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"The Divorce" hangs over Curb Your Enthusiasm

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Written by : published Monday 11th July 2011

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     HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm begins its eighth season with the episode "The Divorce." Yep, that's right. Larry (Larry David) and Cheryl (Cheryl Hines) finally call it quits many months after season seven ends, though "The Divorce" does begin with the fight shown in the previous season finale. Larry is in good shape once he hires a fantastic lawyer (Paul F. Tompkins). But, of course, the series cannot allow Larry to win, so after finding out the lawyer only implies that he is Jewish, Larry replaces him with an incompetent moron who gives the house to Cheryl. Funkhouser (Bob Einstein) is inspired by Larry, the divorce, not the lawyer mistake, and decides to end his own boring union. Larry angers a troop of girl scouts when, after a falling out with one of their fathers (Gary Cole, The Good Wife, Entourage), he tries to cancel his cookie order.

      Divorce hangs heavy in "The Divorce," but rather than be a bad thing, it is celebrated. Larry and Cheryl manage to remain friends, and are happy they will no longer be together. Funkhouser embraces the freedom from his boring union. Even Jeff (Jeff Garlin) wishes to end his marriage, but his wife, Susie (Susie Essman) would make the process far too painful for him to seriously consider it. Why does Curb Your Enthusiasm embrace such a bleak outlook? Perhaps it is the central character's attitude that influences the most. While Larry loves Cheryl, he tends to roll with the punches, and stay relatively happy. He gets frustrated, but his belief that he almost always right usually keeps him from being too upset. With Larry getting divorced, rather than have the character sink into sad depression, he weathers it as he does everything else.

     The humor comes from the problems that Larry gets himself into. These problems fall into one of two categories: misunderstandings, and the things he brings on himself with his inability to let anything go. "The Divorce" has examples of each. Firmly in the misunderstanding category is the disagreement Larry has with the girl scout's father. While at Larry's house to sell him cookies, the girl (Kaitlyn Dever, Justified) begins her first period. Larry assists her to the best of his ability, while also keeping a door between them. Her father doesn't understand what happens, and so he denies Larry box seats to a sporting event.

     From there, things go into the Larry's fault side. Larry decides that if he's not on good terms with the girl's father, and not getting the favor he desires, he won't do any favors back. He cancels his cookie order, which the girl scouts are flummoxed by. It goes from bad to worse when not just three girl scouts, but a whole troop of them show up at his door. Larry trying to close the door on a bunch of angry young girls is hilarious!

     Larry's divorce problems are also his own fault, since he fires a perfectly competent lawyer to prove a point. This backfires, and Larry ends up with no home, as does Leon (J.B. Smoove), who still lives with Larry. It would not be a good episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm unless the ending was not in Larry's favor, and having twenty-four hours to vacate his home certainly isn't. It will be very interesting to see what happens next.

     Curb Your Enthusiasm airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.

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About the author JeromeWetzelTV


Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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