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Curb Your Enthusiasm: Complete First Season [DVD] [Import]
Like its fellow HBO series Sex and the City, this half-hour comedy broke some TV rules and went from critics' darling to an award-winning series in three years. Curb Your Enthusiasm is the brainchild of star-creator Larry David who co-created Seinfeld and was the basis for the easily rattled George Costanza (who was played by Jason Alexander). Like George, David has a tendency to speak too much, blow things out of proportion, and, most often, fail in the end (and often liking it that way). David's new show is also like its predecessor: it's about "nothing" except following the day-to-day ramblings of a sometime writer and comic (this time in L.A.). Eternal questions stemming from universal daily dilemmas are honed to perfect comedic absurdity. A notable exception is the show is only scripted by plot; much of the action is improvised. The first season starts with a one-hour mockumentary following David's return to stand-up for the first time in years; the other 10 episodes follow a more traditional sit-com setup.
David plays "himself" (as does his friend, Richard Lewis) although his manager and wife are played by comedians Jeff Garlin and Cheryl Hines. Although this first season is a comedic gem, one can't take more than an episode or two at a time--it's acidic, biting comedy. The episodes are often built like a house of cards, which the irritable David will surely collapse by the end. Like another caustic TV character, Dabney Colman's Buffalo Bill (1983-84), Larry David is not for everybody. --Doug Thomas
Stills from Curb Your Enthusiasm- The Complete First Season (Click for larger image)
Anyway, I just finished the whole series thanks to Amazon Prime. I binge watched it, and I usually don't do that. I started from Season 1 and just finished Season 8 yesterday, and I'm hoping LD comes out with a final season 9. Of course, I would ask for a season 10 after that, so it could go on forever. If you have Prime, give a few episodes a shot. It's not an acquired taste. I could watch any singular episode from any of the seasons and enjoy it.
The one thing I disliked was after season 6 they changed cameras or formats or something because it looks different. That's my only complaint. I liked it how it looked like it was an amateur TV show. 7&8 made it more professional looking. Not a bad thing, but if I have to nitpick something to dislike, it's that.
The whole series is packed with great performances. Other than LD, I absolutely love Richard Lewis in it, and wish he had a bigger role in the show. Other memorable roles are Bob Einstein as Marty Funkhouser, LD's "best friend", who I disliked at first but he really shined in the middle/later seasons. JB Smoove as Leon Black is really great as well. Of course Suzie and Jeff are awesome as LD's manager and wife. There's a lot of cameos too. I don't want to spoil it, just watch.
The worst part of the show is when the Blacks are basically pushed into the show. That's the only part of the show that seems real phony. It's still enjoyable, but the plot and everything else seem disheveled compared to previous seasons.
There's the mini Seinfeld reunion. Eh. Could have gone without it, but it's great seeing the gang back together.
Overall I love this series. Many many many Seinfeld show references if you know them pretty well.
The show has obvious similarities to Seinfield, considering Larry David was the co creator. But this is a show following a rude curmudgeon who doesn't seem to have a lot of luck in his personal dealings. And much of the comedy is in the form of cascading consequences.
The writing is sharp without feeling too clever. It does attempt to be more grounded in reality, at least in the dialogue. And although some of the plots can be a little absurd, it works out.
This show is just fun to watch. The circumstances are awkward and hilarious, and the performance and characters are top notch. I absolutely recommend this show to anyone with an open mind for awkward comedy.
They stumble around trying to make sense of sanity and take 2 or 3 more years off their lives. Probably should just give up and realize they have a shorter lifespan of about 12 years due to a gene defect that will not allow them to face life with "COOL".