Montreal Film Journal


Season One (2000)
[ Larry David's a genius. An angry, bitter, neurotic genius. This mostly improvised HBO series is another show "about nothing", with Larry David more or less playing himself and a blend of real and fictional friends surrounding him. But unlike "Seinfeld" (which David co-created), this isn't network TV so there are no limits to Larry's sense of humor anymore. Joking about dead relatives, the disabled, race, incest survivors or Ted Danson shouldn't be funny, but damn it if it isn't! ]

Season Two (2001)
[ Larry David says the darndest things:
"I got a job... I'm selling cars!"
"Don't say I have an ass fetish!"
"I do hate myself, but it has nothing to do with being Jewish."
"Maybe in retrospect I should have said pussy"
"He knows about the whole thong thing!"

Larry David brings the best out of people:
"You murdered my uncle for 5000$!?!"
"Where's the fucking head?!?"
"Next time you're in a hurry, why don't you write me a buncha shit for free."
"See? That's my name. If it were yours, it would say Fucking Douchebag."
"Seems to me, there was an indication that you were gonna do what you wanted, when you wanted because you feel, because of your celebrity, somehow you can do things without consequences."
Ah! As if! There are ALWAYS consequences for Larry David, even when he hasn't done anything! ]

Season Three (2002)
[ People are so stupid, I wish I was like Larry David and could just yell common sense at them! I also get his thing about being bored with social obligations, yet enjoying company – on your own terms. Most of all, the show is more hilarious than ever. Clearly the cast has grown comfortable with each other and their comic timing is just flawless. ]

Season Four (2003)
[ Next to The Office and, of course, "Seinfeld", I think this is the greatest sitcom cast ever assembled. The regulars surrounding Larry are so good that I still have to keep reminding myself that Cheryl Hines is not actually his wife, Jeff Garlin isn't actually his manager and Richard Lewis isn't actually his best friend (or is he?). Furthermore, most of the time, they don't even have to say anything to make me crack up. They just show up, give Larry a look and I'm gone!

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" is more or less improvised, with vérité-style footage and very loose dialogue, but with every season, the plot outlines are getting more complex. Like in this fourth go at it, there's actually a story arc going through the whole year: Larry being asked by Mel Brooks to star in The Producers on Broadway! This season also feature cameos from Philip Baker Hall, Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Saul Rubinek, Gina Gershon, The Daily Show's Stephen Colbert... all of whom wind up pissed off at Larry, naturally!

"I'm a people person, I like everybody." Ha! ]

Season Five (2004)
[ A sandwich gets named after you, you're happy, right? Not if you're Larry David! This leads to one of many of the disagreements and fights he gets into with just about everyone he meets. Plus there's still all these inappropriate (but hilarious!) jokes about adoption, death, religion, unusually large vaginas, the handicapped, racism (by dogs!), organ transplants... I also love the sillier stuff, like when Larry tries to see if someone's lying to him by really, really eyeballing them, or how he winds up befriending a convicted sex offender - who's played by Rob Corddry! Too bad about the needlessly meandering and predictably misleading finale, but otherwise you got almost five hours of prime comedy here. ]