TV show revivals are almost always a bad idea. Shows such as “24: Legacy” and “Fuller House” prove that, but “Seinfeld” creator Larry David makes an exception to the rule with the return of his semi-improvised sitcom “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Fans of the series were excited but skeptical when HBO announced in October that “Curb” would be returning for a ninth season after being off the air since 2011.
Many questioned how David could bring the same magic that made the show so special for eight cherished seasons. Series regulars Jeff Garlin, J.B. Smoove, Susie Essman, Cheryl Hines and Richard Lewis all made their return and the cast did not miss a beat in returning to their roles.
Guest appearances including Bryan Cranston and Lin-Manuel Miranda were entertaining and added a lot more to the overarching plot than I expected. Once I heard the classic theme song, all the nostalgia hit me and my fears and skepticisms were washed away — “Curb” was back.
In the show, David plays a version of himself where he faces the annoyances of society and deals with them in his own way, often leading to bigger predicaments. The show is known for awkward social situations and uncomfortable comedy that finds itself being very relatable.
The ninth season revolves around David creating “Fatwa! The Musical”, inspired by the years that author Salman Rushdie spent in hiding after supreme religious leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, called for his death in 1989. The plot takes a twist when David goes on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” to promote his new musical just to have the show’s modern day Ayatollah issue a fatwa on him for writing the musical.
While the season revolves around the death sentence set on David, it is the smaller sub-plots sprinkled into the show that make the ninth season work so well. Highlights of the season include “The Pickle Gambit” where David constructs a whole episode based on people’s urge to open a pickle jar, and “The Accidental Text on Purpose” where he claims to be the inventor of accidentally texting someone to solve an issue. These are the moments that really make up the identity of the series.
The final episodes of season nine focus on David getting rid of the death sentence and going on to create “Fatwa! The Musical” with the help of Lin-Manuel Miranda. The finale clocks in at 45 minutes which is double the usual runtime, but the show does a good job in tying up all the loose ends.
There are rarely dull moments on screen, and as soon as you feel like David is changing into a more sympathetic person, he finds a way to turn back into his uncaring self.
David impressively stays true to his character even after being off the air for six years. He is still a man who plays by his own rules without ever giving it a second thought, and because of that audiences continue to cherish him.
HBO has yet to pick up “Curb your Enthusiasm” for another season, but executive producer Jeff Schaffer has stated that “That final scene was built to be the last scene ever of Curb, until it’s not.”