Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 4, Episode 10

Opening Night (14 Mar. 2004)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
7.5
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In the fourth-season finale, Larry David flies to New York with fellow performers David Schwimmer and Cady Huffman to star on Broadway in "The Producers". Along the way, he argues with ... See full summary »

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Title: Opening Night (14 Mar 2004)

Opening Night (14 Mar 2004) on IMDb 7.5/10

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In the fourth-season finale, Larry David flies to New York with fellow performers David Schwimmer and Cady Huffman to star on Broadway in "The Producers". Along the way, he argues with Schwimmer, develops a strange relationship with Huffman, finds he's tipping way too often and attempts to use his 10th anniversary gift from Cheryl. On stage, Larry and David put aside their differences and blow the audience away - unexpectedly, Mel Brooks isn't impressed. Written by Tomius J. Barnard

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14 March 2004 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Anne Bancroft's final acting appearance (playing herself) See more »

Goofs

When Larry takes his leave of Cheryl at the start of the show he has a bag over each shoulder when they kiss, but only one when he pulls away. See more »

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References The Producers (1967) See more »

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Puppet Party
(uncredited)
Music by Ennio Morricone
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User Reviews

Season 4: Continues the improvements made in season 3
18 January 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Things are looking pretty good for Larry. His tenth wedding anniversary may well mean he has to go to the hassle of renewing his vows to placate Cheryl but it also means that she keeps her word (however glibly it was given) that, for his present, he is allowed to have an one-time-only affair with her blessing. At the same time a chance encounter with Mel Brooks at a karaoke bar sees him being offered the lead alongside Ben Stiller in the newest Broadway version of The Producers. What in his comfortable life could possibly go wrong? Well, those who have watched this far into this show will know that pretty much something will always go wrong. Often this is directly down to Larry being Larry while other times he is genuinely the victim of misunderstanding and misfortune. When I watched the third season of this show, I started to see why it is as loved as it is because that season had a better structure for the unfortunate scenarios to happen within and it worked better episode by episode and as a total season as a result. Hence I was looking forward to season 4. It is not quite as good as season 3 in my opinion but generally it is still very good and continues the improvements made on the first seasons.

The Producers provides a solid frame for the season, OK perhaps not as good as the restaurant of season 3 but still good enough to allow the show to do what it does best. This is the delivery of laughs via these painful situations and how they come about. Larry takes the worse of Seinfeld's George and exaggerates it into a mess of over thinking and confusion. Yet again here the show gets good mileage over the conflicting sides of Larry. On one hand he is just a normal guy trying to do the best he can in the world of social rules and niceties – a world in which he cannot do anything right, often without it being his own fault. So the uncertainty over what to do with a buffet stick leads to injury or similarly his judgement over whether to buy a surrogate mother a present at the baby shower. However this side of it is nicely balanced with the side of Larry who, while concerned with following the rules of society, also sees nothing wrong with continually breaking them for this own (often petty) benefit – leading to situations that spiral out of control but are his fault. This is seen in his dealings with Funkhauser generally but also in others ways – specifically the entirety of my favourite episode of the season, the Car Pool Lane.

While contrived the situations are not as predictable as they were in the early seasons and indeed some of them are quite inspired. Where you can see where it is heading it still works because it is like the best "awkward comedy" in how naturally it is delivered because it is like watching a social car crash – you want to look away but are equally transfixed by what is happening. David sends himself up well, while Hines continues to be good support with her deadpan looks combined with inward pain. Garlin and Essman both continue to be good characters with simple but effective laughs. The guest stars are good this season but don't feel in there for the sake of it. Brooks, Stiller and Schwimmer all work well and are used well as "real" people.

Overall season 4 generally maintains the high standard set in season 3. It is often very funny indeed and, at its worst it is still comically awkward and engaging, with the Car Pool Lane being the perfect storm of an episode that effectively sums up what I am enjoying about it and why I am looking forward to season 5.


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