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Curb Watch: Seinfeld 2.0

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HBO

Quick spoilers for Curb Your Enthusiasm after the jump:

The official position of Larry David—at least the meta-one within Curb Your Enthusiasm—is that there was nothing wrong with the Seinfeld finale. But just supposing, as a hypothetical, that for whatever crazy reason he might have seen the Seinfeld reunion as a do-over shot at giving his past series proper closure, “The Table Read” did an awfully good job of it.

One of several impressive things about last night’s episode was how well the script for the Seinfeld episode within the show actually worked a a script. It’s hard enough getting people to be funny in the context of a sitcom. Getting people to actually be funny, in a way that other characters on the sitcom are supposed to acknowledge as genuinely funny and react to, can be excruciating.

And yet the bits and pieces of Seinfeld script we got on Curb were actually funny, and fitting. Of course George would  get ripped off by Bernie Madoff! Of course he would invent the iToilet app for the iPhone! The quality of the writing, combined with the renewed rapport of the actors on the semi-improv Curb, meant that scenes that could have seen seemed forced or self-congratulatory—like Jerry cracking himself up in the middle of giving his line to Wayne Knight as Newman—seemed entirely natural.

And all this came in the context of an episode that was unmistakably Curb, in particular the running story line about the girl with the text-messaging boundary issues and the delicate medical issue. (A slight nitpick: not seeing how the doctor would react to the way he was talking about the girl—as opposed to using the p-word in front of the girl’s own mother, who had introduced it herself—seemed a little un-self-aware even for Larry.)

I’ve been mixed on Curb in recent seasons, but the Seinfeld episodes of this one have been some of its strongest, and for a little while at least, the show is delivering the best of both worlds.

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