The world has moved for­ward, David hasn’t

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The Show: Curb Your en­thu­si­asm, Sea­son 9, episode 1 (hbo) The Mo­ment: “Bitch”

“I’m lampin’,” Leon (J.B. Smoove) tells his house­mate Larry (Larry David).

“What’s wrong with chillin’?” Larry asks.

“You can walk around and chill,” Leon ex­plains. “You’re up­right.”

“You guys have some great slang,” Larry says.

Larry tells Leon that his as­sis­tant (Car­rie Brown­stein) didn’t come to work for two days be­cause she was con­sti­pated.

“You got to fire that bitch,” Leon says. “That bitch got to go.”

“Eas­ier said than done,” Larry says. “She has a limp and a cane,” and, years ago, her un­cle sex­u­ally abused her. She’s a ter­ri­ble as­sis­tant, but Jimmy Kim­mel rec­om­mended her.

“Kim­mel foisted you,” Leon says. “You have to foist this limpy bitch onto some­one else.”

Larry fist-bumps him. “Do we still do that?” he asks. “If you see me do­ing any­thing else that the black com­mu­nity might frown on, let me know.”

I’m hear­ing things that make me frown, Lah. We know that your show is com­mit­ted to of­fend­ing ev­ery­one. This episode alone of­fends all women (“bitch” is not a syn­onym for “fe­male”), dis­abled and abused peo­ple, Mus­lims, and les­bians (Larry in­sists that the short­haired fi­ancée is “the groom”). We used to cringe/laugh. It was cheeky.

But there’s a dif­fer­ence be­tween ir­rev­er­ence and ig­no­rance. In the six years your show’s been on hia­tus, the world has turned. Blast­ing away at “po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness” isn’t so funny any­more, be­cause peo­ple are ed­u­cat­ing them­selves about the harm in­grained bi­ases do.

Re­sist­ing that doesn’t make you a rebel now. Sad to say, it makes you look dod­dery. Just let­ting you know.

Jo­hanna Sch­neller is a me­dia con­nois­seur who ze­roes in on pop-cul­ture mo­ments. She ap­pears Mon­day through Thurs­day.


Larry David is back with a new sea­son of Curb Your en­thu­si­asm af­ter a six-year hia­tus.

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