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Curb Your Enthusiasm - Complete HBO Season 1-8 DVD


Written by and starring Larry David (creator of the popular US television show Seinfeld), Curb your Enthusiasm features the on-going sequence of unfortunate incidents, mostly brought about by Larry himself, which mar his privileged, near-perfect everyday (fictionalised) life.

Despite an enviable career, an opulent home and a loyal, loving, extremely tolerant long-suffering wife Cheryl (played by Cheryl Hines) he is continually at odds with something or somebody and we see him mercilessly tripping himself up time and time again, often stepping way beyond the boundaries of social acceptance. This poor unfortunate has yet to learn to embrace the more delicate matters of etiquette such as how much caviar should garnish your cracker, correct tipping protocol in restaurants, how to give presents graciously, curtailing inappropriate humour and much more. Each episode is sketched plot-wise by David but the fine tuning of the dialogue is often spontaneous consisting of a good deal of ad-libbing from the actors themselves.

There are many guest appearances from other celebrities most of whom, but not all, play themselves. These have included Mel Brooks, Martin Scorsese, Ben Stiller, Ricky Gervais, Michael J. Fox, the cast of Seinfeld, Dustin Hoffman, Sacha Baron Cohen, Steve Coogan and many more. Among the regulars are Ted Danson and Richard Lewis.

The humour in Larry David's Curb your Enthusiasm has been variously described as off-beat, outlandish, unpredictable, bizarre, eccentric and side-splittingly hilarious and this is all down to the man himself who as Jeff Greene (his manager) says (is) " a victim of circumstance". This box set, produced and broadcast by HBO, contains all eight seasons which ran from 2000 to 2011.

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  • 11 June 2012
  • Larry David
  • DVD
  • Warner Home Video
  • 18
  • 2470 minutes
  • PAL

Every episode from the first eight seasons of the award-winning US TV series created by and starring Larry David David who found fame as the writer of the popular show 'Seinfeld' plays a version of himself who has it all - a career marriage to a beautiful wife friends palatial home - but finds that his day-to-day life can and generally does turn into a sequence of misfortunes The episodes are 'The Pants Tent' 'Ted and Mary' 'Porno Gil' 'The Bracelet' 'Interior Decorator' 'The Wire' 'AAMCO' 'Beloved Aunt' 'Affirmative Action' 'The Group' 'The Car Salesman' 'Thor' 'Trick Or Treat' 'The Shrimp Incident' 'The Thong' 'The Acupuncturist' 'The Doll' 'Shaq' 'The Baptism' 'The Massage' 'Chet's Shirt' 'The Benadryl Brownie' 'Club Soda and Salt' 'The Nanny' 'The Terrorist Attack' 'The Special Section' 'The Corpse-Sniffing Dog' 'Crazy-Eyez Killah' 'Mary Joseph and Larry' 'The Grand Opening' 'Mel's Offer' 'Ben's Birthday Party' 'The Blind Date' 'The Weatherman' 'The 5 Wood' 'The Car Pool Lane' 'The Surrogate' 'Wandering Bear' 'The Survivor' 'Opening Night' 'The Larry David Sandwich' 'The Bowtie' 'The Christ Nail' 'Kamikaze Bingo' 'Lewis Needs a Kidney' 'The Smoking Jacket' 'The Seder' 'The Ski Lift' 'The Korean Bookie' 'The End' 'Meet The Blacks' 'The Anonymous Donor' 'The Ida Funkhauser Roadside Memorial' 'The Lefty Call' 'The Freak Book' 'The Rat Book' 'The TiVo Guy' 'The N Word' 'The Therapists' 'The Bat Mitzvah' 'Funkhouser's Crazy Sister' 'Vehicular Fellatio' 'The Reunion' 'The Hot Towel' 'Denise Handicapped' 'The Bare Midriff' 'The Black Swan' 'Officer Krupke' 'The Table Read' 'Seinfeld' 'The Divorce' 'The Safe House' 'Palestinian Chicken' 'The Smiley Face' 'Vow of Silence' 'The Hero' 'The Bi-Sexual' 'Car Periscope' 'Mister Softee' and 'Larry vs Michael J Fox'

