TV lists

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Ranking the seasons

Tony Black ranks the first eight seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm...

SEASON 5 (2005)

For a while, the final season, and Larry constructs Season Five with the sense of an ending, to some degree, by having Larry undertake more of a personal soul-searching mission. Most seasons of Curb tend to flip flop between Larry dabbling in show business or undertaking a venture, with more personal reasons for the comedy, and here its the joyous possibility he’s adopted (or a Doctor), his ailing father (played wonderfully by the recently late Shelley Berman) tells him. Larry’s entire mission here revolves around trying to escape the Jewish self-loathing that in many respects has made him the curmudgeon he is today.

Though at times a little uneven, Season Five has some of the most laugh out loud episodes and moments in Curb history, when the comedy just lands. ‘The Christ Nail’, where Larry annoys everyone with his orthotics and persistent refusal to believe in the Tooth Fairy, is just gold (and perhaps contains his best clash with Susie Essman’s volcanic Susie Greene of all their set-to’s). The wonderfully amoral ongoing storyline of not wanting to give Richard Lewis a kidney is dealt with brilliantly, while episodes such as ‘The Bowtie’ where Larry asks the age old question “can a black man wearing a bowtie by a Muslim?” and all of ‘The Smoking Jacket’, where Larry goes to the Playboy mansion, are fantastic.

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