Season 7 Episode 5: Denise Handicap
Larry learns to embrace the upside of disability without actually being disabled, and looks to disprove the rumor that Rosie O’Donnell can kick his ass.
First off, apologies for my review being a day late. However the delay has given me a chance to reflect on a couple of great comments from other fans. I really enjoyed this episode. Unlike last week’s episode I felt it was perfectly paced. Each scene had something, be it a funny observation about Chinese babies or another hysterical argument with Ted Danson. The What makes this episode special is how Larry approaches the whole “handicap” issue. Like Galahad mentioned in his comment below, Larry has a real knack for exposing prejudices and the social absurdities the rest of us take for granted. I have to quote Galahad here because I really like this:
Larry represents, the neurotic, who translates his fears and annoyances, outwardly in an exaggerated way.
Spot on. This episode best exemplifies the way Larry points out social stupidities. eg. The absurdity of arguing over paying for a meal. The phoniness in the way people act towards disabled people.
But at the same time you still have the simple yet hilarious slapstick physical comedy of a man trying to have sex with a woman in a wheelchair. That’s something that Seinfeld and now Curb has always been able to combine. I do also have to somewhat agree with John Frum, who commented below that “Larry is portraying himself as a bit too much of an a-hol”. I think anyone who would honestly compare season 1-3 Larry with this season’s Larry would be able to see the difference. Is it an evolution of the character? I know I discussed this last week but it does seem to come up each week in the comments. Has Larry steered too far from the “loveable, well-meaning, but somewhat sociopathic purveyor of shenanigan” John described him as? Myself, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that. I’d say he is a little more inconsistent in his behaviour. The one thing that did stick out in my mind in this episode was Larry asking his friends about the possibility of their adopted child being a schizophrenic. It just seemed out of place and out of context. I can’t see Larry saying something like that in season one.
Also, great to see Leon in this episode. He was hilarious this week (see below). His interactions with Larry seem to get funnier each time, despite usually consisting mostly of the words, “ass” and “fuck”. I think Larry has more or less decided to keep Leon around for these kind of scenes, though I hope that doesn’t mean we’ll see less and less of Richard Lewis. Getting all three of them in a room would almost guarantee to have me in stitches, they are both wonderful improvisers. Their relationship and interactions are so natural it’s clear that they’ve been real life friends for years. On the whole, a very funny and clever half hour. Can’t wait til next week.
Highlights (spoilers follow):
- Rosie O’Donnell’s face as she tells Larry that grabbing the check from her hand is “absurdly rude”.
- Are Chinese people born with a proclivity for chopsticks?
- “Bring the fucking ruckus to that ass Larry!”
- “Put that fucking pie down!”
- “Nancy Bigtits. I know Nancy got big-ass tits.”
- “This shit is too clean, you can’t tell where the fuck you at!”
- Intelligent use of closet space.
What do you think?
19 thoughts on “Season 7 Episode 5: Denise Handicap”
Wow this was hilarious. I laughed out loud several times. I was skeptical of the first few episodes this season, but nevermind that.
Hilarious! Best episode of the season so far.
Pretty, pretty, pretty good. Larry brought the ruckus and the diesel, and i was laughing my ass off the entire episode. I played back the last two minutes several times, the music score, matched the events so brilliantly, the whole thing became literally music to my senses. The knocks on the closet door timed perfectly, and Larry running away from two wheelchairs, reminded me the famous moon flying scene from E.T. ( well, some imagination I have).
Larry taking the high ground and Rosie climbing up the stairs, another classic moment – “Excuse me girls…”. I think this episode ranks with the best of them, but still, nothing beats “The ski lift”.
As I claimed in my last post, Larry needs some woman by his side, especially when he goes out on social events. Fighting everyone by himself – you kinda feel said for him, and it looses the balance. Having someone besides him, which he needs to please, in contrast to his outlandish behavior upon everything else, produces the best moments.
“just when i think you couldnt possibly be any dumber…you go and do something like this…AND TOTALLY REDEEM YOURSELF!!!” – Harry to Lloyd in ‘Dumb and Dumber.’
AMAZING EPISODE! I went in very pessimistic and I was bitch-slapped by EASILY the best episode of the season and a candidate for a possible “top 20” of all-time.
Yeah, definitely the best one this season. Very funny, good pace, believable situations and of course, Leo again. By now I think is common opinion that he must become a regular, because these 2 together are like Jerry and George, perfect match!
After a reprieve in episode 3, episodes 4 and 5 have confirmed my fears, and an impression others have expressed: Larry is portraying himself as a bit too much of an a-hole.
That’s not to take anything away from the “screenplay” (concept, plot, subplots and execution) of this episode, which was excellent. But several times this season I’ve had to cringe as he’s come across as someone I definitely wouldn’t like to get to know.
That contrasts sharply with who he was in the first several seasons: a loveable, well-meaning, but somewhat sociopathic purveyor of shenanigans who, like so many classic sitcom artists–notably Lucy–never learns the simple lesson that honesty is the best policy (or, as Ricky would say, “the more ‘splainin’ you do, the more you got some ‘splainin’ to do.” Plying the same old time-tested but not worn-out schtick, updated for the contemporary world and an old man’s sensibilities, with the benefit of making the star humble in his ability to make fun of himself.
But this goes beyond that. This gets ugly. And sometimes it makes me uncomfortable.
Then, as if to try to counterbalance it, Larry will behave in just the opposite way, as when in this episode he carries Denise up the steps to the restaurant. But instead of evening things out, it makes for an inconsistent personality.