Every episode from the first eight seasons of the award-winning US TV series created by and starring Larry David. David, who found fame as the writer of the popular show 'Seinfeld', plays a version of himself who has it all - a career, marriage to a beautiful wife, friends, palatial home - but finds that his day-to-day life can, and generally does, turn into a sequence of misfortunes. The episodes are: 'The Pants Tent', 'Ted and Mary', 'Porno Gil', 'The Bracelet', 'Interior Decorator', 'The Wire', 'AAMCO', 'Beloved Aunt', 'Affirmative Action', 'The Group', 'The Car Salesman', 'Thor', 'Trick Or Treat', 'The Shrimp Incident', 'The Thong', 'The Acupuncturist', 'The Doll', 'Shaq', 'The Baptism', 'The Massage', 'Chet's Shirt', 'The Benadryl Brownie', 'Club Soda and Salt', 'The Nanny', 'The Terrorist Attack', 'The Special Section', 'The Corpse-Sniffing Dog', 'Crazy-Eyez Killah', 'Mary, Joseph and Larry', 'The Grand Opening', 'Mel's Offer', 'Ben's Birthday Party', 'The Blind Date', 'The Weatherman', 'The 5 Wood', 'The Car Pool Lane', 'The Surrogate', 'Wandering Bear', 'The Survivor', 'Opening Night', 'The Larry David Sandwich', 'The Bowtie', 'The Christ Nail', 'Kamikaze Bingo', 'Lewis Needs a Kidney', 'The Smoking Jacket', 'The Seder', 'The Ski Lift', 'The Korean Bookie', 'The End', 'Meet The Blacks', 'The Anonymous Donor', 'The Ida Funkhauser Roadside Memorial', 'The Lefty Call', 'The Freak Book', 'The Rat Book', 'The TiVo Guy', 'The N Word', 'The Therapists', 'The Bat Mitzvah', 'Funkhouser's Crazy Sister', 'Vehicular Fellatio', 'The Reunion', 'The Hot Towel', 'Denise Handicapped', 'The Bare Midriff', 'The Black Swan', 'Officer Krupke', 'The Table Read', 'Seinfeld', 'The Divorce', 'The Safe House', 'Palestinian Chicken', 'The Smiley Face', 'Vow of Silence', 'The Hero', 'The Bi-Sexual', 'Car Periscope', 'Mister Softee' and 'Larry vs. Michael J. Fox'.

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  • Curb Your Enthusiasm - Complete HBO Season 1-8
    George Orton

    If I had to describe Curb Your Enthusiasm in a single word, I'd call it the anti-sitcom. That's not to say it's not funny - it is, very - but it manages to be funny in a completely different way to 99% of the scripted half-hour TV shows that the US seems to churns out on an endless basis these days.

    Series creator Larry David - also the brains behind the most successful American sitcom of all time, 'Seinfeld' - chose to base Curb around a fictionalised version of himself, with a title that not only serves as a warning to viewers not to expect another laugh-a-minute comedy in the more conventional Seinfeld mould, but which also reflects the cynical, sometimes dour outlook of the 'Larry David' persona he adopts in this show. And because Curb is produced by US subscription-based cable network HBO, that cynical and dark humour can be pushed a lot further than most shows would dare.

    Like Seinfeld, most episodes of Curb revolve around something fairly mundane and commonplace: perhaps an item of clothing that Larry particularly likes or dislikes, a social convention that Larry disagrees with, or a certain turn of phrase that he finds ridiculous, amusing or controversial. Rather than using these simple elements as jumping-off points from which to build an absurd, convoluted and wide-ranging plot, however, the show instead brings them to the fore and dissects them in minute detail. So, you'll get several minutes of amusing discussion about the etiquette of tipping waiters in restaurants, or whether a certain word or phrase is racially insensitive, or whether a favourite jacket is really identical to another similar jacket.

