Judge Mike Rubino once made the mistake of making a "lefty call," and he's regretted it to this day.
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 Seventh Season (published June 8th, 2010), and Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Eighth Season (published June 5th, 2012) are also available.
"No one sits on Richard Lewis's toilet!"
Just when you thought Larry David's life couldn't get any worse, he returns with a sixth season of his tremendously successful series Curb Your Enthusiasm. This latest season continues to push the comedic envelope and provides some of the most memorable moments in the series.
Facts of the Case
Larry David leads a hard life. No one understands him, and no one can handle his blunt and often selfish honesty. Because of his insistence that he knows what's best, Larry gets into many a pickle. This latest season is no exception: Larry takes a hurricane family into his home, he vandalizes a roadside memorial, he drives a limo for John McEnroe, and he accidentally insults a deaf woman…and there's plenty more.
Here are the episodes for Season Six:
Larry David is perhaps the best example of Murphy's Law on television. Sure, he may act like a complete jerk at times, but I can't help but feel sympathetic for all the crap Larry has to go through. Season Six ups the ante to extremes, putting Larry in situations I could never fathom.
The underlying storyline of this season involves Larry and Cheryl taking in victims of a hurricane. The Black family (yes, they're last name is Black and they are also African Americans) consists of Loretta (Vivica A. Fox), her children Keysha and Daryl, and their Auntie Rae (Ellia English). Not long after moving in with the Davids, Loretta's brother, Leon (J.B. Smoove), arrives from L.A.; he wasn't involved in any hurricane, he just needed a place to live for a while. Leon is by far one of the funniest new characters this season, and his seemingly endless devotion to helping out Larry makes for some great moments (the scene involving Leon advising Larry to "get in that ass" comes to mind). As the season goes on, the Blacks begin to rub off on Larry, and he starts picking up some of their language and mannerisms. Early on, Larry looks at the Blacks with disdain, but he soon grows to love them. It's a nice touch that really makes the surprising finale of the season all the better.
The rest of Larry's usual cohorts and enemies appear as well, including his agent Jeff (Jeff Garlin), Ted Danson, Marty Funkhouser (Bob Einstein), and Richard Lewis. The relationships these guys all have with Larry are hysterical. They grate on each other's nerves, and yet they continue to hang out. Larry explains that he's the type of person that sees things through to the end, so even if he hates his buddies, he'll still be friends with them until they die.
This season isn't necessarily as consistent as the rest in terms of story development. There's something hilarious in every episode, but certain ones shine more than others. "The Lefty Call," where Larry blows out his right eardrum and is forced to make all phone calls with his left ear, is definitely my favorite of this season. "The Freak Book" and "Meet the Blacks" come in at close seconds.
Just past the halfway mark for the season, however, things begin to get a little muddled. Cheryl walks out on Larry (this isn't really a spoiler, and I'm surprised it took her until Season Six to do it), and the plots for the four remaining episodes seem to center around their relationship. Unfortunately, this is the type of storyline that would have made a great season unto itself, but is instead crammed into the latter half of the season as somewhat of an afterthought. It all sort of wraps up in the final episode, which has such a bizarre ending that I have to wonder what a Season Seven would even be like.
Overall, this is a fantastic season of one of the funniest shows current on television. As the spiritual successor of Seinfeld, it provides a great look at the little pet peeves and irks that we experience throughout our daily life.
The video and audio quality is quite good for this latest release. The show is shot on digital video, and at times it can be pretty apparent. It's nothing spectacular, but it certainly doesn't look bad. The audio is in standard 2.0 stereo, which suits the show fine. Nothing too fancy here.
There are a handful of special features this time around. The second disc in the set contains a cool video of an interview Larry David did with co-star Susie Essman at New York's 92nd Street Y. Essman interviews Larry, and they talk about the writing/improv process and the history of the show. The second featurette is called "On the Set: Curb Your Enthusiasm," and is a standard HBO behind-the-scenes video. It's fairly neat to watch, although it mainly consists of people telling you how much is improvised and how much they love the show. Finally there is gag reel to round out the set.
HBO has released this season in the standard gate-fold cases and slip sleeves that have packaged the previous five releases. Everything is pretty straightforward, and the menus are the same as past seasons. I find it rather odd that there wasn't a "Play All" option.
Curb Your Enthusiasm is one of the funniest shows on television, but it certainly isn't for everyone. It's gross, it's vulgar, and it pushes the envelope every chance it gets. The Black family moving in with the Davids was genius, even if the latter half of the season got tangled up in Larry's failing marriage.
I wouldn't say Season Six is better than Season Four (The Producer's season), but it's certainly a great one.
Pretty, pretty, pretty guilty.
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Scales of Justice
• A Conversation with Larry David and Susie Essman
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