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SOMETIMES IT'S TOUGH TO CURB ONE'S ENTHUSIASM FOR THIS AMUSINGLY CRUSTY GUY.



Byline: > David Kronke

It's hard to tell if Larry David is either phoning it in or trying too hard in the first few episodes of his sixth season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." His crazed, cranky crank·y 1  
adj. crank·i·er, crank·i·est
1. Having a bad disposition; peevish.

2. Having eccentric ways; odd.

3.
 sense of humor Noun 1. sense of humor - the trait of appreciating (and being able to express) the humorous; "she didn't appreciate my humor"; "you can't survive in the army without a sense of humor"
sense of humour, humor, humour
 is still well on display, but plotting on his show seems to have spiraled well beyond the realm of logic.

Just one example, in tonight's premiere: One of the smoke detectors in Larry's house goes on the fritz, and it takes him an amusingly protracted pro·tract  
tr.v. pro·tract·ed, pro·tract·ing, pro·tracts
1. To draw out or lengthen in time; prolong: disputants who needlessly protracted the negotiations.

2.
 amount of time to locate it. On TV, this doesn't seem that odd, but if you've ever had one in your own home start shrieking, you know it doesn't take you very long to figure out which one it is.

David still introduces a number of disparate subplots -- masturbation, the incompetence of dry-cleaners and the vanity of altruism inform episode two -- and manages to link them all together in quixotic quix·ot·ic   also quix·ot·i·cal
adj.
1. Caught up in the romance of noble deeds and the pursuit of unreachable goals; idealistic without regard to practicality.

2.
 fashion. But increasingly, David relies on epic stupidity, either from his character or one of Larry's friends or antagonists, to tie his story up into a tidily scabrous scab·rous  
adj.
1. Having or covered with scales or small projections and rough to the touch. See Synonyms at rough.

2. Difficult to handle; knotty: a scabrous situation.

3.
 knot.

These contrivances are getting ever more ludicrous, practically dadaistic. To channel Anton Chekhov through Larry David, if a smoke detector is trashed trashed  
adj. Slang
Drunk or intoxicated.

Our Living Language Expressions for intoxication are among those that best showcase the creativity of slang.
 in the first act, a conflagration must occur in the third. But how David reaches that point pretty much strains narrative credibility.

This season's through-line involves Larry's wife Cheryl (Cheryl Hines) convincing him to invite a family displaced by a hurricane into their home; said family veers from episode to episode from hostile and unappreciative to downright friendly, dissipating the attendant humor.

The jokes are still squarely in place; it's just that the behavior of "Curb Your Enthusiasm's" characters comes less from planet Earth and more from Bizarro World.

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM - Three stars

>What: Sixth-season premiere of Larry David's crankily absurdist comedy.

>Where: HBO Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO)
A form of oxygen therapy in which the patient breathes oxygen in a pressurized chamber.

Mentioned in: Ozone Therapy
.

>When: 10 tonight; also 9 p.m. Monday, 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, midnight Thursday, 10:30 p.m. Friday.

>In a nutshell: Still funny, but with plotting from Bizarro World.

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

Larry David returns for his sixth season as the cranky centerpiece of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
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Title Annotation:LA.COM
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 9, 2007
Words:360
Previous Article:ON DVD > WATCHING AT HOME.
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