In the season 8 finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David (played by Larry David, naturally) sparked a rivalry with his neighbor Michael J. Fox and got into some trouble when he gave Jennifer’s (Ana Gasteyer) 7-year-old son a sewing machine, thinking he was “pre-gay.” After Michael J. Fox attempted to extend an olive branch by inviting Larry to a benefit, Larry quickly made up an excuse and said he would be out of town. All ended with Larry in France arguing with a man in French about his parking skills. Six years later, the Curb crew hasn’t missed a beat in the season 9 premiere with Larry continuing his people-hating ways with panache and cantankerous hilarity.
The episode titled “Foisted!” disregards Larry’s escape to France at the end of season 8 and goes straight into his misadventures with topics that are hotter than they were six years ago. He gives his unsolicited opinion on a same-sex marriage and plans a musical about the Salman Rushdie and the Ayotollah called Fatwa!. He also attempts to foist (hence the title of the ep) his disabled assistant (guest star Carrie Brownstein) onto Susie (Susie Essman) while Leon (J.B. Smoove) steps in to replace her. All the moving parts of this season premiere prove that nothing has changed for TV’s favorite misanthrope.
Curb Your Enthusiasm is appropriately back to form with its inappropriateness and it feels like it pushes the envelope with Fatwa!, his lack of sympathy for same-sex couples, and his eagerness to get rid of his disabled assistant — but it isn’t. There’s a feeling of cringe-worthy anxiety that reverberates through the episode that’s exhausting. Even when it seems like he is helping people, it’s wildly off-putting. Everything he does in the episode is offensive but enjoyable; inappropriate, yet appropriate, and unwelcomed but accepted — which would probably explain why the episode was titled “Foisted!” Nonetheless, this episode plants a seed for the ninth season which will grow with Curb-brand offensiveness — and fans will eat up.
In addition to Essman and Smoove, the episode saw the return of regulars Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines, and Richard Lewis. Ted Danson also returns as himself while Mary Steenburgen is just mentioned, but is sure to return later on in the season (the two are on their way to a divorce in the episode). Jimmy Kimmel, who plays himself, is the man responsible for foisting the inept assistant on to him while Julie Goldman and Nasim Pedrad play the lesbian couple that Larry pisses off.
There’s a lot going on in this episode, but it’s just a friendly reminder just exactly how horrible the character of Larry is. He’s just doing and saying what decent human beings are thinking — and why audiences love him for it.