I now realize that the funniest funny is found in awkwardness. This is why Curb Your Enthusiasm is so popular. The main characters do things that make you cringe, often to the point where you even cover your eyes because it’s just too painful to watch. You say aloud to yourself, “Oh my god, no he didn’t just get a boner while hugging that old woman,” or “why are you talking to the TiVo guy when your wife might die?!” But with all due respect to the people that hate Larry’s character (Larry David) because he’s so rude and does stupid stuff, he often gets the short stick and apologizes when he shouldn’t have to.
If the unscripted show didn’t already shoot from the hip, the sixth season of Curb adds new potential for cringe-worthy activities. This 10-episode season introduces the Blacks (including Vivica A. Fox), an African-American family displaced by Hurricane Katrina Edna who altruistic Cheryl (Cheryl Hines) wanted to take in while the family’s house was being rebuilt. I was surprised by the few issues that actually sprung up with the new additions.
Since there are only 10 episodes, here’s a brief breakdown:
Episode 1: Meet the Blacks
It begins with Larry’s excuse to get out of going to a couple parties with no repercussions from the party’s hosts – admittedly, it is smart; show up the night after the party like you really did think it was THAT night. However, like anything else Larry does, it backfires. Cheryl’s anger over Larry’s embarrassing them both leads him to give in to taking in the Blacks. Oh, and when I said backfire, pay particular attention to the latter four letters of that word.
Episode 2: The Anonymous Donor
This is the first indication that Cheryl and Larry are in new territory with their housemates. While cleaning up, Cheryl notices some ejaculatory material on a blanket and suspects one of the Blacks. All I can say is that when people come over your house for dinner, don’t let them out of your sight.
Episode 3: The Ida Funkhouser Roadside Memorial
Larry’s friend Marty Funkhouser’s mother dies and has her own roadside memorial. Larry screws up when he makes fun of a sample abuser at an ice cream shop who also turns out to be the decider of the academic future for Jeff’s kids. That is always happening to me.
Episode 4: The Lefty Call
This whole episode pretty much takes place about, in, or around the bathroom. I think the type of toilet paper you use is a very individual decision. No one can decide that for the entire household. Except Cheryl apparently, with her environmentally conscious butt paper that could grate cheese.
Episode 5: The Freak Book
Cheryl and Larry are going out for the night and have the wherewithal to arrange for a car service, so they don’t have to worry about drinking and driving. Well, long story short, Larry becomes the chauffeur so the original guy doesn’t lose his job, whose next assignment is to pick up John McEnroe. And there’s some stuff about a gravesite.
Episode 6: The Rat Dog
Money doesn’t make the world go ‘round, misunderstandings do. And boy, are there a ton of them here. See, problems happen when one person is deaf and the other person is flailing their fingers about. Also, if Larry David can’t afford a nice toaster, what hope is there for the rest of us?
Episode 7: The TiVo Guy
A lot of you probably know that Larry David was in real-life, separating or divorcing from his wife, so this episode is kind of the introduction to that. To avoid a divorce, if your wife calls you from a plane phone and starts trying to tell you that if anything happens, she wants you to know that she loves you, well, listen to her!
Episode 8: The N Word
Just look at the title. Nothing good is coming from this. And by good, I mean appropriate. But let’s face it; appropriateness is not why you would be watching this show.
Episode 9: The Therapists
Cheryl’s therapist is advising her on whether she should go out with Larry, so Larry decides to improve the therapist’s opinion of him by doing something heroic. Little did he know that she’d be so conniving as to want him all to herself.
Episode 10: The Bat Mitzvah
Larry’s going to miss the Blacks, as their house is rebuilt and they are ready to vamoose. But before they leave, one of the young Blacks loses their hamster, leading to an unseemly rumor that has to do with Larry’s new gastrointestinal problems. Cheryl is dating someone else, and Larry is all alone, well, maybe.
This season is not disappointing in the least, but nor is it groundbreaking since of course, they already did that, like five seasons ago. Tune in for some more awkward moments that you’re glad the cast is doing instead of you. Unlike me, try to keep your eyes open.
It’s a TV show, it sounded fine, but if you’re concerned, there’s always subtitles.
I think HBO usually does a good job with their sets, and considering it’s not HD or Blu-Ray, it looks pretty nice. Everything’s solid, and you know it’s California.
Not bad, but not great. Three basic extras to speak of including “A Conversation With Larry David and Susie Essman” (who plays Jeff’s wife on the show). This was kind of neat because they spend about a half hour talking about the show in general. Larry does not script the show, the only thing he provides is storyboards, so the cast knows the scene, the objective, and the general issues, but other than that, it’s all adlibbed. And honestly, you can’t get better than that.
“On the Set: Curb Your Enthusiasm” is just that; on set, all the cast gets to talk about what they like about the show – which is everything. The biggest thing I got from this piece is that everyone is really comfortable with each other because they’ve been together for so many seasons. Lastly is a gag reel, which I find are normally hit or miss. In this case, it’s just okay. For such a funny show I expected a lot more from this.
If you like the show, you’ve already seen these episodes. If you want to pick up the season because of the extras, I’d skip it. Overall, it’s a funny show and you can always find new things to laugh at.