[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Season 9 premiere, Episode 1, “Foisted!”]
From the second the opening bars of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” rang out, it was as if no time had passed; and for the most part, that’s a good thing. Despite a six-year gap between Season 8 and Season 9, Larry David’s attack on uncomfortable social customs felt right at home in 2017. Some things never change, and David is certainly one of those things.
Despite the break, the Season 9 premiere, “Foisted!,” didn’t overwork itself to reintroduce characters, setting, or set-up. This is the show as it has always been, and anyone expecting David to spend time playing catch-up on everyone’s lives doesn’t understand the impatient, uncaring man driving the conceit of the show: David is on a mission to civilize, and he got right down to it.
That being said, the main thrust of the episode did center on what David had been doing the past five years: “Fatwa! The Musical,” a Broadway show David wrote and planned to star in, led to the major calamities of Episode 1. After getting nothing but positive feedback on a story about Salmon Rushdie’s life being ruined by a death threat, David aimed to drum up more interest with a quick appearance on Jimmy Kimmel. The only problem: He angered the actual Ayatollah after a “disparaging” impersonation (thanks for the heads up, Leon) and received a real-life fatwa (death sentence).
In a classic case of life imitating art, the death threat killed Larry’s play and, one could argue, the last five years of his life. The comic beauty of explaining and then utterly nullifying what had been happening during the break paid off in the end, as did a number of the mini-fights picked by and inflicted upon Larry.
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In order to properly sum up all the minor glories within the episodes — which are often more cathartic than the overarching plots of “Curb” — we’ve listed each issue Larry took up below and issued a quick ruling on who was right, who was wrong, and what society should do now.
Continue reading for the full list and a final grade on Episode 1, “Foisted!”