Judge David Johnson respects wood.
Our reviews of Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete First Season (published February 11th, 2004), Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Second Season (published November 24th, 2004), Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Third Season (published February 2nd, 2005), Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Fourth Season (published September 5th, 2005), Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Fifth Season (published August 1st, 2006), Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Sixth Season (published February 6th, 2008), and Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Eighth Season (published June 5th, 2012) are also available.
"Danny Duberstein is good at two things…"
One of the greatest half-hour comedies ever devised enjoyed its strongest season in its seventh outing. You can own the DVDs. Go make that happen.
Facts of the Case
Following the major developments of Season Six's finale, Larry David has been living his new life as a member of the Black family. It's a pretty sweet gig until he invariably screws it up, leaving him in disarray, pining for Cheryl (Cheryl Hines), his ex-wife. But how to get her back? Thinking back to the good old days of Seinfeld, when Larry was working and in his element full of self-confidence, he hatches the ultimate plan to win his love back: put together a Seinfeld reunion show and cast Cheryl as the lead.
This show has drilled many homeruns, but Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Seventh Season might be the greatest achievement of Larry David's brain. The Seinfeld reunion is straight-up genius—because it sort of is almost like a real Seinfeld reunion. Taking place in the word of Curb, sure, but that's sort of real. It's like a multiverse theory with neuroses.
Whatever ontological conclusion we land on to define the series, it's still hugely funny. Everyone is on board—Julia, Jason, Michael and Jerry—though they're playing bizzarro interpretations of themselves. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is obsessed with a stain on her wood table, Jason Alexander is an egomaniac, Michael Richards is paranoid and Jerry is essentially another Larry, which makes for incessant hilarity whenever the two share a scene. What makes the storyline so brilliant is the infusion of real-life allusions into the fictional world, like Michael Richards' infamous racial outburst and the general consensus that the Seinfeld finale sucked. These moments further fuzz the line between fiction and reality, bolstering the comedy even more.
The Seinfeld stuff only accounts for about half of the episodes (the finale gives us the reunion show in parts and, while good, isn't up to the standard set by the awesome closing moments of the Season Six finale). Thankfully, the remaining shows are very good, with a handful of instant classics tossed in. My favorites: "Denise Handicap" has Larry discovering the merits of dating a person with disability, hilariously exposing his hypocrisy as well as the nauseating self-aggrandizing of the panty-waist elite do-gooder class; "The Black Swan" integrates animal cruelty into the comedy when an unfortunate run-in leads to the bludgeoning of a majestic bird and a Tarantino-like cover-up conspiracy storyline; and a dispute over caviar allotment sets off a confrontation between Christian Slater and Larry in "The Hot Towel." In truth, there isn't a weak show in the lot.
The funniest moment, and probably one of the all-time best bits in Curb's storied history, belongs to J.B. Smoove's Leon who pretends to be a black Jewish lawyer counseling Michael Richards about a terminal illness. The first part of his line is excerpted above in "The Charge." You'll have to find the second part through your search engine of choice.
Each episode receives a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and 5.1 surround mixes. Extras are more copious than releases past, sporting Seinfeld-oriented featurettes: "The Seinfeld Reunion: It Could Only Happen on Curb," "Rebuilding the Seinfeld Sets," "Larry David as George Costanza," "A Seinfeld Moment on Curb: Interview with Larry David and the Seinfeld Cast." They're all amusing and worthwhile.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
A bit of controversy hit this season when a plot thread has Larry accidentally splash some urine on a picture of Jesus. Some groups were upset, but I didn't think it was a big deal and I'm a God-fearing fella. As usual, Larry is the butt of the humor, and Curb Your Enthusiasm is an equal opportunity offender, joking at the expense of Jews and Muslims (granted, you would never ever see an episode where Larry splashes urine on a picture of Mohammed).
Even without the Seinfeld angle, this would have been a great season. With it…legendary.
Not Guilty. But the real question is: do you respect wood?
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