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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly consistent adult comedy, 23 Sep 2006
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Curb Your Enthusiasm : Complete HBO Seasons 1 To 5 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
Absolutely , without doubt , unequivocally the best comedy series of the last ten years "Curb Your Enthusiasm" could be viewed as a master class in preening narcissism if it's star Larry David -playing himself - wasn't the butt of most of the jokes and horrendous twists of fate . Here is a man who on the surface has everything, an attractive loving wife, a great career, loads of money and yet he is never truly comfortable in his own skin and is not so much a the glass is half empty kind of guy but the glass will probably shatter and cut my wrist open and I will bleed slowly to death. Larry has opinions like the rest of us but where we in social situations can defer to societal niceties and keep them to our self's, Larry cannot. If something irks him he complains....and keeps complaining h e is a human limpet in that he cannot let go .He is also a man who exudes surface charm but is a seething bag of neuroses and constantly tries to bend the world to his will only for it to snap back and smack him in the face. It's invariably bad for him and often those around him but it's unceasingly hilarious for the rest of us.

I wasn't a fan of Sienfeld, it, like a lot of American comedy, exuded a smugness that I found irksome though I could acknowledge it was very well written. But after that finished David turning down mega-bucks from other Networks stayed with HBO craving the artistic freedom it allowed him. HBO specialise in shows aimed at adults so be warned there is a lot of profanity and allusions to sex and deviancy. Personally I like it- "The Grand Opening" with the chef with Tourettes is profanity at it's most effectively comical and with the simple but ribald premise that Larry has one of his wife's hairs( from a rather personal place) stuck in his throat it leads to the sort of escalating mayhem that this show excels at.

Essentially a comedy of manners CYE is partly improvised which gives the comedy a raw pragmatic edge that eschews the rapid fire slickness of much TV comedy. Every episode, rather like "Fawlty Towers" used to do, is a hypnotically paced intensification from some minor comment or action often done in good faith by Larry, which leads to some sublime fait accompli. "The Doll" from season 2 is an absolute master class in this as Larry frantically tries to extricate himself from a problem of his own making. But really just about any of the 50 episodes here will suffice in that regard. The show is helped considerably by the excellent supporting cast. Cheryl Hines as Larry's long suffering wife is a believable mixture of incredulity at some of Larry's gaffes and support when the fates turn against him. She is also very sexy. Jeff Garlin as Larry's manager Jeff Greene is also affably wonderful. Susan Essman as Jeff's wife Susie is superbly foul mouthed and always intensifies any scene she is in. Wanda Sykes plays Cheryl's best fiend and is at the centre of the sublime episode in season 3- "Krayzee-Eyez Killa" where she has become engaged to an unfaithful gangster rapper. Comedian Richard Lewis playing himself pops in numerous episodes as does Ted Danson while various other luminaries appear in supporting roles including Michael York, Gina Gershon, Paul Reiser, Martin Short, ex Sienfled stars Jason Alexander and Julie Anne Dreyfus and even Martin Scorsese. Season Four which concentrates on Larry's Broadway role as Max Bialystock in "The Producers" has notable roles for Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer and Mel Brooks.

CYE may be too bleak, too dark, too profane for some .The jokes are not always signposted, indeed sometimes there aren't many actual jokes and some episodes take a little time to warm up. But the quality of the acting is a constant joy and the pay off is always there and sometimes is not what you expect. Larry David , in essentially playing himself , all be it with knobs on , has created a character that sits along side Steve Coogans "Alan Partridge" and Ricky Gervias,s "David Brent" . Somebody out of step with nearly everyone else around them, a closet misanthrope leaving a ploughed up furrow of chaos in their wake. But it's fantastic fun following behind seeing the worms squirm in the churned up earth. Long may he blunder blindly on?
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life with all its problems and distractions, 19 Jan 2007
By 
A Common Reader "Committed to reading" (Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Curb Your Enthusiasm : Complete HBO Seasons 1 To 5 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
I had never heard of Larry David until someone lent me the DVDs of series 4. In no time at all I was hooked and watched 4 episodes one night and 4 the next.

There is something fascinating in watching Larry David amble through his life, encountering every possible sort of social or relationship problem along the way, and dealing with it totally incompetently, compounding the issue until the viewer is squirming in embarrassment.

The cast of characters is broad - his agent and his wife, friends, colleagues, and business partners - including Ted Danson (who plays himself of course) and Ted Danson's wife. It is this strange mixture of real life and fiction which makes this series unique - Larry is playing his real self (the creator of Seinfield), but at the same time has a mixture of real-life and fictional people around him.

While some of the dialogue may be scripted, much of it is ad-libbed. Strangely, this works, and gives the impression of documentary rather fiction.

