Seinfeld Reunion on Curb Your Enthusiasm - Finale Chatcast

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Seinfeld Reunion on Curb Your Enthusiasm - Finale Chatcast

Matt: should we do this?

Jaclyn: yes
i have a couple thoughts too
i actually have one big huge thought
 
Matt: just a couple? i can't stop having thoughts
ok, shoot

Jaclyn: alright
larry tries to change the ending
and argues that if george gets back with his wife
it's not a "seinfeldy" ending

Matt: right - "we don't do endings like that"

Jaclyn: but the cast likes the happy ending
so they go with that
the seinfeldy ending that larry wanted
was HIS ending with cheryl so he 1) in a way, gave "people" what they wanted by doing the happy ending in the seinfeld
and 2) gave himself what he wanted by unhappy ending it and giving curb a seinfeld ending

Matt: that's true, even though he can only stick with the functionality of the happy ending - he and cheryl do get back together - but not the actual happiness, as larry immediately goes into the "wood detective" routine
but something just occurred to me:
the point that couples don't get back together in real life is a reference to his actual wife

Jaclyn: it's not clear that they are getting back together no?
 
Matt: yes, it is clear. but he can't even be happy about it long enough to give her a real kiss

Jaclyn: it seems like it could be an undoing

Matt: what do you mean?

Jaclyn: i mean

Matt: that they don't end up staying together, again

Jaclyn: you think cheryl wants to be with him after that?

Matt: ?

Jaclyn: and they just fall back into everything
i'd walk out on his ass

Matt: absolutely
 
Jaclyn: not that what i do is a barometer for anything that happens on curb
 
Matt: haha
 
Jaclyn: he fucked it up

Matt: with that end scene about the ring? you think he should have just ended it with a kiss and them being happy together?

Jaclyn: no
he fucked up the getting back together
ending with a ring is perfect
 
Matt: you think they should have stayed apart?

Jaclyn: it undoes everything he's been trying to do all season
because his head gets in the way

Jaclyn: but i'm not saying that they aren't back together
i think it's a form of going back to the beginning
that parallel the real seinfeld finale larry has come full circle
so, even though the cast wouldn't let him has his seinfeld-esque ending for the seinfeld reunion
he got to the have that ending anyway for the curb season finale
i think it's larry getting to have it both ways

Matt: that's a really interesting point
he really gets to discuss the possible endings, with a nod to real life as well. for me, one of the most telling lines in the episode was when he says that "real life couples don't get back together." perhaps a nod to his real life wife

Jaclyn: i think we even discussed that at the start of the season. that the entire project was an attempt to get his real life wife back
 
Matt: yeah, though i'm not sure anymore one of the scenes that i found most interesting was the bit with fake jason's book about acting. he talks about destroying the mechanism that you see, right? acting without acting. that's larry's take on curb
it's artifice, really. you can't see the mechanism, but it's all fake
i think there's a lot of subtext about larry's view of his life and career there

Jaclyn: so it's larry using jason as a foil, which is fascinating because larry generally uses george as a foil
 
Matt: and there's a lot of confusion on that front too
i mean, the heart of it is larry telling cheryl that she isn't in love with jason, she's in love with george, ie larry
and larry doing an impression of jason doing an impression of larry as george
absolutely mind-bendingly genius

Jaclyn: that was genius by the way
  ha!

Matt: agreed!
and, jason does an impression of larry too. when larry is watching the show, in the diner scene, jason does a "pretty good" in larry's style

Jaclyn: RIGHT
that was hilarious

Matt: yeah, and there's something more to the larry playing george scene, i think, vis a vis curb
it's the "ii'll do it myself" bit that struck me. maybe that's all curb is - larry is now playing george. b/c george is based on larry, he can call the character larry, but it's really george we've been watching on curb all this time

Jaclyn: woah
i was also thinking about jerry, jason, julia, and michael as envisioned by larry
because jason is gross
michael is quirky and bizarre
julia is kind of on the side lines
and jerry is commenting on it all
he sort of paralleled them to their characters

Matt: jason is also kind of evil
yeah, with slight connection to their real lives.

Jaclyn: the michael richards thing was hilarious

Matt: in "the table read" the whole bit about michael having groat's is really about his incident in the nightclub. when he says to larry that he's not sure if he can be funny with "this thing" hanging over his head, he's not talking about groat's, he's talking about the incident

Jaclyn: the reference to his use of the n-word

Matt: right, and the blatant "i'm sorry" he gives to leon when he first shows up as duberstein

Jaclyn: we are saying the same things at the same time

Matt: yeah, it's gonna be really easy for our readers to follow

Jaclyn: they'll think we did it on purpose :)
are we larry being larry or larry being george?

