Sometimes, it's difficult for me to look back on the episodes that are deemed "classics" by critics of certain TV shows and feel the same connection I felt before. I can't help but feel that multiple viewings of certain episodes remain great episodes but lose that classic feeling we once felt for them. Of course, I'm just rambling here, so perhaps I'm wrong. I only say this to prepare for my next statement: I will tentatively state that "Palestinian Chicken" is one of those classic "Curb" episodes, one that exemplifies Larry David doing what Larry David does best, and even if the format is familiar and the twists can be seen coming from a mile away, it's still so fun to watch and see it all happen. Larry David is relishing his role as social assassin, and this episode shows people acknowledging and appreciating it. It's about time!
The episode has a couple of main points: Larry, Jeff, Funkhouser and a couple of new friends are all in a golf group that are competing to win a tournament. It's stated right at the beginning that they need all five members to be present to win, so that should be a dead giveaway that things won't go right. Things actually start going wrong after a dinner party with all of the golf members. There's a lot going on here, so let me set it up as simply as I can: at the dinner party, one of his golf buddies has a wife who heckles him all the time and doesn't let him do anything. As it turns out, she says "LOL" instead of laughing, something Larry notes but stays silent about. He also notices the fact that the potatoes of his host is cold and comments on it, as well as noticing that Susie makes an irritating noise whenever she takes a sip of a drink. Also at the party, the host's wife tells Larry to be her dessert referee and refuse to let her eat junk. Of course, when she goes to eat, he literally refuses it and she grows upset at him.
There's also the second main plot point. There's a Palestinian chicken restaurant that opened up right across from a Jewish deli and a lot of Jewish people in town are upset. Except for Larry and Jeff. They both go to the restaurant and find it to be amazing. Larry even finds a Palestinian woman there who is attractive to him and finds it a turn out that she hates Jews. There's also talk about the fact that the place would be a good place for Jews to have an affair, since no Jewish people would be caught dead there.
All of these plots, and a little bit more, kick into high gear after people start approaching Larry to do favors for them. For instance, the golf buddy with the nagging wife asks Larry to tell his wife to stop saying "LOL." The wife immediately assumes the husband asked Larry and freaks out. Jeff deems him a social assassin for the way he tries to cause problems. It's a great new way to look at Larry… somebody who's hired to comment on socially weird things.
I don't want to ruin too much of the ending or the stuff leading up to the ending. But there's so many funny things here (and Leon wasn't even in the episode!) Larry's sex scene with the woman from the restaurant was hilarious, and Funkhouser's reaction and Larry and his subsequent argument was perfect ("Oh no! Your yarmulke fell off! Oh god! Watch out for the yarmulke police!") There was also the introduction of "dessert referee," "verbal texting" and "social assassin" into the Curb universe. Also, I thought it'd be weird for Sammy to return after all this time and have such a big plot, but she pulled it off great.
Maybe in a few years, we won't view this one as a classic, but right now, I can see that the episode exemplifies everything I love about the show. For Season 8, we have a classic.
There were a lot of funny moments during this episode. I chuckled at nearly everything Jeff said and Larry's reactions to what was happening was priceless.
That being said, this show has still lost a bit of its touch. The storylines in this thing felt really forced and we just got the feeling of "been there done that" with the two sides yelling at each other and Larry wondering which one to pick. While the show is repetitive, this was actually the second straight episode where the ending was not even Larry's fault. That is what Curb is about and it has been absent yet again.