Still from Curb Your Enthusiasm, “The Smiley Face” (Season 8, Episode 4, 2011.)
Larry David is the creator of Seinfeld who based the character George almost completely off of himself and his own experiences. After Seinfeld, Larry David worked with HBO to create “Curb Your Enthusiasm” a show that Larry David not only helped produce but also starred in as himself. The show follows Larry throughout his everyday life and documents the many predicaments he gets himself into.
In the show Larry depicts himself as a sarcastic, funny guy who just happens to have his own sense of humor and own set of rules for life that nobody else seems to understand. In his own head, Larry believes that he knows best about everything and that he is never wrong about a thing, so when he finds the people around him getting angered or annoyed with him on a daily basis, he turns the situation on them, refusing to accept that he has done wrong. Larry has the type of attitude that enables him to do whatever he wants and say whatever he wants at any time without fearing the consequences. It is for this reason that Larry, a 50-60 some year old man without a muscle on his body still finds himself in heated arguments and near fights in nearly every episode.
At times throughout the series, I found myself wondering how in the world the same friends of his were still coming over for dinner and such after 5-6 seasons of constant annoyance from Larry. Even Larry’s own wife Cheryl admits that she can only take him in doses, and Larry’s personality ends up being the reason Cheryl leaves him. Larry struggles to get Cheryl back in the last few seasons of the series because Larry, despite trying to do so, can not change who he is, and always reverts to his typical sarcastic, brash personality. Despite all of the people in his life that are driven away due to his personality, Larry never really tries to change himself except to salvage his relationship with his wife. Other than in that case, Larry never cares to change how he acts or hide what he believes in order to please others, but rather disregards the negative opinions of close friends and family, only caring to hear out the people who remain close to him despite his personality like his close friends Jeff and Leon.
The overall point I wanted to capture is that I myself often find myself downplaying or hiding my beliefs in order to please those around me. Sometimes I find myself acting in a certain manner that I typically would not because I care too much about the opinions of people around me. I think that watching this show sent me a message that while I do not want to act in a manner that drives people away from me, I should be more like Larry in regards to not backing down from my beliefs and not doing things just to please other people but focusing more on what I actually want to do. This is just another example of how sitcom’s and other television/film have the ability to send messages to members of the audience.