Case Number 05664: Small Claims Court

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

HBO // 2000 // 300 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // November 24th, 2004

The Charge

Larry David is back...warts and all.

The Case

Finally, Larry David has gotten the attention and admiration that he deserves! Well, maybe not the fictional Larry David. In the second season of the HBO hit show Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David (played by -- you guessed it -- Larry David) finds himself repeating his past mistakes by always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, or doing something that will surely annoy the person sitting next to him.

David essentially plays himself, the co-creator of the hit show Seinfeld who is often trying to get new projects off the ground with various studio executives, actors, and even his old Seinfeld buddies (including Jason Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfus).usually to no avail. Larry is married to a beautiful and patient woman (Cheryl Hines), deals with a long-suffering, often obnoxiously persistent manager (Jeff Garlin), and has a bevy of Hollywood friends, including Richard Lewis and Wanda Sykes, that are both a blessing and a curse (usually more of the latter).

The following episodes are included on this set:

* The Car Salesman
* Thor
* Trick or Treat
* The Shrimp Incident
* The Thong
* The Acupuncturist
* The Doll
* Shaq
* The Baptism
* The Massage

Contrary to Larry David's character on Curb Your Enthusiasm, the real David has had a fair amount of success in the world of television. The co-creator of an all-time classic TV show, Seinfeld, David followed up that success with his critically acclaimed HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm. With the freedom of pay cable on his side (HBO allows David to utter any four-letter word he wants), David has produced something between a Woody Allen film and Seinfeld Gone Wild: Uncut!

After watching the first and second seasons, I have become a fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm. In fact, I'm a much bigger fan of the show than I was of Seinfeld. The latter featured four New Yorkers running around complaining about nothing. If you've seen Seinfeld lately you may notice (as I have) that the show has not aged particularly well -- the comedy sometimes feels a bit stiff, almost like heavy handed stand-up comedy. I realize that was the crux of the show, but from my vantage point I don't feel it's as much a classic as something like Frasier or the better, funnier Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Which brings me back to the second season of Larry David's sardonic, wry comedy show. Once again, Larry finds himself in the middle of situations he either creates for himself, or are created by the weirdness and strange behaviors of others. In one episode, David accuses HBO president Alan Wasserman of taking tight shrimp from his Chinese food order that got screwed up. In another, David accidentally trips Lakers basketball star Shaquille O'Neal and in the process garners the hatred of roughly the entire population of the city of Los Angeles. In one of the best episodes David is accused of being a "self loathing Jew" by a man who hears him whistle a song by Vaugner (a famous German composer). Their ensuing argument is what truly great comedy is made of.

Curb Your Enthusiasm may not be the best show on television, but it is one of the funniest comedies to come along in quite some time. Larry David proves that he's not only a great writer, but also a funny actor (even if he's just playing an exaggerated version of himself). Do yourself a favor and pick up both Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete First Season and The Complete Second Season the next time you're at Best Buy -- it's a sure-fire fixture for a case of the mediocre TV blues.

Each episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame. The show looks excellent without any major defects marring the image. The colors are all brightly rendered and the black levels are solid and dark. Overall fans of this show should be happy with how nice these transfers look.

The soundtracks are presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround in English. There isn't a whole lot to say about these sound mixes -- they serve the show well, and that's about it. Background noises are present at times, though generally speaking these are front heavy mixes. All aspects of the mix are free of any hiss or distortion. Also included on these discs are English subtitles.

The extra features on this second season of Curb Your Enthusiasm include a few previews for each episode. Aside of that, you don't get jack, Jack!

Review content copyright © 2004 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 90

Perp Profile
Studio: HBO
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)

Subtitles:
* English

Running Time: 300 Minutes
Release Year: 2000
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Episode Previews

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0264235/combined

* Official Site
http://www.hbo.com/larrydavid/