Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 1, Episode 10

The Group (17 Dec. 2000)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Comedy
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 547 users  
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Thanks to Larry's manager, Jeff, Cheryl is up for a part in "The Vagina Monologues." Meanwhile, Larry runs into an ex, who asks him to attend a survivors-of-incest support group with her to lend moral support while she deals with her past.

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Title: The Group (17 Dec 2000)

The Group (17 Dec 2000) on IMDb 8.3/10

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Melanie Smith ...
Lucy Montone
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Incest Group Leader
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Thanks to Larry's manager, Jeff, Cheryl is up for a part in "The Vagina Monologues." Meanwhile, Larry runs into an ex, who asks him to attend a survivors-of-incest support group with her to lend moral support while she deals with her past.

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17 December 2000 (USA)  »

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Final acting role of Allan Arbus. See more »

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References Twilight Zone (1959) See more »

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Morning Promenade
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Music by Franco Micalizzi
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User Reviews

Season 1: Cleverly comic sitcom of misunderstandings and social awkwardness
19 October 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Larry David may be behind the successful show Seinfeld and have a very comfortable life with wife Cheryl but he still cannot manage to get through life without some manner of confusion or misunderstanding getting in his way. Whether it be his fault, others people's fault or just one big mistake, there is nothing too small that Larry cannot blow it up into a big deal.

I have dipped into this show here and there over the years and found it not to be as brilliant as everyone says, but then I perhaps had never given it a chance to win me over. So, with time and reduced prices for box-sets I decided to watch a couple of seasons in order. Starting with season 1 (which it turns out is where the couple of episodes I watched came from) I have to say that my opinion of the show remains unchanged in that it is funny and clever but yet not eye-watering hilarious or as inventive as some other sitcoms that I love.

My girlfriend hates it and describes it as an adult Mr Bean, where the scenarios are either so contrived or so obvious that it is just a matter of painfully waiting for what you know is going to happen to actually happen, but I don't agree or disagree totally. I agree that the plots are mainly driven by coincidence in this first season and that, to a point you can see some of the things coming but this was not as true as I originally thought it was. Although you know that some misunderstanding is going to happen mostly it doesn't quite play out as obvious as some slapstick comedy. At its best the scenarios are wonderfully absurd in their denouncements and twists, producing good laughs while the remainder are mostly solidly delivered and amusing. Some of them rely far too much on coincidence and, while still being pretty funny, do rather detract from the show because you sort of know that any minor character or event introduced out of nowhere is going to come back on him (the episode with the dermatologist and the actress met outside the bathroom is probably the worst example of this but again it does still work as an episode).

The improvised approach to the making of the show does help the material a lot because it gives the dialogue an air of naturalism that stops the scenarios feeling really tightly scripted and produced – something that may have made them little more clunky and contrived. The cast help this by being able to make this work in the most part. David is the star of course and he makes for a great character. He manages to make the viewer stay on his side because mostly his attempts at having an easy life where things go well for him are recognisable, but yet the same selfishness that he has in this regard will always come back on him in ways that are funny but yet still make you feel for him because he just cannot get a break. Hines works well with David, making a cool couple even if her patience is a bit too unending. Garlin overacts a little too much for my liking but his large character is a nice contrast with David's more folded in turn.

I will come back for more to see how later seasons turn out and it is certainly funny enough to make for enjoyable viewing. OK the level of praise it has received over the 6 or 7 seasons so far makes it a rather daunting task to start from the beginning because one expects it to instantly be the best thing ever – and then maybe give up when it turns out just to be a strong, clever, absurd and comic sitcom of social awkwardness. Certainly over-hyped by those that love it but Curb is still a strong proposition which is also notable for being one of the few times where the US nails the socially awkward comedy that the UK generally does better.


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