Does 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Take Place in an Alternate Reality?
It’s almost Halloween, and while some people enjoy watching the teen-terrorizing antics of Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers, there’s really nothing more abjectly horrifying than the squirm-inducing awkwardness of Larry David’s various social interactions. Yes, Curb Your Enthusiasm is back and, for the first time ever, prompting questions about which dimension the series takes place in …
It takes a lot for a show that’s featured Nazi dogs and Benadryl-laced brownies to weird us out, but what made the eleventh season premiere of Curb stand out is its handling of the pandemic. Rather than simply ignoring the existence of COVID like some other shows and the state of Florida, the most recent Curb Your Enthusiasm episode included multiple references to the pandemic, including the revelation that acclaimed comedian and filmmaker Albert Brooks is a “COVID hoarder.”
Bizarrely, in the world of Curb, the pandemic seems to be completely in the show’s past; there isn’t a single face mask visible in any of the scenes, TV pitch meetings and auditions are held in-person with no mention of testing, or who was or wasn’t vaccinated, and at one point, Leon announces that he and his girlfriend are planning a trip all across Asia, including China. And despite the fact that there are still extensive travel restrictions in place, Larry and his friends' only question for Leon involves the expense of the trip.
The reason for all this seems to be that when the show was being written and shot, Larry David and company hoped that the “real world would have returned to a pre-pandemic normalcy” by the time it aired. According to executive producer Jeff Schaffer, they decided that, in the universe of the show, it’s “like, ‘Hey, COVID’s happened, it doesn’t exist anymore,’ so everyone’s living their normal lives.” Which is … odd. This means that now Curb Your Enthusiasm either takes place in an alternate reality where the delta variant doesn’t exist and vaccine hesitancy isn’t a thing, or perhaps more optimistically, it is all secretly set in a near-future -- leaving the door wide open for a season 12 in which Larry visits Westworld.
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Top Image: HBO