Larry David's HBO comedy has gotten grief over its portrayal of the #MeToo movement this season. The problem, says Miles Klee, is this line of criticism "presumes that we’re on Larry’s side, or think of him as innocent. No, he’s not a Harvey Weinstein (though people keep mistaking his agent and best friend Jeff for the notorious rapist). But, as with the climax of Seinfeld, we’re watching a fundamentally bad person struggle as all his bullsh*t catches up with him. It’s unusual for Larry to get away with any single transgression from episode to episode, yet only today is the wider culture aligned to hold him financially and morally liable. This isn’t a case of someone falsely accused by disingenuous or calculating women — he’s been violating personal and social boundaries since Season One, sexual norms very much included...We are never asked to believe that Larry is not perverse. He is!"
Is Curb Your Enthusiasm the best-equipped comedy to do a #MeToo storyline?: Larry David "successfully threads the needle between over-earnest 'very special episode' commentary and defensive wrongheadedness by detaching entirely," Charles Bramesco. "Where Brooklyn Nine-Nine attempted to broach the subject by awkwardly inserting one-liners between po-faced discussions of workplace power dynamics, Curb holds the imperative to get the laugh above all else. But he’s not laundering the unsavory opinions of those dinosaurs decrying the #MeToo movement as an overcorrection or overreaction, either. The show simply imagines the comic potential of the worst apologizer in the world ending up in a scenario that requires the world’s most delicate apology...But there’s also a solipsism in this tack, one that necessarily involves removing the political dimension from staunchly politicized material."
Curb was an infinitely better show when Larry was married to Cheryl: "With Cheryl, Larry is incorrigible, to be certain, but also human, adaptable, striving," says Adrienne Westenfeld. "Though his natural impulse is to squirm out of taking responsibility for his actions, Cheryl inspires Larry to do the right thing, however begrudgingly. Cheryl pushes Larry to socialize, to play nice, to make amends. With Cheryl in the mix, you think, 'Well, if she can love him, he must not be that bad.'" But Westenfeld adds: "Even if Cheryl doesn’t need Larry, Curb needs Cheryl. Larry and Cheryl’s 'will they or won’t they' energy calls to mind the same propulsive energy that Seinfeld derived from Elaine and Jerry’s on-again, off-again flirtation. Cheryl may be too good for Larry, but when Larry is fighting for her, whether it’s to keep her happy in their marriage or get her back after their divorce, it makes him a better man. It makes him the kind of guy who does favors, who offers rides, who lets the small things go (well, under duress). Don’t look for Larry to turn into an altruist overnight, but with Cheryl around, Curb has forward motion—and Larry has an impetus to change. Change is the engine of drama, after all—and if the years without Cheryl have taught us anything, it’s that Larry sure as hell won’t change without a shove."