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"Curb Your Enthusiasm" The End (2005)

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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Ali G cameo.

Author: machinekid from United States
4 March 2006

*** 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.

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10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Season 5: Another very enjoyable season; even if it has a handful of weaker aspects it still really works

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
21 February 2010

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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14 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

great ending

Author: even0110 from United States
9 February 2006

*** 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.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Easily the Weakest Season Finale

Author: ianlueck from United States
30 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love Curb Your Enthusiasm but this season finale was lacking. It just wasn't that funny.

But there were other problems (spoilers ahead!): The whole "Larry is adopted" plot was quite frustrating; first the detective tells Larry that he's adopted, then he rushes in to tell him he made a mistake. Meaning, the first twenty minutes or so where he meets his supposed birth parents were pointless aside from finally convincing Larry to give up his kidney to Lewis. And what was the reason that the detective screwed up? They never really say. I guess it doesn't matter why, it was a screw up either way, but it just felt like an arbitrary switcheroo on the audience.

Also, having a character temporarily die and go to Heaven is a tired trope, and the episode doesn't really do anything unique to it. He's sent back to his earthly body because he's "not ready yet". This just doesn't feel as original or as witty as the typical episode, even though the reason for them sending Larry back was different (that is, he kept annoying his guardian angels with questions).

Also, Cheryl was really out-of-character here, confused where the DVD cover went instead of providing support to Larry as he's contemplating what he's going to do about donating a kidney to Richard Lewis. This preoccupation with a trivial thing is something that Larry would do, not Cheryl. And that's not even getting into a financial argument with Jeff and Susan immediately after Larry dies, which is not only out-of-character for her but is something that any sane person wouldn't do, especially not someone whose spouse just died.

I will say that it was refreshingly realistic that Larry didn't change after his near-death experience (giving us a callback to the "handicapped bathroom" joke from earlier in the season in the process), and there were a couple laughs here and there, but it's nowhere near as funny or clever as it could've been.

For my money, season 3's "The Grand Opening" and season 4's "Opening Night" were both great season finales, much funnier than this.

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