    Typing this out, I realise that it makes the show sound incredibly petty and obsessed with detail. But in all honesty, "incredibly petty and obsessed with detail" is a perfect way to describe the fictional Larry David that inhabits the 'Curb' universe. Luckily, he's kept in check by a host of weary colleagues and friends - some of whom are fictional creations (like his boorish manager Jeff), and some of whom are real-life actors and comedians playing fictionalised versions of themselves, usually to great comedic effect (Ted Danson and Richard Lewis are particularly good examples of actors who aren't afraid to make fun of themselves for the sake of the show).

    As well as focusing on such small and realistic details of daily life, Curb occasionally throws in a plotline that's so outlandish and complicated that you can't help but admire the show's commitment to constructing such a complex farce. For example, in one episode, Larry has to confront the delicate situation of how to retrieve a golf club he lent to a (now deceased) friend whose family has decided that the man should be buried with it. Suffice it to say, the funeral doesn't go smoothly, and Larry draws the ire of everyone present (as he so often does).

    Rather than opting for a 'mockumentary' style - as used in shows like The Office - the show is instead a more relaxed, naturalistic affair, with much of the specific dialogue of each scene improvised around general plot points that need to be conveyed. This gives it a loose feel that's unlike so many scripted sitcoms - where you can see the jokes coming a mile off - instead letting each scene build naturally (often with no small amount of barely-concealed genuine amusement from the actors at each other's improvisations).

    Eight series is a long time to sustain a show, even one that's as original and distinctive as this, but Curb is one of those rare shows that actually seems to improve with age. Perhaps it's the actors' ever-increasing familiarity with their characters, or perhaps it's the realisation that the show needs to rely less and less on traditional setups and payoffs, instead opting to play with the audience's expectations of the characters and their increasing comfortableness with the labyrinthine structure of the show's individual episodes (which, like Seinfeld, often juggle several separate story strands before bringing them together in an unexpected but satisfying denouement).

    Indeed, it's two of the later seasons of Curb that stand out as my favourites. Season six introduces a family whose home was damaged in Hurricane Katrina, the Blacks, who seek shelter in Larry's Los Angeles home. Whilst it's a slightly forced development, it freshens up the cast with a very different group of characters - including Leon Black, who quickly becomes one of the show's funniest characters.

    This sixth season is followed up with the seventh year of the show - my personal favourite - in which Larry orchestrates a Seinfeld reunion show for the express purpose of engineering a reconciliation with his long-suffering wife Cheryl. It's a mind-bending collision of the fictional world of 'Curb', the even-more-fictional world of 'Seinfeld', and the reality of seeing a true reunion of Seinfeld's entire cast (all of whom, like Larry, are playing fictionalised and heightened versions of themselves within the world of 'Curb'). To say any more would risk spoiling it, but suffice it to say that it's the most ambitious but satisfying example of postmodern storytelling that I've ever seen in a TV show.

    The seventh season is perhaps such a strong climax to the show so far that Curb opts to change things up a little in its eighth (and so far, final) season, moving to a different locale (New York, instead of LA) and giving Larry a new status quo that sets the season apart from previous years. It's a slightly more mixed offering, but still offers up some classic Curb moments (including a standout guest appearance from Michael J Fox, who manages to steal every scene he's in). On the strength of this season, there's still plenty more life in Curb yet.

    In case it wasn't apparent from the preceding paragraphs, I'm somewhat evangelical about Curb, and believe that anyone who hasn't experienced it would be blown away by its originality and unique humour. For fans of the show, this boxset is a definitive collection of the series that you'll find yourself constantly watching and rewatching. And if you've never seen Curb before, this is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the world of Larry David.

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