July 11, 2011 8:04am PT by Lindsay Powers
'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Season 8 Premiere: What Critics Say
Most critics spoke highly of Sunday's Season 8 premiere of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, which returned after two years off air.
"It takes no genius to surmise that the state of comedy on television is in robust health. But the eighth season of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm is like an enthusiastic exclamation point that hammers home the proof," writes The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman.
"It seemed hard to top season seven's Seinfeld reunion, but judging from a screening of the three episodes set to air in the coming weeks, David's done it," writes Sheila Marikar of ABC News "Forget pushing the envelope -- he sets the thing on fire with the season's third installment in which he offers his take on the age-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
Of rumors that this may be the last season of the HBO series, Marikar writes, "If this season marks the end, it's quite a way to go out."
Wrote Dan Forcella of TV Fanatic, "Curb Your Enthusiasm returned on the air after quite a long hiatus - and the season eight premiere proved why it is one of the best comedies on television."
"It was awkward. It was funny. It made you question LD’s life. It was Curb, and it was fantastic! " he went on. "I love that they tore Larry and Cheryl apart so quickly at the start of the episode, and through the magic of time jumping, got them all the way through a divorce by the end of the 30 minutes."
Ben Moore of Screen Rant wrote that, "Curb is at its best the less ridiculous it is. And that’s precisely why the first episode of Season Eight – "The Divorce” – works so well. In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that it’s one of the better season openers in the show’s history. If there was ever any doubt that Larry David was still at the top of his game after working on this show for over a decade, it’s gone within minutes of watching the season 8 premiere."
"Indeed, the season 8 premiere feels kind of like how every few years James Bond goes “back to the basics” by removing all the over-the-top humor and focusing on the grittier, more barebones aspects of the character. This season, Larry David is playing the Daniel Craig/James Bond equivalent of Larry David," Moore added.
Salon TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz was a little less enthusiastic about the show's premiere -- but couldn't stop talking about the third episode as well, which is called "Palestinian Chicken," and "satirizes Israeli-Palestinian rancor so rudely and preposterously that I can imagine the South Park guys watching it and thinking, 'That's a bit much,'" he writes.
"I'm such a fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm that I don't believe that creator-star Larry David and company have ever made a truly bad episode, and that if it were possible to measure the quality of their output on a meter, the high end would be marked 'genius' and the low end 'pretty, pretty, pret-ayyyy good,'" writes Zoller Seitz.
"That said, there were way too many moments in last night's season eight premiere when you could hear the needle clanking against the left-hand side of the dial," he adds. "'The Divorce' had some sterling lines and moments, but it was forced and weak overall, and mainly interesting as an object lesson in the downside of long-form TV storytelling."