Larry David is a study in contrasts. While it is true that everything he does goes awry, sometimes it’s just really not his fault. That’s right, I’m sticking with my weekly "Larry is actually a good guy" theme. Because, guess what, Larry is a good guy. He’s just misunderstood. Everyone simply assumes, and expects, the worst out of Larry. He has definitely given them reason to in the past, but I think he has, quite possibly, turned over a new leaf and that his friends and acquaintances should give the man the benefit of the doubt. Let’s pick apart tonight’s episode and see where Larry went wrong, versus when people merely think he went wrong.

In our first example, I will admit, I was completely shocked. I was utterly amazed. I was ridiculously perplexed. Tonight on Curb Your Enthusiasm Larry had the audacity, the nerve, the gall, to kill a spider. Can you imagine? Everyone around him knew that killing a spider was wrong, but somehow Larry had no idea. How is that possible? Did Larry miss the notice in all the papers, e-mails, and skywriting that took place in every major city in the world.

Sarcasm is difficult in the written word, so I’m going to give up on that right now: I can’t imagine why anyone (much less 20 people) would get angry at Larry for that. I must tell you that the man did nothing wrong here. I know that some people believe that spider-killing is inherently evil, others disagree. I do not wish to get into the midst of a huge earth debate here, so can we just leave it at killing spiders is not necessarily evil?

The exterminator stomping on the dog that he thought was a rat in the middle of a middle school auditorium prior to a performance of Grease on the other hand was probably out of line. But, we must remember that wasn’t Larry David. Sure, Larry brought the exterminator, but what choice did he have? Larry was trying to do a good thing telling the exterminator he could come after the man offered to join Larry. We really can’t attack Larry for the dog stomping incident.

Larry was again not wrong with his multiple miscommunications with Hal and his wife Jean. What were they exactly? First, Larry rubbing a cut on his finger under a hand-dryer was similar to a sign language curse. Second, Larry’s explaining to his father what a "happy ending" was turned into Jean thinking he was calling her something awful (again in sign language). Third, a cell phone switch with Leon led to Hal’s being because he thought Larry was doing acting "black." Larry was not wrong in any of these incidents, Larry doesn’t know sign language, wasn’t talking about Jean, and didn’t put on an act for Hal on the cell phone.

The last spot Larry was not wrong was in the toast/taking Loretta Black to her interview thing. The man is not a miracle worker, what exactly should he have done at that point — Cheryl was sick and wanted Larry to bring her toast (the toaster was monumentally slow) and Loretta needed Larry to drive her to a job interview. Where should his priorities have been? Our hero (that’s right, I’m calling Larry a hero) tried to do both. Neither was successful, the bread never toasted and Loretta was late to the interview, but he tried. I’m giving him points there and you should too.

Now, where Larry did go way, way wrong tonight is by getting his father a massage with a happy ending. There I truly can’t fathom what Larry was thinking. I understand that his father seemed down and Larry wanted to make him happy. But that doesn’t really matter. It just was not an appropriate gift for his father. For the record, it’s also not appropriate when the gift is given in the reverse direction (I’m look at you Cher’s character in Mask). What made this whole thing truly awful was that Larry’s dad thought that Lisa, the masseuse, was truly interested in him. He even invited her to the aforementioned Grease performance. It could, quite possibly, be argued that Larry was only trying to do good here, but even I wouldn’t buy that. Buying sex for a parent or child is not okay. I cannot imagine any circumstance where I would feel differently about this. It is simply not okay.

There you have it, the main confusions tonight and how Larry acted appropriately three out of a possible four times. The naysayers out there will come back with the contention that the single instance in which Larry was truly way out of line, the happy ending, whites out every good mark Larry may have otherwise gotten tonight. Humbug I say to you! Humbug! The man is trying and I think we all need to respect that.

Now is the time when I ask for your opinion. Was Larry more right or more wrong in this episode? Where do we see his character headed? Is he getting better or are his sins so unforgivable that Larry will always be a bad guy?

What we all also need to do is respect ourselves. You know how you can respect yourself? By respecting me. You know how you can respect me? You can respect me by visiting The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews.

Posted by:Josh Lasser