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"Curb Your Enthusiasm" Opening Night (2004)

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Season 4: Continues the improvements made in season 3

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
18 January 2010

Things are looking pretty good for Larry. His tenth wedding anniversary may well mean he has to go to the hassle of renewing his vows to placate Cheryl but it also means that she keeps her word (however glibly it was given) that, for his present, he is allowed to have an one-time-only affair with her blessing. At the same time a chance encounter with Mel Brooks at a karaoke bar sees him being offered the lead alongside Ben Stiller in the newest Broadway version of The Producers. What in his comfortable life could possibly go wrong? Well, those who have watched this far into this show will know that pretty much something will always go wrong. Often this is directly down to Larry being Larry while other times he is genuinely the victim of misunderstanding and misfortune. When I watched the third season of this show, I started to see why it is as loved as it is because that season had a better structure for the unfortunate scenarios to happen within and it worked better episode by episode and as a total season as a result. Hence I was looking forward to season 4. It is not quite as good as season 3 in my opinion but generally it is still very good and continues the improvements made on the first seasons.

The Producers provides a solid frame for the season, OK perhaps not as good as the restaurant of season 3 but still good enough to allow the show to do what it does best. This is the delivery of laughs via these painful situations and how they come about. Larry takes the worse of Seinfeld's George and exaggerates it into a mess of over thinking and confusion. Yet again here the show gets good mileage over the conflicting sides of Larry. On one hand he is just a normal guy trying to do the best he can in the world of social rules and niceties – a world in which he cannot do anything right, often without it being his own fault. So the uncertainty over what to do with a buffet stick leads to injury or similarly his judgement over whether to buy a surrogate mother a present at the baby shower. However this side of it is nicely balanced with the side of Larry who, while concerned with following the rules of society, also sees nothing wrong with continually breaking them for this own (often petty) benefit – leading to situations that spiral out of control but are his fault. This is seen in his dealings with Funkhauser generally but also in others ways – specifically the entirety of my favourite episode of the season, the Car Pool Lane.

While contrived the situations are not as predictable as they were in the early seasons and indeed some of them are quite inspired. Where you can see where it is heading it still works because it is like the best "awkward comedy" in how naturally it is delivered because it is like watching a social car crash – you want to look away but are equally transfixed by what is happening. David sends himself up well, while Hines continues to be good support with her deadpan looks combined with inward pain. Garlin and Essman both continue to be good characters with simple but effective laughs. The guest stars are good this season but don't feel in there for the sake of it. Brooks, Stiller and Schwimmer all work well and are used well as "real" people.

Overall season 4 generally maintains the high standard set in season 3. It is often very funny indeed and, at its worst it is still comically awkward and engaging, with the Car Pool Lane being the perfect storm of an episode that effectively sums up what I am enjoying about it and why I am looking forward to season 5.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic

10/10
Author: foylepher from Australia
27 May 2008

'Curb your enthusiasm', is a fantastic television show. Every Episode gets better and better. This hour length episode (and season final) is absolutely fantastic. In my mind i thought it will be another ordinary episode just be a little longer........I was dead wrong. Its so much better, it was perfect in every single way with Larry David and David Schwimmer doing fantastic and the characters from 'the producers' in this episode. There are also a few cameos in the episode but do yourself a favor, and rent or buy season seven of curb if you haven't already and keep watching this episode over and over again. You wont be disappointed.

10/10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

WOW! How has this episode only got 7.2???

10/10
Author: ahmedetemadi from United Kingdom
11 April 2015

Larry David proves his comical genius in this episode. It starts off in Larry's bedroom discussing with Cheryl whether she should come to New York with him or not, to accompany him in the upcoming 3 nights before the show. He doesn't want her to come because he thinks that she should continue doing her environmental work, but she thinks it's because he wants to be alone so that he can find women that he can have sex with, as she gave him permission in her 10th Anniversary present. He denies this and heads off to the airport to meet Jeff. When he sees Jeff it is revealed that Cheryl was right, he did want to go without her so that he could benefit from her Anniversary gift. I won't give anymore of the plot away, but I will say that this episode is tense, hilarious, shocking and expertly filmed and written. David Schwimmer and Larry David are absolutely brilliant in their delivery. Maz Jobrani is also surprisingly funny as the Sikh technician who works at the hotel.

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Top 10 funniest scene in any comedy last 5 years.

10/10
Author: rockjohny from Dallas, Texas
24 September 2015

I won't ruin it for you but the scene with the "fellatio expert" and pepper sauce had me rolling. That was NUTS. And whatever your imagination is coming up with, it's not close to what's on the screen. (If you're afraid of spoilers).

"Where are you going?"

If Larry doesn't return to do more Curb i hope he writes movies. Is he waiting to see if Cheryl comes to her senses and leaves the Cape? If he's got a lot of Curb scripts ready to go, i'm quite sure most of it could be morphed into a movie.

Larry could be the next Woody Allen if he desired. He's that good.

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