Jack Dee uses this format in Lead Baloon and having seen the Dee series before the David series, it became clear very early on where Dee got his inspiration from. Even the wives have a similar approach to life, being gently observational and mocking, rather than continually being angry at the pathetic messes their husbands get into.

I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a dry, slow-moving comedy, laid back in the extreme. It is not for those who prefer more obvious jokes and set-pieces.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hi-Larry-ious (groan), 16 April 2007
By 
Mr. A. Sands "Sandsman" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Curb Your Enthusiasm : Complete HBO Seasons 1 To 5 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
Whilst I do not own this box set, I do have all the series' individually. I bought the first series in blind faith through a recommendation of a friend, and I wasn't disappointed.

The problem with CYE is trying to describe it to people who don't watch it. Countless times I have recounted particular episodes to people who haven't watched them, and even as I'm saying it, I know it's not working. But talk in the same way about the same scene with someone who has already seen it, and you will both be in hysterics.

This program is one of the funniest things I have ever had the pleasure to watch, but I can see that it won't appeal to everyone. To find this funny, you have to be comfortable with the subject nature at hand, which almost always consists of very bad language (c-word is used, surprisingly for an american show!). A lot of the episodes touch on areas such as Racism/Sexism/Anti-Semitism, and in such a realistic, crass way, that some people may be offended by it.

The funniest thing about this though is the embarassment factor. Like Alan Partridge, you spend most of your time cringing at the embarassing nature of the main character, and you're practically shouting at the TV "Don't say it!" because you know it's wrong. But what makes this superior to Partridge, is that it's semi-scripted and uses a lot of improv, and the fact the Larry David is playing not only himself, but playing himself in a negative light.

I would recommend this to everyone, but try and watch a few episodes before you buy it as the style of humour might not be for you. I know it works for me, and I love it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I CAN'T, 4 Mar 2013
By 
Alexander Bryce (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Curb Your Enthusiasm : Complete HBO Seasons 1 To 5 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
I simply can't curb my enthusiasm for this box set. Has there ever been a funnier, more irreverent more outrageous sitcom than this ? Larry David the creator of that other masterpiece Seinfeld stars as himself going about his business as a comedy writer in Hollywood. He struggles with a world with which he is just slightly out of step. He finds himself in the strangest situations usually through no fault of his own, but instead of backing off he pursues his own interpretation of justice mostly to his detriment.
There are several way out guest stars again playing themselves e.g. the cast of said Seinfeld and Ted Danson. In addition there is his long suffering, beautiful wife, his overweight agent and his agent's dirty mouthed wife who comes out with the most imaginative use of the F word.
The humour while Jewish in flavour is far from exclusively so. It tackles matters of religion, race, sex, politics, fidelity, indeed most talking points of the present time and does so with a rapier wit. The dialogue, often unscripted, is brilliantly crisp and at times very colourful; not for young kids or maiden aunts.
This is the thinking person's all time best sitcom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius!, 19 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Curb Your Enthusiasm : Complete HBO Seasons 1 To 5 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
This item has brought total joy. Timeless genius and at a great price. It arrived earlier than expected and we have had hours of fun with Larry (aka my Fiance!) and friends. I cannot rate this product or the seller more highly. Larry David, we love you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars why you should meet larry david, 27 May 2008
By 
M. Sharman "??." (Cornwall, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Curb Your Enthusiasm : Complete HBO Seasons 1 To 5 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
Somethings are best left unsaid, or rather, left to be said by the genius that is Larry David.

Curb is bold, brilliant, laugh out loud and most of all, one of a kind.

if you feel even the slightest bit curious as to purchasing this dvd boxset, or just simply buying season 1 and working your way up, then i must say, you are doing the right thing.

for moments at home on your sofa, with someone or by yourself, you'll realise that you have stumbled upon something that i can't praise enough.

so order the dvd, wait for the arrival, and sit back, as larry david and the rest of the amazing cast take you to a level of comedy, only described as perfection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great bargain, 26 Jun 2014
By 
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This review is from: Curb Your Enthusiasm : Complete HBO Seasons 1 To 5 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
Missed this on tv completely trying to catch up with it now good quality of video
I love David in it ,as good as in Whatever works the Woody Allen movie.....
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest Comedy Ever Made, 16 Aug 2007
By 
British Commentator (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Curb Your Enthusiasm : Complete HBO Seasons 1 To 5 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
Some of this is so funny you will laugh so hard that it will give you aching ribs after watching. It is filmed as if it is a fly on the wall documentary, following real life Hollywood script-writer Larry David as he fails in his attempts to get through each day without messing up. No matter how hard he tries, things go wrong. Very wrong. He is also extremely unconventional in social situations, leading to many farcical scenes. At times very rude, and never dull. This is surely one of the best shows ever made for TV.
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