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'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Recap: 'The Black Swan'

Andrew Payne Andrew Payne
November 2nd, 2009 8:20am EST
Curb Your EnthusiasmLarry David is a man after my own heart. After a wildly uneven episode during which he tried to do too much with his series, David took "Curb Your Enthusiasm" in a far more streamlined direction with an episode as tight as last week's was loose and as focuses as last week's was scattered.

In "The Black Swan", David told one simple story that revolved around a topic as lovely and plain as one could find. The glorious game. Golf.

And like golf, Larry showed how one misstep can throw a whole life awry. Much as one loose shot can throw a whole round down the crapper. This false move came when his cousin (Richard Kind) decided he wanted well-cooked onions, thus delaying their morning tee time and putting them behind the club's most plodding foursome.

From there, Larry inadvertently killed the slowest of the slow players, killed the club owner's swan, offended the engraver of her mother's headstone and ruined the wake of his unintentional victim. And, in the end, this all came together in one simple carving that referred to Larry in eternal etching as "A Swan Killer" for all, including the club owner, to plainly see.

This episode, much like this season's instant classic "Denise Handicapped" was a study in how comedy is always best when it's kept simple. David took no wild divergences in this episode, went to no distracting lengths to finish a joke, instead he followed one basic series of events that kept getting worse as he failed and failed at making up for some wrong or keeping his nearly insane bits of snark to himself.

Of course, it wasn't all insane, and that's why Larry David is a man after my own heart. His, and his friends', at-all-costs attempted avoidance of getting stuck behind slow players is one of the greatest truths this social satire has ever unleashed. In some respects, David's murderous rant would not be seen as enough of a punishment for this ball-searching hacker who failed to advance his Titleist beyond his shadow as golf carts remained motionless behind.

There is nothing more frustrating, no agony greater for the weekend duffer than being stuck in a quagmire behind fairway criss-crossers who still line up their shot like they're Tiger Woods going down the stretch at a major.

Yes, Larry David, I thank you for so wonderfully capturing the rage of those who've suffered at the hands of the slow-player and showing the kind of disaster their inconsiderate play can wreak.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Image © Home Box Office



Andrew Payne
Story by Andrew Payne

Starpulse contributing writer