DVD Review: Curb Your Enthusiasm – The Complete Eighth SeasonWritten by Rena Sapon-White Printer-friendly
Larry David has monopolized his fruitful stint as the star of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm on the premise that his persona is both familiar and ridiculous enough to engage the audience without alienating them. Shifting imperceptibly between the mundane and the hyper-real, Curb careens around each plot twist with a genuity and clarity that evokes the great television classics of a bygone era.
Much like David’s initial zany wunderkind Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm maintains a core cast of seasoned comedians and dramaticians, including Jeff Garlin (Wall-E; Arrested Development) as Jeff Greene and the yin to Larry David’s yang, the sharp-witted Cheryl Hines (Waitress) as Cheryl David. Now in its eighth season, this gem of coarse humor continues to bring viewers Larry David’s unique brand of crass insight and cultural commentary.
The ten episodes of the show’s eighth season find Larry in promisingly hilarious dire straits. Beginning with a divorce from his wife, Cheryl, Larry is forced to rely on his motley crew of middle-aged neighborhood divorcees for support as he breaks into the dating scene, initiates an involuntary tampon ed session with a local Girl Scout, and becomes an in-flight hero. Shot mockumentary style, almost entirely on handheld cameras, Curb Your Enthusiasm sticks by what can only be described as a tried and true anti-formula. Larry David’s candid brashness always breeds hilarity, but without the typical repetitive format of the show’s prime-time siblings.
A true appreciation of this masterpiece must transcend the debate surrounding Curb. Avid fans have demanded a precise ratio respective to the accuracy of how David is portrayed on the show and how he existentially is off-camera. Yet the magic of the show lies in the fact that it matters not who Larry David is as an individual. Rather, the Larry David seen episodically throughout the past eight years is an epitomizing of that friend, that uncle, that substitute teacher, that rabbi or bus driver- whose antics and cavalierness incite simultaneous awe and irreverence in those who surround them.
David’s lens is a jaded, caustic one, yet it finds humor and meaning in the most unexpected confrontations and places. Curb Your Enthusiasm has its place in the books as a consistently shocking, rings-true comedy, which flexes at its center the inimitable talent and perspective of one of the most prolific and wise performers of today.
This eighth season two-disc edition includes Bonus Features and sports clear surround sound and a flawless widescreen picture.