Matt: i think you were supposed to type "what readers?"
tough call

Jaclyn: ohhhhhhhh

Matt: snap
um

Jaclyn: i told you, i'm hungover
anyway

Matt: yeah, you did

Jaclyn: what do you make of cheryl
telling jason that his book is a pamphlet
is it a suggestion that she and larry are similar

Matt: it's proof they belong together, she and larry

Jaclyn: and belong together in the end?
ha!

Matt: i think so
and that she's just as culpable in all of the scrapes.
what's interesting to me is the (near) love triangle between larry, jerry and cheryl. or rather, the way larry is torn between them.
jerry says that they used to be like brothers - "twins in the womb" - but larry still won't tell him about his desire for cheryl. at the same time, he has a much easier time with jerry, it's more relaxed, their chemistry is more effortless. and i think the show has been much more watchable because of jerry's presence

Jaclyn: i think so too
and it creates a nostalgia for seinfeld
even though larry wasn't "in" seinfeld
i was also intrigued
by how effortless it seemed to be for them to create a reunion that was right on target and timely
i mean, the george plotline
is perfect
it made me feel like they could just up and start the show again

Matt: i completely agree about that, the madoff stuff, elaine and the blackberry, it doesn't miss a beat
i do wish that they had shown a little more of the mechanism of the reunion show, though
i mean, there's the episode that begins with larry on the plane with the dude wearing shorts and i mentioned before how that moment recalled several seinfeld moments
however, it also ends up on their idea board for the reunion - you can read "no shorts on plane" behind jerry's desk in their office. but we don't get to see that turn into material for the show and i would have liked that.
i think what it shows is that they're not really pulling back the proverbial curtain

Jaclyn: interesting
they showed us NONE of the writing process
except the fact that jerry and larry were collaborating
what do you make of the reoccurring issue of larry with the tipping
i think in every episode this season
there was a tipping issue
or a bill paying issue
is that true throughout every season?
it's annoying
i think it makes larry look more annoying than larry in seinfeld mode
or more curb more annoying than seinfeld
which is true
but it seemed so ridiculous after awhile
his fight with rosie - that would never happen
and the thing with jason
that's not something anyone has heard of

Matt: i agree that it was a little overbearing, all the tipping issues

Jaclyn: seinfeld issues are things that people can connect with
you can't connect with larry

Matt: yes, the rosie thing is out there, but i'm not sure i agree that the tipping issues are more curb than seinfeld, i think the reverse.
for me, the essential difference between larry on curb and george on seinfeld is that one actively causes issues (larry) while one is more put-upon (george). as i've said before, i'm not absolving george of all guilt, but he's kicked around a lot
the tipping is the same sort of thing - the maitre d' totally steals larry's money at the magazine stand! larry doesn't do anything and then the maitre d' expects more money when he seats larry the next time. it's nuts. it's the insane rules of a mean world
the same is true for the extra line at the club, it's confusing and problematic and the owner of the club agrees at the end and larry tells him to bump the forced gratuity to 25% when he was gonna do 20%.
so, yes, obviously tipping is something that really bothers larry, but he's been more wrong about it in previous seasons, like the time he added to someone else's tip and completely overstepped his bounds

Jaclyn: but what about the one where larry wants to discuss the tipping with jason?
that's pure invention
that's an argument that no one on the planet would have
"what should we do, 20%?" "sure"
done
i'd agree with you on the Mocha Joe one
maybe it's just general commentary on how tipping in our society has become expected and routine
as opposed to something extra for outstanding service
            
Matt: well that's certainly true
vis a vis the show's take on tipping

Jaclyn: i suppose i meant that it was curb than seinfeld in that i found it irritating
i never have found seinfeld irritating
curb is generally irritating
then you get a jerry and larry interraction, e.g., "having said that"

Matt: very true

Jaclyn: and you think "THIS is how it should be"
jeeez, jerry just needs to join the cast

Matt: i completely agree, and that leads me to what i think is my final question: where does curb go from here?

