March 22, 2020 at 10:45 pm #1203390783
A decent finale. I enjoyed it, but I realized a noticeable flaw that was very present though out a decent chunk of it. The strongest part was the ending. It’s not a new concept for this show to have Larry’s decisions coming back to bite him in the ass, but having decisions coming back from multiple episodes ago to completely screw him over was great (don’t know how Larry ever thought getting rid of toilets could possibly help him). This episode is quite possibly one of Larry’s all time biggest defeats. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing more Mocha Joe in the future. He’s a good rival to Larry, perfectly willing and able to get down to his level.
I think what held this finale back was how it didn’t have the proper finality. Sure, it wraps up the spite store concept, and it did it well. I enjoyed seeing the other celebrities spite stores. As someone who doesn’t care for Sean Penn (mainly as a person), I’ll admit he got a great laugh out of me. The problem with this episode was, it didn’t feel like anything else was wrapped up at all. Ted was financing Mocha Joe out of revenge for Larry sleeping with Cheryl, and yet, neither Ted nor Cheryl show up in the finale. So ultimately, what seemed like an important plot point ended up adding very little outside of some good jokes at the beginning of last week’s episode. We also didn’t see any of Richard, and I’m pretty sure Susie only had a single scene.
Another thing that never felt resolved was the “Big Johnson Community”. Sure, Joey’s big johnson caused Larry’s downfall, but the community ultimately had zero effect on the plot despite buildup. Looking back, I get the feeling that JB Smoove just adlibbed about it and they decided it was funny enough to reference later, not realizing it looked like it was supposed to be a plot point. Mentioning Joey, I’ll give credit to the show for not going with the more stereotypical and predictable “Larry accidentally insults someone whose transitioning about their sex change” angle.
Another part of the episode that felt like buildup without payoff was the doctors and the second opinion. First off, I’ll say that I thought this element was hilarious. Something about two seemingly professional men having some unknown history as bitter and incredibly petty rivals was one of the best laughs I had tonight. But again, what seemed like a joke that would come back and add to the story was just abandoned, and ultimately added nothing to the plot.
Same can be said for the expecting couple. And in two ways for them. First there’s the matter of Larry causing them to argue about their baby’s skin color. Initially it seems like it’s driven a wedge between them, but by the end they’re perfectly fine and seem happy (funnily enough, I had a family member give birth tonight, and within the same hour as this episode). And then there’s the watch. In a way, it kind of serves a purpose as it set up the big johnson destroying Latte Larry’s when Joey knocked the watch down, and it got the doctors to fight, but the actual storyline with it never had any real resolution.
And that’s really the problem with this episode. A strange lack of resolution. Again, it was fun, and it had some great moments but none of them truly came together to make a great episode. As I said before, I’m disappointed to see Cheryl remaining out of focus after playing such a significant role in the first episode. It felt like Cheryl and Ted’s roles this season are reminiscent of most of this episode’s plot points. Promising beginnings that bring some good jokes that suddenly get dropped. Both of them just disappeared from the narrative, even though they both had a hand in this season’s main plot which was the center of focus tonight. Ted implied he’d be getting back together with Cheryl in the previous episode, so I guess they’ll be a couple again next season. I also now just realized we never found out who the green glasses cleaning cloth that looked just like Larry’s belonged to.
