The Curb Your Enthusiasm Feud Tracker, Season Finale Edition: Michael J. Fox, Mayor Bloomberg, and a Controversial Pillow Sham

Sunday marked Curb Your Enthusiasm's Season 8 finale, which means today marks the final edition of the Curb Your Enthusiasm Feud (and Food!) Tracker, our modest effort to impose some order and meaning upon a sometimes cruel and incomprehensible Larry David world.

Michael J. Fox

Causes:
Any episode entitled “Larry vs. Michael J. Fox” is going to have a great deal to talk about, feud-wise, and this one certainly did. We began with Larry listening to his current love interest, Jennifer (SNL’s Ana Gasteyer), who plays lounge piano professionally in a hotel lobby. Larry shushed his fellow patrons, including Fox, who was in the hotel lobby and also happens to live upstairs from Larry at the condo where Larry's staying while he's in New York. Fox shook his head on his way out the door—was it a Parkinson’s shake, or a shake of disapproval? Larry couldn’t be sure. He later went up to Fox’s place to apologize, and drew a Hitler mustache on a man on a magazine cover. Fox informed Larry that the man is his father-in-law (and it is: wife Tracy Pollan’s financial-consultant dad, Stephen Pollan), which angered Fox further. He offered Larry a soda, which exploded when Larry opened it, leading Larry to suspect Fox shook it out of spite and blamed it on the Parkinson’s. Later, Larry accidentally walked into Fox in the building lobby, leading a doorman to think he did so on purpose. Then, at a public fundraising rally, Fox called Larry out for making “the violin gesture,” which he assumed meant Larry didn’t care about the cause. (Larry was referring to an actual violin.) This led Mayor Michael Bloomberg to eject Larry from the city.

Resolution:
Fox wants to put the misunderstandings behind them, and invites Larry to a children’s hospital event. Larry conveniently remembers that he’s busy that day, but asked doing what, can only come up with the fact that he is flying to Paris (mirroring the incident that brought Larry to New York). Which is where Season 8 ends: with Larry arguing with a French man over parking spots, on a very fake-looking Paris set. So, no resolution, really.

Elevator Guy:

Causes:
Larry boarded his condo elevator and pressed buttons for two floors, angering another passenger. Why the passenger found this so objectionable was never really explained. He merely said, “I’m in a rush.” What a jerk! This inspired a show of button-pressing one-upsmanship between the two that rivaled even Larry’s shelf-space war with Dino (Harry Hamlin).

Resolution:
Larry exited at the next opportunity, leaving the rushed man to wait for the elevator to stop on each pressed floor to reach his destination. But the tiff came back to haunt him, as the condo co-op board used the incident to levy a “strike” against Larry when it was reviewing the Fox complaint.

Jennifer:

Causes:
The pianist Larry is sleeping with has a son, Greg, who's around eight years old, and is basically like a tiny version of your typical Project Runway contestant. Larry met him, explained to him what Hitler and swastikas are (he was drawing one on a magazine cover while waiting for Jennifer to get ready), and quickly realized that Greg is probably “pre-gay.” He later bought Greg a sewing machine for his birthday, which Greg loved, but which Jennifer found offensive, saying, “Are you trying to turn my son gay?” This became a contentious issue between the two. Susie yelled at Larry about the gift, so Larry reluctantly bought a make-up offering: a violin. But when he presented it to Greg, the boy said he loved the sewing machine, and presented Susie with a gift of his own: a pillow sham with a swastika sewn on it. This angered Jennifer even more.

Resolution:

Jennifer seems kind of clueless. Not the type to hold grudges, I’d say. And besides, Larry showered her kid with gifts! Also, what NYC mother is so overtly homophobic about her own, obviously gay kid? Jerk!

Food Tracker:
Exploding Soda: Did Michael J. Fox shake it on purpose? Or was it the Parkinson’s? We may never know.

And with that, the season comes to a close. Overall, it was a pleasure to cover these ten episodes, which ranged from the truly inspired (particularly the early, LA-based installments "The Safe House" and "Palestinian Chicken") to ones that too often felt strained under the weight of their own premises ("Car Periscope" comes to mind, as does the season finale). There's no question the season offered some valuable additions to the ever-expanding Larry David Dictionary, however, including "pig parker," "social assassin," "chat-and-cut," "shit bow," and the aforementioned "pre-gay." As for Season 9: With all due respect to New York, I hope it brings Larry back to L.A. That city, which glides along daily on surface smiles and sycophantic interactions, is the best possible backdrop for everyone's favorite social assassin.

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Sep 14, 2011
That actually does make a lot of sesne dude.



www.anonymous-web.at.tc
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Sep 14, 2011
This is one of my favorite shows, but I thought the swastika symbol was in very poor taste, even for Larry David...
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Sep 13, 2011
I really hope there will be a Season 9, and if there is, I hope we don't need to wait 2 years to get it.
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Sep 13, 2011
So great to see Michael J Fox again, I really enjoyed the "blame the disease" thing. To me it doesn't really matter if the boy is gay or not, it's not the point. The point is, be a supportive adult and encourage your child no matter what. So disappointed with Susie and Jennifer.

In the end, laughed so much at the french argument.
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Sep 13, 2011
Yeah, I was disappointed with the attitude towards the boy, too. Firstly, they were denying him being gay, as being gay was a bad thing. Then they weren't happy about Larry's present because it might encourage homosexual tendencies. Again, as if it were a bad thing. And thirdly, I'm so tired with this division between boy/girl stuff. Why are sewing machines only for girls? Because they are the ones who should learn to take care of the family clothes so that the man can bring home the bacon? Kids play around. It's healthy that they get to try different things, a boy playing with a sewing machine doesn't necessarily mean anything. And even if it did, so what? And why is it a negative thing if boys do traditionally "girly" things, while it is a positive thing if a girl is a tomboy?
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Sep 14, 2011
Nice said, glad I'm not the only one. I'ts really bad how they wont let him be creative in a way he loves. I love the show but the part when Susie went nuts over the swastika was stupid. My younger sister drew one when she was about 5 and of course she had no idea what the symbol stands for. She picked it up somewhere and thought it was nice, how many kids hasn't done it!? No reason to be upset.
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Sep 13, 2011
I agree whole-heartedly with both of you. On the other hand, what most people will take away from this episode was Greg's amazing performance. The actor's name is Eddie Schweighardt. He's going places!
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Sep 13, 2011
This was a great season. My favorites were Palestinian Chicken, Ricky Gervais and Oscar and Pinkberry. Very Very strong season.
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Sep 13, 2011
You know what people say when you leave the room? //What?// Poor bastard...
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