***In Lexington, if you subscribe to HBO, it can be found on channel 70 (satellite), 700 (digital cable), and 952 (high definition cable).***
Last night’s episode of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm finds Larry (Larry David) meeting a very nice girl named Jane (Amy Landecker, Dan in Real Life). The two are mutually attracted to each other, but as Larry soon finds out, Jane has a similar connection with Rosie O’Donnell (playing herself). Rosie and Larry are soon competing over the bi-sexual woman. Also, Larry blows off an acquaintance for lunch, resulting in the man ending up hospitalized after choking with no one around to help him.
Larry and Rosie have amazing chemistry. Curb Your Enthusiasm works because Larry brings in people who are his equals, comedically, and usually puts them in the right in any argument. The beauty of “The Bi-Sexual” is that neither Larry nor Rosie should win. They begin to treat the beautiful Jane as a prize, possibly caring more about winning against each other, as they begin to see it as a competition of man vs. lesbian for all women, than actually being with her. Which is too bad, because she’s a great match for Larry, and they really do seem to click. Though, given Larry’s hangups, it would never last long-term.
A running gag throughout “The Bi-Sexual” is comparing baseball to dating. Larry wins Jane over from Rosie completely when he “juices,” meaning, takes Viagra. Jane feels like Larry is cheating when she learns this, as an avid baseball fan, and still very sensitive about the whole steroid scandal. Plus, Rosie takes Jane to a ball game on their date, Jane goes with Larry to a baseball museum, and Larry and Rosie compete in a softball league. As such, the connections are strong in the comparison.
It is interesting, however, that while Larry is only in town for a few months, and it is an unplanned trip, that Larry is on a softball team. There are jerseys and everything, so it’s not just a casual game among friends in the park. How does Larry integrate himself so quickly into the social calendar of the city? Is this how the rich and famous live? At home wherever they go because of their connections? Must be nice.
Not really sure what that second plot about the man choking adds to “The Bi-Sexual.” While it is not unusual for Curb Your Enthusiasm to juggle a couple of plots in a single episode, the B story felt forced in, and never ends up having hardly any connection to the A story, unlike in most of the series. As such, while it is a somewhat funny situation, the show would have been better off to leave it out until it could mesh more fluidly into another episode.
On a final note, Larry’s pairing with Leon (J.B. Smoove, ‘Til Death) is a match made in heaven. Smoove has been on Curb Your Enthusiasm for several seasons now, but as Leon travels to the city to reconnect with Larry this week, their chemistry becomes obvious all over again. They have a scene where they discuss bi-sexuality, and as they compete and insult each other, both enjoying the exchange immensely, it’s hard not to be caught up in the fun. While from two seemingly drastically different worlds, Leon and Larry have a deep friendship that transcends the short time they’ve known each other. Soul mates, indeed.
Curb Your Enthusiasm airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.
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Article first published as TV Review: Curb Your Enthusiasm – “The Bi-Sexual” on Blogcritics.