Between Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, we invited Larry David into our homes for over 18 years. At times it was so awkward that it was painful. An old friend of mine was left weeping in the corner after HBO aired a Curb marathon and I wasn’t much better off.
So why put ourselves through such misery? What is it inside of us that identifies with Larry, the writer and the character? Do we fear his idiosyncrasies or do we admire them and his stubborn refusal to go with the flow in a world that increasingly demands just that.
Larry the character does not set out with the intent of changing the world, and more importantly, our minds. He is rude, obnoxious, at times plain nasty, as previously mentioned he is stubborn, he is narcissistic and perhaps worst of all is that he is self-aware. He knows he is all these things and he practically revels in it. He does not sell his personality as a lifestyle choice for others.
Larry the writer is a product of his childhood and environment, just like the rest of us. His shows take place in “Larryland”, a universe where our ugly sides come out all too often and our mistakes are compounded by others mistakes, resulting in a world where our past mistakes define us.
That is where reality diverges, thank goodness. Rather than live in the twisted web that the denizens of Larryland can never hope to change or even understand we can sit back and laugh at the antics Larry conjures up for us. And we are entertained by this twisted and dark representation and interpretation of our own lives that we are shown because we all want to be Larry sometimes. We don’t want to care what others think. We want to act on our impulses. Larry does these things and shows us just how foolish acting that way is and what it costs on every level. And that’s why we need Larry, to show us just how foolish our modern day societies problems really are.