Curb Your Enthusiasm has been running since 2000 which (whilst not sounding it) is a bloody long time ago. And now, given its steadfast success on screens, Must thought it was about time that it got a review – especially considering a brand spanking new season has just been released on Sky Comedy. There’s no need for canned laughter with this one.
Written by and starring the legendary Larry David, known for his cardinal role in writing Seinfeld, it’s kind of a given that Curb Your Enthusiasm is going to have a fair few chuckles. It follows Larry, navigating a life of lazy wealth and privileged ignorance, chock-a-block with catchphrases, outrageously stupid misunderstandings between characters, and enough guest cameos to give the series a fresh feel that belies its 21-year-old age.
“Much like Seinfeld,” Michael Hogan writes in The Telegraph, “each episode tends to [be] crafted around a string of seemingly trivial plot threads which inexorably come together with deceptive skill”. And it is from this triviality that the biggest laughs erupt, as we watch Larry bumble his way through privileged LA life, stumbling into unfortunate scenario after unfortunate scenario – with the jokes piling up like Larry’s overpriced lunch bills.
To The Guardian’s Jordan Hoffman, the series “has always shoved aside life’s bigger and more realistic problems and focussed on the frustrating aggravations of minutiae”. Hoffman goes on to write that “even though tension, conflict, loud voices, and fury erupt from the screen, this display holds for some…a great catharsis, even comfort”, and comfort is something we’ve come to expect from Larry David, with Seinfeld proving itself to be the OG comfort watch, on a cult-like scale.
Writer for the Financial Times, Dan Einav praises the way that “in [the] 20 years since the show started, David has elevated petty self-righteousness, explosive, expletive-laden squabbling and social solecism into an art form”, and to Einav, this art form “has re-energised itself brilliantly before” and shows signs of doing so again in the newest season.
It’s a show which says exactly what’s on its mind, and it’s exactly what we all need to lighten the load and provide some much-needed comedic catharsis. You won’t need to curb your enthusiasm with this one…it’s worth the hype.
First shown October 2000.