Fun with Analogies: Curb Your Enthusiasm is to Aged English Cheddar as The Paul Reiser Show is to Cheez Whiz

If you don’t like the cheese analogy, you can use any other quality product to pale imitation comparison. Watch me, it’s easy:

Curb Your Enthusiasm is like Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA to The Paul Reiser Show’s Milwaukee’s Best Light.

Curb is Ferrari, and the Paul Reiser Show is a Ford Pinto.

Curb is the 1998 Yankees. The Paul Reiser Show? How about the 1962 Mets.

I could go on but I think you get the point. Everything about this show seemed like a pale imitation of Curb. Beleaguered former celebrity looking for a way to spend his time and getting into constant misunderstandings? Check. Weird funky music segueing between scenes? Check. Dialog that sounds more improvised than written? Check. Wife who kinda looks like Cheryl Hines? Check again. But in every case, the Paul Reiser version comes off as a weak copy: Larry David’s problems in Curb are funny because the character, despite how hard he tries, is a bit of an asshole; Paul Reiser just spends most of his time looking puzzled, which doesn’t give us very much to laugh at. The dialog in Curb feels very raw, natural, and improv’ed, while the Reiser version feels like a script that’s trying to mask itself as natural. The wife in Curb is blonde; she’s a brunette in Reiser’s version.

The show even knows it’s a direct copy of Curb, and they face it head on with a scene in which Larry David and Paul Reiser are arguing over a job they were both offered as the host of a new game show. In the scene, David just keeps reminding Reiser (and the audience) that he’s just a better version of a rich, neurotic former celebrity than Reiser is. I suppose I should give the show credit for addressing the issue head on, but it seemed wrong to me. So the creators know their show is a weak imitation of something that was done much better elsewhere? If they feel that way, why should I bother watching it? Why did they even bother making it in the first place? What was NBC thinking when they put this on the air?

Ratings were dismal, but better than anything Perfect Couples ever posted, so maybe that’s all they care about. Me? I’ll stick to the real thing, thanks.

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