Again, I liked the episode, but it’s inability the resolve definitely hurt my viewing experience. Curb’s still some of the best comedy around and even when it’s not on it’s A game, there’s always a good reason to watch. I just hope they don’t have the same problem here as they do in future seasons.March 23, 2020 at 12:21 am #1203390810
I will not say too much because you really covered it. This felt like a bunch of jokes that they brainstormed before writing the season and never managed to put into any of the other episodes, so they just used them all here (and then did not bother developing them). I am sure that I will think of others as I think about the season more, but Skyler Gisondo is another that got no follow-up. We never saw him working at Latte Larry’s beyond that one episode. This is one of the best comedies of the year, but not one of the best seasons of the show.March 23, 2020 at 12:51 am #1203390828
I agree with the above comments, but I still thought it was a hilarious finale. I thought Chaz Bono was great and wouldn’t mind seeing more of him on the show. My MVP for the season is Richard Lewis. I hope he gets an Emmy nomination for it, especially episode 9.March 23, 2020 at 4:59 am #1203390916
A strong season with some wobbly episodes that ran too long throughout. Glad Me Too and trans visibility were handled in a way Larry David was being authentic to his brand without generating real controversy from social media. I thought the racial stuff with the expecting couple was dated and cruel.March 23, 2020 at 6:51 am #1203391054
I enjoyed the season, despite its flaws here and there. Susie was terribly underused. Also weird that Cheryl disappeared. Ham is probably the only real shot at a nomination, which I don’t mind at all. He was great.March 23, 2020 at 12:21 pm #1203391655
I really liked the finale! I thought the payoff to the spite store was excellent with all of the details coming together in that signature Larry way. As with much of the season, the episode would’ve been stronger without the extraneous material; as much as I appreciated the mini Veep reunion of Sam Richardson and Mary Holland, that whole thread could’ve been jettisoned.
Fingers crossed this does well at the Emmys in the fall. It should at least very easily land Comedy Series, Lead Actor, and Guest for Jon Hamm, but I’d like to see it do even better across the board in a relatively wide-open year in Comedy. Not sure how much episode submissions really matter, but in the Series race I’d heavily favor the back-end of the season. I’d run with “Happy New Year,” “Insufficient Praise,” “The Ugly Section,” “Elizabeth, Margaret and Larry,” “Beep Panic,” and “Spite Store.”
This is one of the best comedies of the year, but not one of the best seasons of the show.
Formerly known as PianoMann.March 23, 2020 at 3:41 pm #1203391848
I enjoyed the season, despite its flaws here and there. Susie was terribly underused. Also weird that Cheryl disappeared. Ham is probably the only real shot at a nomination, which I don’t mind at all. He was great.
You don’t think Series and Actor?
Big fan of Better Call Saul, Sex Education, Barry, BoJack Horseman, and, especially, SurvivorMarch 23, 2020 at 3:52 pm #1203391914
I was referring to the guest categories. Should’ve mentioned.June 30, 2020 at 10:34 am #1203558806
FYC Emmys: Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist: Comedy Series, Comedy Actress (Jane Levy); Cobra Kai: Comedy Series; Dickinson: Comedy Actress (Hailee Steinfeld); The Good Doctor: Drama Actor (Freddie Highmore), Drama Supporting Actress (Paige Spara); His Dark Materials: Drama Supporting Actress (Ruth Wilson); Lovecraft Country: Drama Supporting Actress (Jamie Chung); WandaVision: Limited Series, Actress (Elizabeth Olsen), Actor (Paul Bettany), Supporting Actress (Kathryn Hahn).July 7, 2020 at 8:30 am #1203571982
Recently binged the season over the 4th of July holiday. The “spite store” running theme was fun, but was it enough to fuel an entire season? Not sure. It didn’t feel as strong in stretches to the “Fatwa!” season or the “Seinfeld” reunion season, in recent years. Jon Hamm was fantastic in his guest episode. Likewise for Jane Krakowski. Fully support both getting Emmy nominations this year! Larry David was as fantastic and ornery as ever, maybe even more than usual. I also enjoyed Mocha Joe lol. Saverio Guerra was a great foil for Larry. J.B Smoove is an under-appreciated genius! Attention must be paid! Always entertained by Susie Essman and her foul mouth lol. I didn’t like the lackluster way that Funkhouser’s absence was handled, but I guess they couldn’t have two character deaths in a single season. Vince Vaughn was not a suitable replacement or surrogate. Bob Einstein is sorely missed. RIP. I was hoping for more from Cheryl Hines though. She had a promising arc in the beginning of the season carrying on with Larry behind Ted Danson’s back, and then that all just fizzled. The #MeToo realness thread had its moments. Megan Ferguson had a better supporting actress arc than Hines did, TBH. Glad I’m caught up regardless, and very excited about season 11, whenever that happens now.
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