Entertainment

'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Returns With Shame for the COVID Hoarders

Larry continues to live by his own set of rules, but sometimes he's spot on.

HBO
HBO
HBO

Watching TV right now, you’d be hard pressed to find any evidence that COVID exists. Last year there were some nods to mask wearing on network dramas, but in the premium cable world, the pandemic seemed to have never happened. On Succession, there is sound reasoning behind the exclusion; rich people, like the Roys, didn’t experience the last couple of years in the same way as the rest of us. And then there’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, which returned on HBO in glorious form last night.

When Curb ended its 10th season, just as the world was going into lockdown, Larry David’s anxieties seemed not just annoying but prescient. Hell, he put Purell on every table at Latte Larry’s, which is now de rigueur at coffee shops. Now (miraculously) in its 11th season, David has decided not to worry about mask usage on camera, but still acknowledges COVID persisting. Instead, as we had hoped, Larry is tackling the social mores that still hover on the edge of our lives because of the virus.

And here’s the thing: Larry hates COVID hoarders. One would think because of his love of hand sanitizer, Larry David might have been one of the people in March 2020 who was stocking up with unnecessary excess. But no, that’s not the ethos of Larry. For as much as Larry seems like a pretty self-centered guy-and he is-he also believes in fairness, or whatever fairness means according to his very personal moral code.

HBO
HBO
HBO

Take, for instance, another plotline in this episode. Larry spots one of his golf buddies at the Brentwood Country Mart and remembers that the man hasn’t paid him the $6,000 he owes for a trip. He decides to bring up the matter, and gets berated. But, frankly, you have to side with Larry on this one. When is it an appropriate time to bring up that someone owes you money? Never. But that doesn’t excuse not paying.

As with most Curb premieres, “The Five-Foot Fence” introduces a couple of plotlines that will continue through the season. Larry’s home is burgled but the burglar drowns in Larry’s pool because Larry didn’t put up the fence that is required by Santa Monica law. The brother of the criminal then tries to extort Larry, demanding that Larry cast his daughter in a Netflix pilot. On that note, Veep‘s Reid Scott plays an executive named “Don Jr.,” and the big game hunting photo in his office will likely become relevant as Larry continues developing this series called Young Larry. Leon is auditioning new girlfriends so he can take a planned trip to Asia; Larry and Susie have a whole battle over who “plopped” on a couch.

But the COVID hoarding situation comes to a head at Albert Brooks’ fake funeral. The legendary comedian and filmmaker Albert Brooks-interestingly enough playing himself and not a relative of Marty Funkhouser, who was portrayed by his real-life brother Bob Einstein-throws himself a memorial service while he’s still alive to reap the benefits of the goodwill to the dead. Except, while Jon Hamm is doing his best job throwing out Yiddish phrases, Larry goes looking for the bathroom and stumbles upon Brooks’ COVID hoarding closet full of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. The whole room turns against the man they are supposed to be celebrating. Susie goes off. Even Hamm calls him a “shanda.” (Good work on the Yiddish, Hamm.)

It’s an ingenious Larry David way to address the elephant in the room. Larry interferes with other people’s lives but only so they don’t interfere with his. Personal hygiene is good. Keeping others from having access to personal hygiene is bad, in part because that means they might interact with Larry who just wants to be left alone. It all makes perfect sense in his brilliantly warped way.

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Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.

Entertainment

Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.

Victoria

Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.

Queensland

BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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