Hollywood’s done its damnedest to mine content from the pandemic, but the only person we want to see address this hell onscreen is Larry David. The Curb Your Enthusiasm star was “busy writing” when the HBO comedy was renewed for an 11th season in June, inviting many, including us, to imagine how L.A.’s biggest asshole would cope from behind a mask. Now, thanks to a new op-ed from Curb producer and writer Jeff Schaffer, we have some idea how the show plans to weave COVID into its next batch of episodes.
According to Schaffer, he and David had begun work on season 11 before the pandemic and had to “change some things” as lockdowns swept the country. “We had to make the decision about what era we were writing—before, during or after COVID—and the real factor was when we would be premiering,” he says. “We figured we would be coming out in the fall of 2021 and we didn’t want what we were writing in March of 2020 to be so timely that it would feel dated more than a year later.”
That led the duo to choose to set Curb’s 11th season in a post-COVID world. “COVID definitely happened and we definitely talk about it...And Larry [the character] has opinions on all of it.” He adds, “I can’t tell you which characters got COVID, but I can definitely tell you that we do examine peoples’ behavior during the COVID era.” (Our guess: Larry will still be salty about getting mask-shamed by Ted Danson.)
Schaffer, who also co-created FX’s excellent Dave, relays that both Curb and Dave have been filming since early November. The piece details the rigorous testing and safety procedures that go into shooting in L.A. during such a tumultuous time, not to mention the many, many struggles. “Being back on set, the first thing that you think about is making sure everyone is safe,” he says. “Then you start thinking about how this is going to slow us down and if we’ll be able to make our days. And then the third worry is, how am I going to communicate what’s funny while wearing a mask? When you’re screaming at someone from six feet away—you’re going to lose a lot of the nuance.”
Read the full piece at The Hollywood Reporter.