Jaclyn: i was thinking that myself
this should have been curb's grand finale
it would be perfect

Matt: i totally agree
 
Jaclyn: like i said, a sort of starting from the beginning

Matt: it would have really given weight to the talk about the seinfeld finale as well
i think there's really only one place for curb to go:
larry decides he's ready to work again and launches a project with himself as the star
the last episode of curb is that show's first day of shooting

Jaclyn: oooh
larry decides he wants to do a show about larry david's daily life

Matt: right, something like that
in a way, the triumph of the seinfeld reunion is a better impetus than the real life failure of the seinfeld finale as per a reason to get back to work

Jaclyn: i love it
actually, i wish it weren't an entire season
it should be the final episode of this season of curb
larry's first episode of a curb-esque show

Matt: you're right, it doesn't seem like there's much left in that tank. and, he's taken curb to such a height with these last two episodes, the only way to sustain it is with something equally meta

Jaclyn: otherwise it seems like it will just flop
or be derivated and repetitive
derivative

Matt: right
how can we go back to watching larry stomp around LA with jeff getting into trouble?
i have to say, the absence of jeff was kinda nice.

Jaclyn: he is so much better with the short little pop up moments
"you gotta say i was in a car accident"
"i said that they were YOUR panties"
awesome

Matt: that was amazing
it's interesting how jeff is unabashedly and basically off-handedly amoral. he's a good friend, but he's the worst husband in the world. he cheats on his wife three to four times each season
he's the only character in the larry david universe who cheats, i think. the only exception i can think of right now is marcie, the girl who george is dating when she "yada yadas" sex with her ex-boyfriend

Jaclyn: i think that's true
george didn't even cheat susan
though he tried i suppose

Matt: susan is someone who i'm surprised we haven't talked about.
george goes back to her and wants her back the same way he wants amanda and larry wants cheryl. and we know how that ended for her

Jaclyn: right, though not the same way: not subtley, or sneakily
larry didn't do the george
i also LOVED that cheryl heard larry in her car with the tinted windows

Matt: yeah, it's a great moment. he doesn't have the ulterior motive that george does for getting back with amanda - his money - he just legitimately loves cheryl
it was an almost touching moment
i would dare say it's the least curb-y moment of the whole show

Jaclyn: awww larry shows that he has a loving side

Matt: it's almost out of place in the curb universe

Jaclyn: is it the REAL larry david showing through?

Matt: that's the question, isn't it?
does he truly love his ex-wife and want her back? or is he maybe talking about seinfeld in that moment?

Jaclyn: his love is for seinfeld, not his ex-wife?

Matt: i don't know, maybe not. maybe both and maybe not either. but there's a lot of sadness there for a time that's long gone by this point, he could just as easily be talking about the years he worked on seinfeld as the years of his marriage, i think
but, either way, i don't think i could have asked for more from these last two episodes. larry david really delivered

Jaclyn: completely agree
intellectually rigorous and laugh-out-loud funny
two thumbs up :)

Matt: completely agree
till next time?

Jaclyn: indeed!

5 Comments

  • 1

    You guys really think Larry and Cheryl got back together? I didn't get that at all. He totally blew it with the ring on the wood table thing. George gets back with Amanda, but Larry and Cheryl don't get back together because that's the ending Larry wanted. Curb is Larry David un-compromised and he wanted an un-happy ending.

  • 2

    People discuss what they're going to tip when a group splits a bill all the time. "that's an argument that no one on the planet would have " You must have some secretive friends.

  • 3

    Thanks for the comment Kitten Mittons, but I don't think you're right about Larry and Cheryl not staying together; though obviously this is all conjecture, to me it seemed that she was settling back into the old rhythm of her life with Larry and had committed to it. Otherwise, she would have walked out, right? Instead, she settled into the couch, refusing to call Julia, but not leaving.

    As for the notion of the happy ending, as Jaclyn and I discussed, there's an element of having it both ways there, and Larry even admits that the original happy ending for the reunion show (George and Amanda getting back together) is the better ending. So, Larry gets to have the happy ending (he and Cheryl get back together) but in a way that is still true to his worldview (they argue about the water stain on the wood).

    What does anyone else think? Are Larry and Cheryl back together or have they remained broken up? The floor is open.

  • 4

    i think it is in true seinfeldy/curb style to have fucked up the kiss with a glass ring comment at the end. i think that curb like any other show coming back for another season is doing their version of a cliffhanger. clearly cheryl will be back but in what capacity.....we will stay tuned.

  • 5

    Good call, Caren. It's a total cliffhanger.

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