'Seinfeld' reunion on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' Sunday on HBO

by Verne Gay

Newsday (MCT)

1 October 2009

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM - 9 p.m. Sunday - HBO 

REASON TO WATCH: The “Seinfeld” reunion (or anti-reunion).

CATCHING UP: “Curb” is about “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David living a post-“Seinfeld” existence — full of meaningless little gripes, slights and various unpleasant encounters with friends, enemies and acquaintances. As a part of this life, “Seinfeld” lurks out there unseen — its renown yet another minor annoyance in a life cluttered with them. Larry doesn’t work much, which is a reason his burdened wife, Cheryl (Cheryl Hines), has left him. L.D. later took up with his longtime houseguest Loretta Black (Vivica A. Fox), but she’s gone, too. He can now focus on getting back with Cheryl.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: In a jaunty, what-the-heck kind of mood, Larry is finally willing to consider agent Jeff’s (Jeff Garlin) suggestion that they meet with NBC about a “Seinfeld” reunion. Larry has no intention of going ahead with the show until fate — as it does about five or six times in the course of an average “Curb” episode — intervenes. He runs into Cheryl in the network’s Universal City headquarters lobby, and she’s back into acting. Later during the meeting with the NBC boss, Sandy Goodman (Todd Stashwick), Larry begins to wonder: What if Cheryl got a part in a reunion show. ..?

In a brief daydream, the characters enter — Jerry, Elaine, Kramer and George, and an adoring Cheryl, too. Larry snaps out of his reverie. He’ll do the show! Now he must convince everyone else to get onboard.

The storyline continues through this season — look for the first “table read” in mid-November.

BOTTOM LINE: Four or five years ago, there was a rash — right word — of TV reunions that confirmed Larry’s worst fears. Those shows are just ... so ... lame ...

So how to avoid the lameness of it all, yet still pay tribute to one of the greatest shows in TV history? An “anti-reunion,” to borrow Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ term coined in a recent Entertainment Weekly interview.

In the complete nihilism (and cynicism) of this venture, it becomes the perfect tribute to the nihilism of “Seinfeld” itself. And that’s what you get Sunday — perfection and the funniest 30 minutes of TV this year.

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