Monday 13 May 2024

Mid-Life Crisis Songs #110: The End of Enthusiasm

The Wedding Present - Larry's

This isn’t a post about TV, it’s another post about the passing of time and all its sickening crimes… perhaps the one lyric I come back to more than any other on this blog, with the possible exception of “Someday we’ll look back in this and it will all seem funny”. Or “Irk the purists”. 

I watched the final episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm last week. You may or may not be familiar with the show in which Seinfeld co-creator Larry David plays himself as a miserable old misanthrope constantly butting heads with societal niggles. Like most comedy shows, you’ll either connect with it immediately or wonder what all the fuss is about. Being a miserable old misanthrope myself, I have found Larry a wonderful companion for the show’s duration, and while I don’t always agree with his grievances, I do understand why he gets so worked up about them. 

Dean Friedman - Hey, Larry

But this isn’t a post about Curb Your Enthusiasm. I wouldn’t argue with anyone who said the show was long past its best and wasn’t as funny or as incisive as it once was. After 12 seasons, Curb had definitely become comfortable, but there’s a lot to be said for comfort TV, and I did so enjoy being invited to share in the ups and downs of Larry’s life… especially when you never knew which celebrity guest star was going to pop up to be offended by him next. Bruce Springsteen appeared three times in the final series… that in itself made my day.

Del Shannon - Hats Off To Larry

12 series though… I’ve watched this show for quite some time. And I knew that wasn’t a series a year, because Larry took regular breaks, especially during the pandemic.  Still, I was shocked when I looked back and discovered the first series ran 24 years ago! Hang on a minute… I’ve been watching this show for 24 years? 

Buffalo Tom - Larry

And suddenly, I was taken back to the year 2000. Where I was. Who I was. A completely different person. There’s a popular misconception that all the cells in the human body renew themselves every 7 years, and while that’s not 100% true, there is something in it. I was 28 years old when I started watching Curb. I lived in a different house, worked in a different job, had an entirely different social circle. Liked slightly different records, felt different emotions, saw the future… and the past… in an entirely different way. Somewhat ironically, when the show launched in 2000, Larry David was 52. The same age I am now. I’m not sure why I related to him so much as a 28 year old. In the final episode, he proudly announced that he was 76 year olds… and had never learned a lesson in his life. It made me wonder how many I’ve learned… and how 76 year old me will feel in another 24 years. 2000 doesn’t seem that long ago, and time gets faster every year. 2048 is just around the corner… 

And the days went by like paper in the wind
Everything changed, then changed again
It's hard to find a friend
It's hard to find a friend

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