Bintel Blog

Cheryl Hines Is a ‘Nation’

By Daniel Treiman

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Heeb magazine “Goy Issue” cover-girl Cheryl Hines — who has been consistently brilliant playing Larry David’s non-Jewish wife on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” — confesses: “I’m still not even sure what [goy] means. But I’ve been called that for a while, since I started Curb. Honestly, I couldn’t give you a definition.”

Among the other revelations in Heeb’s profile of Hines: Her character on “Curb” was originally supposed to be Jewish, in real life Larry apparently doesn’t dig pig, Hines learned about Passover from coloring books she bought for Rob Reiner’s kids, and some folks in the actress’s hometown of Tallahassee apparently thought she was David’s wife in real life.

Hat tip: Brad Greenberg, who — Heeb take note — upends the Jew-goy dichotomy.



Comments
Ruth Fri. Dec 28, 2007

What a different (and perhaps less hilarious?) show CURB would have been had Cheryl David been a Jew! Not only has Cheryl's goyishness given us such gems of episodes as "The Baptism", "Mary, Joseph, and Larry," and "The Christ Nail" but Cheryl Hines does an amazing job of at once playing up the serene, unflappable shiska-goddess stereotype while also giving her character depth and nuance (Spoiler alert: she leaves Larry in the latest season!). She is a necessary foil to Larry's rampaging neuroses, and moreover, a foil to the shrill and hilarious Susie Essman. I will say, that as a Jewish woman viewer ( albeit a huge fan) I find something problematic in the portrayal of calm Cheryl as the goyish-wife archetype and hysterical, foul-mouthed Susie as the archetypal Jewish wife. Susie wears loud, garish colors (Larry often pokes fun at her outfits) while Cheryl is always impeccably, and often sexily, attired. Susie is an overbearing, overprotective mother; Cheryl's only "child" appears to be Larry. The men on the show seem to live in fear of Susie, while Cheryl is often an object of desire. For male viewers, there anything at all appealing about the shrewish Susie? Is there a deliberate misogynous undercurrent to the portrayal of women on CURB? This is an issue well worth exploring in this age of intermarriage and revised gender roles.

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