Thank God Cheryl’s Back!

Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 23 2009 5:31 PM

Thank God Cheryl’s Back!

This is potentially blasphemous to admit, but I have never been a huge Seinfeld fan. So I wasn’t particularly excited about the four Jewish Beatles getting back together on the season 7 finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm (which aired Sunday night). I was, however, delighted to see Larry David reunite with his estranged wife, Cheryl.

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In prior seasons, Cheryl was the voice of reason, tamping down Larry’s excessive reactions to perceived slights and social misunderstandings. Since her departure, Larry has been completely unhinged, getting into shouting matches with his friends and acquaintances several times a show. In more than one episode this year—both the finale and an episode called "The Black Swan" —Larry got into knock-down, drag-out fights about tipping service people. Cheryl wouldn’t have let Larry completely self-immolate over something so stupid.

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Cheryl was especially welcome in last night’s episode because she wasn’t just reacting to Larry’s out-of-control behavior. She was the straight woman to the diva-dom of the Seinfeld players. The closing shot of Cheryl’s face—when Larry stops her mid-kiss and harangues her about leaving a water mark on Julia Louis-Dreyfuss’s coffee table—is reason enough for this viewer, at least, to hope for yet another season of the show.

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.

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