Curb Your Enthusiasm S09E01 Recap: 'Foisted!' [Season Premiere]

It's funny; for a show so invested in the negative aspects of society, portraying a character that's constantly getting the short end of the stick at every turn (and usually of his own volition), the impending return of Curb Your Enthusiam has instilled me with an optimism I didn't know I was capable of in this, a time in history where we seemed to be constantly barraged by bad news and negativity. The promotional materials for the ninth season of Curb which we have been waiting for for a very long time have suggested that we really need Larry David in this time of darkness, but I feel as if we've needed him for very different reasons than to pick apart another decade's worth of societal grievances. Larry David is needed now more than ever because he's a beacon of light in a television landscape that was sorely missing him.

Don't get me wrong, TV has never been better. But right now, I can't think of a show that brings me unbridled, unmitigated joy. That I have absolutely no worry for, in terms of its quality. Even though Curb has been off the air for so long, even though the world is very different now, compared to the time when Larry David was consistently skewering it, I had no doubt in my mind that season 9 would be just as good as anything that came before it; and this coming from someone who spent the last couple of months rewatching the previous eight seasons in preparation.

Lo and behold, season 9 is upon us, and "Foisted!" very quickly proves that while the world has changed, while the appearances of all the characters and even standards in cinematography have changed, everything is more or less the same in the world of Larry David. He's still very much a bald asshole who finds a way to make the people around him miserable and bring upon himself unneeded confrontation. He's still living in the same house, with the same manager, the same friends, the same Leon mooching off of him. And with the hum of that theme music, the establishing shots of Los Angeles before closing in on Larry having trouble opening a bottle of shampoo in the shower, everything was once again right with the world.

"Foisted!" picks up with Larry having completed his opus after five years, a comedic musical called "Fatwa!" about a hit the Ayatollah put on Salman Rushdie for blasphemy. Jeff informs Larry that producers are salivating over making what could be the next Hamilton (a likely inspiration for this plot, along with David's real life Broadway play which he wrote since the last time he was working on Curb), so he books him on Jimmy Kimmel in order to brag about the project. But Larry goes a little too far in mocking the Ayatollah, so a fatwa is declared on him, which will likely lead to the season's overarching plot.

Elsewhere, Larry is upset that, as the title of the episode suggests, Jimmy Kimmel foisted a terrible assistant unto him, so he does the same to Susie (who winds up punching him, since she's the one person in the world who wouldn't take that kind of shit). Larry also interferes with a lesbian wedding when he tells his new barber that she should be the groom and not the bride, he sends a frivolous text to Richard Lewis after his parakeet dies, and Leon winds up becoming Larry's interim assistant. Needless to say, it's busy season for Larry David, and I couldn't be happier to have him back.

To summarize, here's an exhaustive list of issues Larry and the gang tackle in this week's premiere:

  • Foisting.
  • Bottles that won't open.
  • Constipation and whether it's a legitimate reason to take time off work.
  • Holding the door for someone based on what you perceive them to be like and/or the duration of time it would take for them to get there.
  • Bride and groom arrangements for lesbian couples.
  • Bird death sympathy etiquette.

"Foisted!," the triumphant return of Curb Your Enthusiasm, gets 9 fatwas by association out of 10.

Notes & Quotes:

  • Cheryl and Ted Danson make brief appearances in the episode as well, and we find out Ted and Mary have been separated for a few months. Curious to see where this goes, as it doesn't get much time in this already bloated episode.
  • Nasim Pedrad is great as the angry lesbian bride here. As are Jimmy Kimmel as himself and Carry Brownstein as Larry's terrible assistant. Can't wait to see what other guests this season comes up with.
  • Larry to his constipated assistant: "The blessed event has occurred yet?"
  • Leon: "I shot a porno constipated."
  • Larry/Leon: "Let's just say her uncle fucked her." "Recently?"
  • Leon: "You a goddamn groom."
  • Richard: "I don't live in a Cuban dance hall."
  • Richard/Larry: "You know why I'm laughing? At the sadness of your entire existence." "I take that as a great compliment." "There's a lack of empathy and compassion and sympathy for practically everything in your life."
  • Larry: "Are you sure a dead parakeet isn't funny?"
  • Lesbian bride: "What kind of psychopath interferes with the nuances of a lesbian wedding?"
  • Leon: "Larry David's office, what the fuck is up? Oh, I'm sorry, that bitch got foisted."
  • Leon: "What is this crudités? Cruditake."
  • Richard/Larry: "Fatwa?" "No, lesbian bride."