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Curb Your Enthusiasm 7.4 — The Hot Towel

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Before I begin, I want to say something about Larry David’s acting. I think it’s wonderfully bad. The beauty about working on a show like “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is that Larry gets to play a tweaked version of himself. As a sort of wink and nod to viewers, it seems as if he tries to overact at times. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” may come off as realistic, but it’s still a show on television with professional actors.

In the opening scene, Larry is on flight. We have no idea where he’s off to, which is unusual as the viewer is usually privy to everything in Larry’s life. Still, the scene isn’t squandered. The guy he’s sitting next to is wearing shorts and Larry voices his disgust over having to look the man’s legs. While complaining, a stewardess offers Larry the titular hot towel, which burns him.

He’s later treated at his doctor’s office. The doctor, at first cordial, gives Larry a restaurant recommendation. Larry should be on his way, but he asks the doctor for his home phone number, which would strictly be used in case of emergency. The doctor balks at the request but soon gives in, telling Larry to get all the information from his receptionist. While leaving, Larry bumps into an old girlfriend, Mary Jane Porter, who surprisingly asks Larry out on a date.

At Ted Danson and wife Mary’s anniversary party, Larry gives them an expensive gift certificate to the restaurant. The couple is impressed since (and regular viewers will remember) Larry’s present last year was “the freak book.”

Over at the h’orderves table, Larry notices Mary Jane’s friend Christian Slater, who is devouring all the caviar. Larry later blows the whistle on him to Ted Danson’s wife. The party comes to an abrupt halt when Suzie Green announces that, instead of a tangible gift, her daughter Sammy will sing to the Dansons. It’s quickly obvious that Sammy is a terrible singer and Larry shuts her down, infuriating Suzie.

On their date, Mary Jane points out the Dansons and the Greens eating at a table. Larry confronts them, irritated that the Dansons would take the Greens over himself, considering he got them the gift. Of course, nobody agrees with Larry and they get into the subject of Larry’s issues with people singing in public. When the resident restaurant singer begins his routine, Suzie gives Larry the eye. She wants him to treat this man the same way he treated her daughter. Larry senses the dilemma and, in the most cringe-inducing scene of the episode, he tells the singer to “lock it up.”

Back at Mary Jane’s place, Larry is making some headway. He attempts to undo her bra while fooling around, but his burnt hand impedes his progress. He promptly dumps his bandage into the trash can. Mary Jane’s boyfriend calls, catching Larry off guard. Larry tries to keep quiet but he gags on the horrible pie she’s made, loud enough for the neighbors to hear. The boyfriend is on his way, so Larry bolts.

Larry needs to get his hand treated once again. Whenthe doctor instructs Larry to leave the hand unwrapped, Larry stops him. He can’t trust a doctor that would recommend a restaurant with such horrible food. Larry wants it bandaged. The doctor abrasively complies. To make matters worse, Larry compliments the doctor about this house as they apparently live down the street from one another. The office receptionist has given Larry too much information.

Later that night, Larry is exercising on a stationary bike at home. He gets a call from Mary Jane, who tells him that her boyfriend is coming over in a rage. Larry flees, seeking solace at both his doctor’s and the Dansons’ houses. Because of his prior actions, he’s denied sanctuary. Luckily, the Greens show some pity. Still, Larry can screw up any situation. In the morning, Sammy is practicing singing, which prematurely wakes Larry from his slumber. Larry instinctively tells her to “shut the F up.” Without missing a beat, Suzie kicks him out of the house.

Larry’s so far managed to offend more people in the episode than usual. Attempting to make amends, he apologizes to the opera singer back at the restaurant. Mary Jane just happens to be there and she warns Larry that her boyfriend is in the bathroom as they are on a date with Christian Slater and his girlfriend. As Larry turns to leave, he bumps into a big gentleman. Larry’s wrapped hand is a dead giveaway since the boyfriend had previously found a similar bandage at Mary Jane’s place. Larry scurries out the door and hides behind a dumpster. Of course, this is right as Chrisian Slater shows up, and he tells the boyfriend where Larry is hiding. As the looming figure approaches the dumpster, Larry looks up with remorse.

A couple thoughts:

* I guess we won’t be seeing the cast of “Seinfeld” in every episode. I suppose the whole arc of this season simply involves Larry trying to get his wife back and all the problems in between.

* Ted Danson was also in last night’s episode of “Bored to Death,” which airs before “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Danson is on a roll.

* In order to be recognized by Mary Jane’s boyfriend, I know Larry needed to be wearing that bandage on his hand. Still, nobody ever tells their doctor to go against their professional opinion. Everything would have still connected if the doctor had just told Larry to continue wearing a bandage.

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