Saturday, February 16, 2008

Curb Your Enthusiasm is Another Hit for Larry David

As the co-creator of Seinfeld, Larry David saw enormous success. After Seinfeld he created Curb Your Enthusiasm, another 30 minute comedy for HBO. Only this time, Larry is in front of the camera, not behind the scenes. A lot of the show is improvised, and co-stars include Richard Lewis and Ted Danson. Larry plays himself, a television mogul living in Los Angeles with his wife played by Cheryl Hines. Larry's manager in the show is Jeff Garlin, who is married to the foul mouthed Susie Essman. The main concept behind the show is that each week, Larry does something stupid and Cheryl gets mad. This was also the basic concept for Everybody Loves Raymond and The King of Queens. Being such a Seinfeld fan, I bought the first season of Curb on DVD having never seen the show. I do not have HBO, but I knew that if Larry David was involved, it would be good. The show sometimes will make you cringe when you see the uncomfortable situations Larry gets himself into, but it is worth checking out, especially for Seinfeld fans. Larry's character is a lot like George Costanza. He's a shlub who always seems to screw things up. Apparently Woody Allen is a fan since he has recruited Larry David to appear in his next film.

A Refreshing Change of Pace for the 2008 Grammy Awards

Last year at this time I wrote about how I felt old and out of touch after watching the Grammys. Well this year was the 50th anniversary of the awards show and they had more than just contemporary artists appearing. I knew that this year's show would be different when it opened with a Frank Sinatra/Alicia Keys duet. Morris Day and the Time performed Jungle Love after a 15 year abscence. I liked their music a lot in the 80s. Prince was a presenter and there was a Cirque du Soleil performance of a Beatles themed show. The never humble, always egotistical Kanye West accepted an award but was knocked down a few pegs by Vince Gill. Ringo Starr presented Gill with his award and Vince asked Kanye from the stage if he had ever been given an award by a Beatle. While many American Idol winners have faded away, Carrie Underwood still seems to be a strong force in the world of music and she performed on the telecast. Lifetime achievement Grammys were announced for the likes of bluegrass pioneer Earl Scruggs, virtuoso violinist Itzhak Perlman and jazz drummer Max Roach. Herbie Hancock had a big night and performed an excellent piano duet with another artist performing Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Going back to the infancy of rock and roll, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard performed. In the past, the Grammys seemed to focus too much on contemporary R&B and rap artists, but this year there was something for everyone to enjoy.