S5: Not totally consistent but still very enjoyable season
The days where I really didn't see the appeal seem a long time ago because this fifth season pretty much holds the standard that it had set in the last couple of seasons after an initial first season which I wasn't so sure of. The downside of this consistency is that some of the episodes and themes are a bit familiar but generally it still works and it is effective and funny. Whereas larry himself was once a rather grumpy character at the centre and we got to see his lack of suffering fools gladly, the show is much better stepping away from him so he is a more obvious part of the problem as well.
Shandling plays into this well with good sport and delivery of this character and he continues to be well supported in particular by Torn and Tambor. The supporting cast continue to be stronger as the material is spread around but in this season there were a few guest spots that I didn't think worked. The show has always had celebrities appear either in character or (much more often) as a version of themselves, but here we have a few that didn't work. Silverman, as much as I love her, did feel like a drop-in for the sake of it. Rajskub being a regular alongside Johnson gave me a kick as a former 24 viewer.
Generally this season didn't quite hit the heights it could have done but there are plenty of very strong episodes in here where the laughs come frequently. The dialogue continues to be sharp but energetic and the delivery from everyone really makes the most of it. Very glad I stuck with it as it settled in through the early seasons and now it is a shame I only have one more to follow.
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