Much better would be what we used to see: a basically good guy, prone to conniving that backfires, who speaks his mind and doesn’t know when to shut up. Now we tend to have someone who is one or two of these things at a time. Maybe it’s an age thing.
I’m not sure you are getting the idea of what Larry stands for. It’s not about being a sociopath, or misbehaving in public. I would say it’s the exact opposite. People in public situations are acting phony, or are completely insensitive to many of small incidents Larry easily picks up on. I would say that most people stupidity or lack of social intelligence, is the reason they are able to conduct a linear, boring, work day. If people started to analyze, every little behavior they do, they’d become self conscious, unstable and insecure.
Larry represents, the neurotic, who translates his fears and annoyances, outwardly in an exaggerated way. Woody Allen does the same thing mostly inwardly, and becomes dependent on pills and doctors…
In both cases, they are people who plays as fools ( Like the court’s clown), but are really profits, indicating the lack of conscience in society.
Just look at the last episode, where Larry shows you how phony are people when it comes to the disabled. People see him as a better person just because he is taking one on a date. The disabled are getting better privileges, but than again people only do that cause they feel sorry for them and don’t really care to establish a relationship. Larry is playing around with this social taboos, and shows us things might have been different.
Behind any misbehavior, stands the exacts opposite of what you see on the surface. Sometimes he does stretches the boundaries, in order to get a better comedic situation, but overall, it’s very meaningful and incisive.
I think it is a wetdream of certain types of older men to be pummeled by Rosie O’Donnell..she is so dough-boy like, so cute – and potentially a relentless force..That pneumatic body..I imagine Larry David coming up with episodes that he would enjoy doing, and I think he likes the idea of being man-handeled by Rosie O’donnell….
The comment above this one is extremly creepy.
Absurdly it may sound, Trace is right on the money. If you check out Larry’s recent appearances on Letterman, or other talk shows, you can detect how he uses Rosie’s dual gender appeal (or lack of appeal), as a leverage to create comedic sexual tension. He called her a “formidable opponent”, who is threatening is patriarchal advantage on women. He seems to enjoy this tension, where women who are expected to be physically weaker,suddenly are aggressive, and dominant.
I don’t think he is sexually attracted to her, but he surely enjoys how she changes the play field, and allows him to create original scenarios. I think “man-handled” by Rosie, as Trace commented above, is spot on, and is exactly what Larry intended.
And yes, I guess to be pummeled by Rosie O’Donnell can be classified as great sadomasochistic addition, to the comedic library Larry so ingeniously created.
This whole thing with Rosie, just gave another idea. Having two girls chasing us around, is a high-school boy’s favorite wet dream. Put them in a wheelchair, and you got some funny twisted sadomasochistic experience, taken from Alice in wonderland. To top all of that metal, and grinding wheels, you got the ultimate bossing-bitch, coming up the stairs to finish you off.. Larry has some dirty mind I tell ya..
And all of that taking place, while a hot Asian chick is playing the violin in the background, holly shit.
You people are all crazy. What can you possibly think is funny about making fun of someone that needs a wheelchair to get around.
I am the aunt of a beautiful, smart, kind and loving woman who needs a wheelchair to get around. The only thing she can’t do is walk.
Perhaps if some of you were in a wheelchair you would not think this was so funny.
Hi Clara. I don’t think it’s fair to accuse anyone here of making fun of those in wheelchairs. Perhaps you’ve misunderstood. Have you seen the episode being discussed?
I don’t see being ‘pummeled’ by Rosie O’donnell as in the least sado-masochistic – it is more like a grade school playground fight..No-one really gets hurt..And she is more puffy than strong, one of those people who get their strength from mass rather than muscle..
Is it really creepy? I hope not..
and I apologize to all the wheel-chair bound for Larry David if this episode hurts them in any way..The one’s I see on the bus in Fresno (public transport in a wheelchair is a nightmare) look like they could use a good laugh..
How can I misunderstand a man trying to get out of a date with a girl when he finds out shes in a wheelchair putting her name in his phone as Wendy Wheelchair and Denise Handicapped and then assuming just because 2 people are in wheelchairs that they know each other as not making fun of handicapped people and what they have to deal with everyday. Larry David should be ashamed of himself and so should anyone that thinks this episode was funny.
I apologize for Larry David, Clara, but I still think it is funny..did you also hate the Seinfeld episode where Kramer gets the good-looking wheelchair girl the used wheelchair..? Just curious..
I don’t know..You could see it another way – he dated two wheelchair girls – they are both really good looking with interesting personalities..they are complete people..as was the wheelchair girl in Seinfeld..How many other shows even have anyone in a wheelchair, much less going to pricey restaurants with rich people..Also the scene where he carries her up the stairs shows how difficult it can be when there is no handicapped accesss.
If it offends you, that is the end of that..
But like I said, the wheelchair-bound I encounter in Fresno all look like they could use a good laugh..
and ps, Clara, read Galahads comments above – the whole thing is actually quite sympathetic to the disabled, by showing how hypocritical people are around them..I would think the wheel-chair bound could get into that amount of psychologizing about their treatment by others..
Oh Clara, get a clue please… I think your been a little “PC” for your own good here. Its not that bigger issue.
The people in the wheelchairs were not portrayed as being worse, or dumber then any of the characters in the show.
The episode was CLEARLY about Larry’s behavior towards people in wheelchairs. He had never had to deal with someone in that situation, and then when he did, he realized how much it sucked.
Do you think that because people are in wheelchairs, no one should ever mention them, and they shouldn’t be put on TV?
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