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Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 5 Review

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Nobody chronicles everyday life better than Larry David. Long may he rage!

★★★★★

Larry David walked away From Seinfeld at its zenith — and the show was never quite the same — but despite the fact that the last episode of this fifth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm is called “The End”, it seems that the irascible comedian can’t quite summon the will to quit his second great sitcom. (A sixth season should begin shooting in October.)

Why is the 59 year-old David, a perfectionist who feels the strain of every operatic rant, so addicted to the long working hours necessary to simulate his own comfortable retirement years? Well, partly because the improvised showboating with pals is still a blast after all these years, but mostly because life, in all its stupid, frustrating, trivial detail, just keeps throwing up so much brilliant material.

Now settled into comfortable middle age, Curb Your Enthusiasm should feel like a joke that has run on too long. There are no taboos left to break — at least two episodes have revolved around the word “cunt” — and the self-parodying celebrity cameos are part of the furniture. And yet, although some outrages now feel mild — Larry gets a racist dog; what other kind could he possibly get? — this fifth season continues to feel fresh. It’s partly due to Curb being one of the precious few sitcoms to engage with the wider world — an episode revolves around merchandise from The Passion Of The Christ — but, for the most part, it is simply because, despite Ricky Gervais’ very best efforts, the show remains resolutely unlike anything else out there. He may be a millionaire denizen of LA’s celebrity circuit, but with a stand-up’s eye for detail and a ceaseless rage at a crazy world, nobody chronicles everyday life better than David. Long may he rage!

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