Reunion shows are often cheesy and almost always cynical. Yet by doing theirs on Curb Your Enthusiasm, the Seinfeld gang could reinvent the genre.
Please curb your anticipation
For a while, we didn't think Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm was coming back at all. Last season's finale seemed like a series finale, with Larry joining the Black family, and it happened all the way back in 2007. So we were surprised and delighted when we heard that Curb Your Enthusiasm will get a seventh season. Then the news broke that Seinfeld's four main cast members -- Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Michael Richards -- would all be playing themselves in the new season, and we were interested but also cautious.
And then we found out last week, via Entertainment Weekly, that the storyline behind the four stars' reuniting consists of Larry's efforts to put together a fictional Seinfeld reunion show. That's brilliant.
A true Seinfeld reunion show would always seem less than what the show deserves. Seinfeld was wrapped up pretty tightly in its own finale, and everyone seems to have grown past it. (Well, sort of.) Seinfeld himself told Entertainment Weekly, "doing it with Larry and on his show just seemed like the only possible way it would be fun….We would never do the type of thing that these shows usually do. That wouldn’t be our style. But something like this -- that was sillier and a little more offbea -- felt like it might be right for us."
He's exactly right. The meta quality that this storyline will bring to the idea of a Seinfeld reunion will, we hope, remove the awkwardness and cynicism that would surround the real project by making fun of it. Especially when you consider that, in the Curb Your Enthusiasm universe, Larry has previously already severely alienated Louis-Dreyfus and Alexander. It's not going to be easy for Larry to make this happen, but it's certainly going to be fun to watch.
One thing that will be interesting to see is how the show chooses to depict Michael Richards. Kramer committed career suicide at the Laugh Factory in 2006, and hasn't been heard from since. Curb would be crazy to completely ignore the issue, but it's going to be hard to finesse. Then again, making people uncomfortable is where Curb lives. It would seem that Richards has the most riding on this, and it will be interesting to see how the show deals with his past mistakes, and how fans react. We're sure Leon, one of our favorite Curb characters, will have some things to say.