Earlier this week, Larry David signed on to do another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm for HBO—his eighth. Anyone who saw last season's finale knows this news to be a shock. Curb went out with the finest episode of its entire run, which included a Seinfeld cast reunion and the inevitable reunion of Larry and Cheryl. There were tiny gags, like Larry's inexplicable feud with Mocha Joe, and there were grander-scale comments about the series as a whole—most notably, its refusal to tie everything together neatly by the end. It was the perfect encapsulation of the meta-commentary that made Curb Your Enthusiasm so funny. (And who can forget Danny Duberstein, from earlier in the season; not in the finale, but… amazing.)
That said, I'm less than thrilled to hear there's another season in the works. I mean, I love Curb Your Enthusiasm and have total faith in Larry David's ability to recover from the semi-closure. But he really wrote himself into a corner, and while I've enjoyed the show for what it is, I have to admit I'll be disappointed if next season falls short of the brilliance he demonstrated in Season 7. Worse yet, what if David finds a way to get the new season going, but the whole thing isn't as good or as consistent? Nowadays, because of DVDs and online viewing, shows exist as a whole; the reputation of each season affects the reputation of the entire series. David has worked so hard to build up Curb's reputation, and it'd be a shame so see some of that squandered because he tried to eke out one more season. Of course, Season 8 could be brilliant, but I can't help but worry about the alternative—a very Larry David thing to do.
It's rare that a show benefits from tacking on even a few more episodes—especially at HBO, the home of shows that end of their own volition. Take, for example, Flight Of The Conchords and Extras, which each ran for two seasons; both shows are perfect slices of certain senses of humor, and if they'd gone on longer the jokes would've started to feel stale. And notably, Extras star Ricky Gervais moved on to other projects: first The Ricky Gervais Show, and now the recently announced Life's Too Short, which is set to air next year in the UK. I wonder what an inventive guy like Larry David could do if he took the budget for another season of Curb and used it to do something totally different.
I'll take whatever I can get, of course. It's that after the Curb announcement I couldn't help but recall the old comedy maxim "Leave 'em laughing"; Larry David certainly did that already, and I would've thought it'd be enough.
Are you excited to watch another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, or worried that it won't live up?