“Man Fights Tiny Woman” is a return to form, delivering big laughs while also furthering the overarching plot.
This recap of Curb Your Enthusiasm season 11, episode 6, “Man Fights Tiny Woman”, contains spoilers.
After last week’s “IRASSHAIMASE!” felt like a bit of an aimless let-down, the kind of episode that might have been intended for another season and was pulled down off a shelf to bulk out the season order, “Man Fights Tiny Woman” is an undeniable return to form, returning to the overarching plot while also delivering quintessential Larry David faux-pas, funny guest stars, and risky “you were all thinking it” gags that interweave in surprising and clever ways.
Curb Your Enthusiasm season 11, episode 6 recap
Even though Young Larry wasn’t mentioned at all last week, it at least feels like progress was made on the show in the meantime. Here, we see it almost finalized, with most of the cast ironed out and the actual set built. It’s in need of a guest star, though, and a likely candidate might be Seth Rogan, who’s playing only a slightly exaggerated version of himself in “Man Fights Tiny Woman”. He’s definitely underused, but he and Larry have crackling chemistry, and his appearance furthers a season-long – series-long, arguably – theme of Larry’s complete inability to keep his mouth shut causing him constant problems.
There’s one big joke here that manifests in two different ways. The first is where the episode gets its title. When Larry discovers that the limo service he and Jeff use have sent a small woman, Miriam Clubok (Iris Anthony), to ferry him around and carry his bags, Larry becomes supremely uncomfortable with the optics of her carrying his things. Thanks to his car getting towed because of Freddy’s failure to remind Larry to move it, though, Larry is forced to utilize Miriam’s services all throughout the episode, and eventually, they get into a physical wrestle about the bags, which is filmed and posted online. When Rogen sees it, he decides not to guest-star in Young Larry after all.
The other manifestation of this joke in Curb Your Enthusiasm season 11, episode 6 is Larry getting his house roof fixed by Brad Grunberg, a heavy-set man – “he’s FAT-Positive,” quips Leon, which had me ROLLING – who Larry begins to worry might have damaged his roof further rather than fixing it. Eventually, he falls right through it, though thanks to Leon trying to prevent him from using the phone charger, which also ties into why Larry got his car towed since Jeff wouldn’t let him share the one in the restaurant where they’re having dinner. It’s obviously easy material, but it leans more towards playful ribbing than being openly mean-spirited.
The same can be said about the stuff involving Josh Gad, who plays a chiropractor with visibly ratty underwear. This subplot also builds to a brilliant payoff to one of the Young Larry actors, Jason (Zach Reino), being a Jew for Jesus. And it also causes another argument between Larry and Freddy, who has blessedly become a series regular in this season, featuring in basically every episode and bickering with Larry about all kinds of nonsense (their argument about a bottle of Perrier is probably the episode’s funniest sequence.)
“Man Fights Tiny Woman” is full of Curb gold, basically, and finds that exact sweet spot between long-term plotting and in-the-moment comedy. It might punch down a little, but it’s doing so with very padded gloves, and the whole thing ties together with the show’s unique form of clockwork precision.