TV Discussion: Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 8 Episode 3 – “Palestinian Chicken”

Oh, Larry. The favorite lamentation of fans of HBO‘s Curb Your Enthusiasm.  This past weekend’s episode spurned an outcry of the phrase as Larry played “social assassin” in several situations.  After being identified as a social assassin, Larry is proud to play martyr in multiple scenarios.

First is Mart Funkhouser and his new found commitment to Judaism.  He takes every word of his Rabbi as the letter of the law, always wearing his yarmulke, which makes Jeff and Larry laugh.  They must tread lightly though, they need Funkhouser to play in an important gold tournament that they’ve won together for five years in a row.  In preparation, they meet up for a dinner party of all the players, their wives, and Jeff and Suzie’s daughter Sammy, which perturbs Larry to no end as he constantly goes on with “Who brings a child to an adult dinner party?”

Of course, this quickly comes to bite him in the ass when he tells an off-color joke just to make the point.  When everyone attacks him for telling the joke in front of a child, it’s classic Larry defense when he tries to maneuver the point to be children shouldn’t c0me to dinner parties.  Of course, he’s Larry, so he can’t stop pushing.  He is further perturbed when one of his golf mates, Rod, has a wife that exclaims “LOL!” instead of simply laughing.  It drives Larry nuts, but he holds back his assassination skills for now.

However, when the host’s wife asks Larry to be “dessert police” and to make sure she doesn’t eat any dessert, he of course takes the job too far, resulting in a hilarious struggle over a piece of cake.  As Larry puts it “She said ‘No matter what'”, and Larry is the wrong person to say that to.

Seeing this behavior, most are offended, but in private, Rod is impressive.  “Larry David, you are impressive”, he says, easily stroking Larry’s rather large ego.  He points out Larry’s skills as a social assassin and wants to get Larry’s help.  Since Larry accidentally dinged Rod’s new car, he has offered to pay the bill.  Rod offers to pay the bill himself if Larry will just call his wife out on the “LOL” thing.  Larry gets that classic look of the wheels turning in his head, and something bad is bound to happen.

Meanwhile, Jeff and Larry hear about a new Palestinian chicken place and decide to check it out.  Despite being Jewish, Larry doesn’t seem to care, more interested in tasty chicken than thousands of years old cultural wars.   He and Jeff muse it would be the perfect place for a Jewish man to cheat on his wife, since typically, no Jew would be caught inside the Palestinian chicken place.  They enjoy their chicken and leave, Larry entranced by a beautiful Palestinian woman inside the place, knowing he could never have her, and Jeff giving him even lower odds than that.

When a new location of the Palestinian chicken place opens next to a Jewish deli, some are outraged, and plan a protest, including Marty Funkhouser.  Meanwhile, Jeff and Larry just want some chicken.  When they see the host of the dinner party cheating on his “no dessert” wife with Rod’s “LOL” wife, he has to go say something, just so the situation isn’t awkward.

When he finally confronts her over the “LOL”, again, Larry is the asshole for saying what more than just he is thinking, but he is the only one brave enough to say it.  Immediately, she suspects Rod put Larry up to the task, while Larry tries to explain that he did it it on his own, because it annoys him personally.  A hilarious scene ensues.

Sammy notices too, and gets Larry to bring up the way Suzie expresses her refreshment after taking a drink.  Immediately, she thinks it’s something that Jeff has put him up to, while Sammy remains in the clear.  Larry just smiles and takes it, the pride of a social assassin proud on his face.

Larry and Jeff attempt to bring Funkhouser to the chicken restaurant, and try to get him to take off his yarmulke, when he refuses, he and Larry get into a tousle, witnessed by the Palestinian patrons of the restaurant.  When Funkhouser refuses and leaves, Larry is cheered by the Palestinians, and is heartily welcomed by the hot Palestinian lady that he had seen before.  She is amazed at his bravery as a Jew, to tell another Jew to take off his yarmulke, in respect to the Palestinians.  But Larry only respects chicken.  Later, he gets a lot more in bed from her.

Finally, the showdown.  Larry and Jeff go to the new location of the Palestinian chicken restaurant, and walk through the warring mobs of protesters where they run into Funkhouser and his Rabbi vehemently arguing against the chain’s location, with the Palestinians arguing and Larry making the choice of a lifetime.   The results, as they typically are, are  hilarious.

What did you think?  Is Palestinian chicken worth it?  Is this more classic Larry, or has the show become too repetitive as some have said?  The absence of Leon was sorely missed, but the Jeff/Larry adventures never fail to be equally as disastrous or hilarious. What do you think?

 

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