|Index||3 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is an excellent season/show finale episode.
It contains a great amount of clips/highlights from previous episodes that showcase Larry's idiosyncrasies.
By the way, the other guardian angel beside Dustin Hoffman is Sacha Baron Cohen, of the hilarious Ali G Show.
I'm a little confused, though-- was this merely the final episode of that particular season, or is the entire show now finished? It would be so unfortunate if the latter were the case.
I guess we can always look forward to Larry doing a new project. He has a ton of money, but he only seems to be happy when producing comedy, so I have to guess that he'll have something for us in the future. Perhaps even some sort of theatrical release.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What a great ending! Much like the final episode of Seinfeld, this episode is a showcase of Larry David's most annoying, selfish, and generally inhumane qualities. The best part of the Seinfeld finale was the montage of bad deeds performed by Jerry, George, and Elaine, shown before the cast is sentenced to prison. In "The End", Larry David uses the same formula, but it's even funnier. This time, after the montage finishes, Larry dies and goes to Heaven, but it doesn't end there. Yes, what happens in the afterlife is typical and predictable. But seeing Larry act like an a--hole to his guardian angels (one of whom is played by Dustin Hoffman) is funny no matter what. Another perfect ending to another perfect show.
At times I was worried that season 5 was a bit of a step backwards for
Curb. After the first season I started to like the show because it at
least had some form of season long thread that guiding the specific
episodes and gave the whole thing a bit more structure, which in turn
made it easier for the improvised and imaginative situations to work,
because they somehow felt less contrived and a bit more like things
happened for reasons other than a gag. So with season 5 I was a little
worried at times because the adoption and kidney threads were not quite
as strong a structure as in the previous seasons. Looking back I think
that in part I was right to notice that this makes a difference (or at
least it does for me) because this season was not quite as strong as
the previous ones in certain areas.
I say "certain areas" because I think in a couple of episodes I went away thinking that they were only pretty good and, while I enjoyed them they were not quite up to the high standard I had become accustom to. This is a minor complaint though because even when the show is working outside of the season thread, it still manages to be imaginative and very funny. The joke is the roughly the same each and every time as we watch Larry deal with social rules and etiquette that he doesn't feel he should follow himself but at the same time cannot let go when anyone wrongs him in the same way; it is a joke that is repeated right up to and including the final line of the season ("then you wait" which is a marvellously funny throwback) and it works almost every time.
The reason it works is the writing. The scenarios are imaginative and even when you see them coming they mostly still work because you are greeting them with a laugh and a groan as you see Larry doing the social equivalent of steering into oncoming traffic and you know nothing good will come of it. The show is at its best when you don't see it coming till it happens for me Larry deciding to use the Passion nail to hang something up drew a big laugh simply because it took me by surprise in a "no, don't do it" way. The scenarios are exaggerated but they work because they really go "all in" with the imagination and wit; I can understand why some just see them as contrived because they are exaggerated but this is where the comedy comes from.
The performances continue to be great when you consider that so much is improvised around a basic scene framework a fact that I always forget and it is a testament to the skills of the cast that I do. David is quite brilliant a tremendous asshole even when things are good, he plays his duality without ever letting on that he knows he is doing it and it makes him funny whether casting him as victim or the one at fault. Hines, Garlin and Essman continue to be great in support, although I continue to not be a great fan of Lewis in terms of what he brings to the show. The season also benefits a little from recognisable faces such as Kaling, Robinson, Tobolowsky, Phifer, Hefner, Lopez and of course Hoffman, Cohen and Bea Arthur in the final episode (which itself was a bit of a risk but it worked because they did the same joke Larry being unreasonable over a nothing comment).
Curb is a great show and I am really glad that I stayed with it past the so-so first season. Season 5 maybe has some weaker moments that stick in my mind but these were the minority because as always I was caught up in the wonderfully contrived situations and laughing regularly and hard. I'm not sure if the series was meant to end at this point (the final episode of the season is The End and it does have a certain finality to it in the way it echoes the Seinfeld series finale) but I'm glad there were more seasons after this and I look forward to watching them soon.
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