On the season premiere of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Larry David gets whacked in the head by a bathroom door, then drooled on by his doctor ... tries and fails to make time with a pretty girl by riffing on the problems of bowling ... accepts an offer from Mel Brooks, to everyone else’s consternation.
“Curb” is back for its fourth season on HBO at 9:30 p.m. EST Sunday (right after the season premiere of “Sex and the City” at 9 p.m.), and this improvised sojourn into David’s fevered psyche is just as funny as ever.
The episode begins benignly enough: comedy writer David (played by comedy writer Larry David) is at dinner with his wife Cheryl (played by Cheryl Hines) when she reminds him their 10th wedding anniversary is nigh.
What she wants: for them to renew their vows.
What he wants in return: something a little racier.
Sure, his wife agrees — “and good luck.”
As always, David is meganeurotic, hypersensitive and pathologically odd. A poster boy of volatile impassiveness, he is somehow capable of juggling stubbornness with anxious indecision.
Comedian Jeff Garlin is back as Jeff, his manager, and Susie Essman remains as Jeff’s foul-mouthed wife, Susie. Along with Brooks, Ben Stiller guest stars.
Other shows to look out for:
- You were wondering what George Wendt had been doing since his days as Norm on “Cheers”? Not dieting, that’s for sure. Now he’s playing portly host to 16 would-be homeowners on “House of Dreams” (9 p.m. Monday, A&E), a ticky-tacky contest whose winner will get to move into the dream home the entire group will build from the ground up. It’s not the sort of series built to last.
- “Airline” (10 p.m. Monday, A&E) is a reality series about the ups and downs of Southwest Airlines, starring a few of its customers and employees. Highlights from the premiere: a chap who arrives at the gate already drunk for an early-morning flight (will he be allowed to board?) and the attendant who has to inform a passenger that, as a “COS” (customer of size), he will have to buy a second ticket. “I can sit sideways,” he argues.
- “I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced love at first sight,” says Larissa Meek in the nasally voice endemic to beautiful women on dating shows, “but I think there’s a possibility for that.” Think again. Meek is the star (or is it dupe?) of “Average Joe: Hawaii” (10 p.m. Monday, NBC) who, on the premiere, meets 18 nebbishes instead of the hunks she had expected. But hang on, Larissa! A future episode adds a twist to the first “Average Joe,” when the hunks arrive to claim her.
- Norm’s bar-pal Cliff, or at least John Ratzenberger, the “Cheers” actor who played him, is also back on TV courtesy of “Made in America” (9 p.m. Tuesday, Travel Channel). For this series, Ratzenberger will travel from town to town, spotlighting American-made products and the people who make them, including Welch’s grape juice, Craftsman tools and Goodyear tires. Here’s hoping he doesn’t run out of subjects anytime soon.
- One of TV’s prime indicators of stardom on the wane, “Celebrity Mole Yucatan” (10 p.m. Wednesday, ABC) rallies Ananda Lewis, Mark Curry, Angie Everhart, Tracey Gold, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Dennis Rodman with returnees Stephen Baldwin and Corbin Bernsen. They will all compete in physical and mental games while they try to figure out which member of the group is The Mole — a double agent planted by the producers to sabotage the games. A game for viewers: Trying to remember what each of these “celebrities” is famous for.
- “The Chris Isaak Show” (10 p.m. Thursday, Showtime) is back for its third and final season — and it’s just as charmingly funny as ever. Set in San Francisco, the series follows a goodhearted rock musician, his band, pals and romances, with Isaak and most of his bandmates as themselves. On the premiere, Chris agrees to play a concert at an American Indian casino after an Indian artifact is found on his property nearby. If this is sacred Indian land he is building his dream cabin on, he stands to lose his investment, so he needs the tribe to cut him some slack. Meanwhile, Isaak’s keyboard player (Jed Rees) declares himself to be of Indian lineage. Guest star: Bret Michaels of Poison.