Clear History August 10, 9 p.m., HBO.
While Curb Your Enthusiasm sits in limbo, subject to the whims of creator/star Larry David, David has been spending his time on another project for HBO, the stand-alone movie Clear History. Directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland) and with a supporting cast full of comedy all-stars (Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Curb’s J.B. Smoove) and other recognizable faces (Jon Hamm, Kate Hudson, Michael Keaton), Clear History has the pedigree of a major Hollywood comedy, and it’s a departure from the usual HBO-movie approach of serious biopics. Disappointingly, it’s in no way a departure for David, who has extremely limited range as both a performer and a writer.
David stars as the very Larry David-esque Nathan Flomm, who lost his stake in an electric-car company just before it became a multibillion-dollar business and years later plots revenge on his former partner (Hamm). The plot may be new (albeit sloppily realized), but virtually all of the individual jokes and scenes could have been lifted right from Curb. At this point David’s trademark bluntness and social ineptitude have become repetitive and tiresome, and the supporting characters are mostly just props for his worn-out rants. Given the chance to do something different, David has just put a gloss on recycled versions of the same old shtick.