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"The Larry Sanders Show" Flip (1998)

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10/10
Author: robrosenberger from Jersey City
21 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The hour-long series finale. Even though a few of the segments are just a hair off razor sharp, it doesn't stop the whole from being perfect. The perfect ending to this show that gave us the flip side of TV...the dysfunctional mess that stars are offstage, and the ugly, embarrassing creative process that goes into probably every real show we've ever loved. It's a sign of how close to the bone this show went, in the unspooling of stars who showed up at the end. Warren Beatty is chased by Larry in a parking lot. Jim Carrey's on-air tribute is an eye-popping wonderment. David Duchovny's invoking of Sharon Stone's most iconic scene is comic perfection. Plus Jerry Seinfeld, Sean Penn, Carol Burnett, Tim Allen, Tom Petty, Ellen Degeneres, Greg Kinnear, and...someone i'm forgetting...oh yes, Bruno Kirby! And again how bizarre, in that it would all mirror reality so closely, the willingness of stars to appear on a highly-rated, beloved series finale. You can't help wondering where the fantasy stops, and where the reality begins. The show within the show was never more than semi-beloved, so it almost strains credibility to have this many celebrities. But it doesn't quite cross that implausible line. Jeremy Piven and Linda Doucett return after long absences. And at the core, the big three knock out some of their most poignant scenes ever. Artie cries, alone in the costume room. Hank's kiss-off scene is towering (as is his tail-between-legs apology). Do NOT miss the deleted scenes. The last moment, as Larry looks back...you might just shed a tear yourself.

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