Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cheryl Hines, 'the accidental shiksa'

Cheryl Hines graces the cover of Heeb's annual goy issue. She's certainly a worthy selection because if anyone has a right to be an anti-Semite, it's Larry David's fictitious wife on "Curb Your Enthusiasm." (And I say that as not only a devoted David fan, but an at-time-unintentional impersonator.) A nice feature accompanies the cover photo:
In the original HBO one-hour Curb Your Enthusiasm special, Larry David’s wife was supposed to be Jewish. “On the first day we were shooting the actual series,” says actress Cheryl Hines, “Larry turned to me and said, ‘You know, I don’t know if anybody is going to believe that you’re Jewish.’ ‘Well,’ I said, ‘do I have to be?’”

And so Cheryl David the TV shiksa wife was born.

But to the show’s credit, her ethnicity has never been manipulated to explore anxieties about class and race. The fictitious David marriage (separation at the time of writing) may be fraught, but that tension isn’t attributed to cultural differences as it might have been in decades past. The relationship is fraught simply because Larry is an a--hole.
Also inside, "The Secret Lives of Shabbos Goys."


Esther Kustanowitz said...

There's mo' better conflict in the fictional David marriage because of the religious differences between Larry and Cheryl. Could you imagine if she were playing Jewish? No way would it be as funny.

Brad A. Greenberg said...

I agree. You couldn't even script the Christ nail episode if Cheryl and her family weren't gentiles.