea of using it as material for a steve's word column

Jaclyn: hmmmm
i'm wondering if it's something that should be looked at all at once, at the end, or whether we should do it show by show
do you have many thoughts on the first one?

Matt: some

Jaclyn: i found it mind-blowing conceptually
it was so postmodern :)

Matt: it really was, although in a certain way it was post-postmodern, too
since "curb" already is postmodern
and since seinfeld was modern, there's a really interesting thing happening here
ok, here's one thing i thought was interesting: the unabashedness with which larry david is george costanza is discussed. we all knew it was true, but     that it's so blatantly stated is interesting, especially alexander's line in one of the fantasy sequences that he "can't do it as good as you"

Jaclyn: right so all i kept thinking about is
we know george is larry
george is a stylized larry
which makes you start thinking about how larry is playing a stylized version of himself
SO
larry is playing a stylized version of himself trying to get back together with his ex-wife, via a vehicle in which he gets jason to play a stylized version of larry (george) trying to get back his ex
and THAT is what blew my mind

Matt: right, it's like a fractal or an infinite regression or something

Jaclyn: yeah if i was high i would have flipped out

Matt: totally

Jaclyn: like, what if larry, in real life, is just a really normal guy?
he could be
the whole thing could be invented
though i doubt it

Matt: or he could really be trying to get his ex-wife back

Jaclyn: right!
and you are right about the unabashedness, but it's also interesting that it's just a given. he expects us to know. a head nod to the fact that his fans are his seinfeld fans

Matt: sorry for the delay, got caught up in something
but, yeah, it's totally obvious now
what's interesting about that is that larry david in curb causes a lot more problems than george caused in seinfeld. i mean, yeah george is a jerk and gets into scrapes and such, but he's also very much the victim of a mean world, this is totally epitomized in "the andria doria" - the episode when george tells the "astonishing tales of costanza" to get an apartment, which he gets screwed out of anyway. larry david on curb, on the other hand, is often the perpetrator of his own demise. yes, it's true that LA offers its share of cretins (like ted danson and the evil weatherman), but there's something more active on his part here, right?
 one other thing from the first episode that was really striking was the talk about making up for the finale. that was really interesting, i thought.

Jaclyn: i was going to bring that up
i don't know how i felt about that
i mean, it's a head nod, again
but i LOVE the finale
and i think true seinfeld lovers do too
but that could just be me

Matt: no, i completely agree. i think it's perfect.
but, how 'bout trying on this theory: curb your enthusiasm has been larry david's attempt to undo the seinfeld finale all along

Jaclyn: woah
don't you feel like real larry would love his ending?

Matt: i guess, but there are a lot of similarities to the seinfeld finale and the premise of curb, don't you think? i mean, replace jail with LA, right?

Jaclyn: yeah, that's interesting
he thinks who he is fine
he makes no effort to be different
his entire life is one repetition of him doing exactly what he wants

Matt: yeah

Jaclyn: so it is a different form of the kind endlessness that the finale presents

Matt: and there's a really appropriate-seeming nihilism to comparing "real life" to life behind bars

Jaclyn: especially his

Matt: right
there's definitely something here

Jaclyn: i definitely think so
sorry my gchat got f'd

Matt: no problem, i've been in and out too

Jaclyn: i have a feeling
that the reunion never happens
and the thing is
if larry david is being serious
that is exactly what should occur
it shouldn't have almost been cancelled already - you know, the offending the head of the network thing

Matt: yeah, he definitely teased that outcome. or maybe foreshadowed.

Jaclyn: at the very least, i don't think we see the reunion

Matt: i think you're right. which is another bit of post-modernism, since we actually have already seen it

Jaclyn: it's genius
the other thing i meant to mention
is the notion that jerry/jason/julia, etc
they are all playing larry's vision of who they are
so that's another thing
they are reacting to a reunion the way he wants them to
and more they all think he's as annoying/insane as everyone else on the show
for a second, i'd almost expect them all to, for example, be on his side about the head of the studio
and then i realize they aren't the seinfeld characters, they are the actors
but then you realize they aren't the actors either
i mean, does larry david understand how intellectually rigorous all this is? or is he just doing what he likes

Matt: that's a great question. it really should be the overall question that we're trying to answer, i think.
i think on a certain level, he must be aware of both elements - that it is intellectually rigorous and mind-bendingly postmodern, but also that it's a reunion that has a specific point - to get ratings for his show by glaming off of a more popular show

Jaclyn: right - his second show about nothing needs Something so that it can move forward, just like his first show about nothing

Matt: but it needs a lot more something, right? i mean, in general, curb has needed larger plot elements a lot more than seinfeld did - the restaurant, the producers, the blacks. now the reunion. the only thing in seinfeld that kind of compares is the stuff with their pilot and maybe, maybe, george's impending wedding to susan

Jaclyn: right and the wedding is background not foreground
i mean the blacks moving in
i have to say i didn't watch much of that season
because it seemed too absurd
i don't know, maybe that's similar to what you were saying about larry being actively annoying vs. george being a bit of a victim
maybe it's heightened absurdity
seinfeld on crack

Matt: exactly
ok, so now that we've ascertained that there's a lot to talk about, how should we do this? should i just post this g-chat and then we'll chat again after each episode, or do you wanna craft emails that we can send back and forth?

Jaclyn: i kind of like the chat idea
totally unedited, this is what we thought
unless i said dumb-ass shit

Matt: ok, let's keep the chat format but include a little face-saving editing, if needed.
also, let's end with what you wrote above

Jaclyn: i was going to say that!
to put that in too :)

Matt: or maybe we should end with what i'm typing right now

Jaclyn: yes, i like that, it mimics the curb postmodernism
did we edit or didn't we?
[but seriously, leave out the line in which i typed a smiley face]

Matt: [ok, no problem. i'll send you the edited doc when i copy and paste and fix all the spacing and shit. not gonna fix too many typos, though, it's gotta seem as real as possible]

Jaclyn: [agreed. i love it]

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