Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 2, Episode 10

The Massage (25 Nov. 2001)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 355 users  
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In the second season finale, Larry is busted by a restaurant owner for stealing forks. Julia Louis-Dreyfus becomes so frustrated by the incident that she drops out of the pilot, and that ... See full summary »

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Title: The Massage (25 Nov 2001)

The Massage (25 Nov 2001) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Mike Binder
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CBS Executive
Tom Booker ...
Limo Driver
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Una Damon ...
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Psychic
Burton Katz ...
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Golfer
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Police Officer
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In the second season finale, Larry is busted by a restaurant owner for stealing forks. Julia Louis-Dreyfus becomes so frustrated by the incident that she drops out of the pilot, and that ends Larry's quest to get it on TV. Meanwhile, Cheryl learns that Larry got a naughty massage, and he's busted for that. Larry later faces an ironic punishment for his restaurant crimes. Written by halo1k

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25 November 2001 (USA)  »

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Festivity
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Music by N. Piovani
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User Reviews

Season 2: Improved writing makes it more satisfying and funny while keeping the outrageously exaggerated aspect
28 October 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Although I enjoyed the first season of this show, I was not totally won over by it and certainly didn't see eye-to-eye with the critics who lavish praise on it. If anything I was more in line with my girlfriend's rather dismissive view of it as "Mr Bean for adults" in the way each episode is a painful series of awkward misunderstandings etc that were reasonably predictable even if they were funny. It was all good enough to bring me back to the table for the second season though and I was glad that I did since it immediately shows improvements that made it a better show (if not the awesome thing everyone says it is).

This is most evident in the writing. Although it is a show about nothing still and it involves Larry getting into stresses and confusions mostly of his own making (most of them being exaggerated), the show is much stronger around this same setup. This is clearest in the use of the characters. All of them, but particularly Larry, are who they are in the small moments as well as the big misunderstandings. This is important because it makes the foundations of the show stronger and allows the exaggerated outcomes and events to be built on a base that works better than it did in the first season. It also helps that there is more of a narrative flow to the season whereas in season one I felt the episodes could have been thrown in the air and watched in any order without the first-time viewer noticing. This is not to suggest that the structure is hugely different from season one, but just that I found it to be more than just the specific details of one series of mishaps – the characters remained constant and there were lives being lived behind the moment.

For my money this helps the sillier stuff work better and I got more enjoyment from it. Again I wasn't rolling with laughter as I do with some shows but the semi-improvised feel to it along with the wit and invention in the creation gave me several good laughs an episode on top of me feeling generally amused by all of it throughout. David is better than in season one, more at ease and getting into his stride while Hines is good alongside him even if her character is just a bit too understanding – it does help that she is more part of the problems than before. I liked Garlin more this season but Richard Lewis as a character I'm still not sure of. The guest stars are a nice extra but do not dominate the show or suggest that they are needed (in the way some dying shows introduce cameos to desperately claw back ratings).

Overall season 2 builds on the good stuff in the first season but improves it with better writing and delivery. I would be happy if season 3 continues this level but at the same time I hope that it can further be refined as it moves on – which I will be doing with it on the basis of this.


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