Like the last seasons of Calm your enthusiasm have become to tell a bigger, overall story, there’s something special about a good standalone episode. Every episode of this season has somehow tied into the creation of Larry davidthe new show of Young Larry, but this week “IRASSHAIMASE!” completely ignores the larger story in order to tell a simpler episode that, at the moment, doesn’t fit the big picture. While it’s nice to see an independent episode of Sidewalk from time to time, “IRASSHAIMASE!” is the weakest episode so far in season 11.
“IRASSHAIMASE! Actually starts off quite promisingly, with a simpler goal than the one the series is used to. Larry gets Jeff (Jeff garlin) to make a date with her friend Gabby McAfee (Julie bowen), and from there the episode begins to unfold. Larry finds out that Jeff put Gabby in touch with Hal Berman (Rob Morrow), a man known to have sex with his stepmother, and Gabby and Hal didn’t work for some reason. On the way to the date, Larry borrows a shirt from Freddy Funkhouser (Vince vaughn), which Larry will later put soy sauce on and completely ruin trying to get rid of the stain. On the date itself, Larry makes enemies with the restaurant staff for greeting Gabby with staff greetings of “Irasshaimase!” ”
The David and Bowen dinner scene works well, as David shows off his charms, while Bowen is good at playing against David’s sense of humor. It’s actually a bit of a bummer that the entire episode doesn’t try something new and let us hang out with these two on this date. A full half hour of David and Bowen on a date, instead of focusing on other storylines, could have been an interesting way to experiment with the form of the series.
In “The Watermelon” last week, I said the episode worked so well not because the episode bothered to tie all of its storylines together like in “Angel Muffin”, but because every storyline had its own. own hilarious moment. Unfortunately, “IRASSHAIMASE!” does not pay off as well. I mention that “IRASSHAIMASE!” It could have been a great way to experiment with the show’s format, as it looks like variations we’ve seen before. After speaking at the restaurant, Larry reveals to Gabby that he has been reprimanded in restaurants before. While Calm your enthusiasm Always finds a new way to tackle Larry’s various problematic restaurant visits, here he sort of seems to be coming back to the same well all over again.
“IRASSHAIMASE! Has decent payouts for his storylines, such as Hal sabotaging Larry and Gabby’s second date, and Freddy getting revenge on Larry for destroying his favorite shirt by selling him at a funeral, there’s a bit too much. of scenarios here that don’t go anywhere or go exactly where we expected.
For example, Larry has to buy a dress for Susie (Susie essman) has surprisingly little substance for a Sidewalk subplot, although it does allow Larry to try his Sherlock Holmes impression on an annoyed Susie. Even more disappointing is Larry’s confrontation with the restaurant host (Sonny Saito) after Larry tries to retrieve his umbrella that he left at his date. Seeing that Larry’s umbrella has been taken from a hotel, the host decides he will return the umbrella for Larry, but anyone who has seen an episode of Calm your enthusiasm knows that the follow-up to this will be someone other than Larry using and keeping this umbrella. Again, this isn’t a bad storyline, but it doesn’t add much to the episode and plays like another proven idea we’ve seen with slight variations before.
“IRASSHAIMASE! Is also the first episode of this season not directed by anyone other than Jeff schaffer, with a long time Sidewalk director Robert B. Weide jump on this one, while someone other than Schaffer and David worked on the story here, like Carol Leifer gets a credit history. Leifer has only written yet another episode, “Artificial Fruit” from season 10. The self-contained nature of “IRASSHAIMASE! It looks like it could have been done for any other season, and maybe Leifer’s involvement means this episode was originally made for last season. That’s not inherently a bad thing, but its inadequacy with the stories we’ve seen so far this season makes it seem like it just might be a decent filler for Season 11.
“IRASSHAIMASE! Isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s definitely a step back from the rest of the season. With eleven seasons in three decades now, of course, Calm your enthusiasm will hit some of the same notes at some point, but “IRASSHAIMASE!” starts off strong, then goes in fairly predictable directions, or follows threads that don’t go at all. “IRASSHAIMASE! ” is less Sidewalk at its peak, and more like a shortcut to the valley.
With season 11 around the corner, let’s refresh our memories.
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