Review of Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000)
Review applies only to the first season.
The “cocreator of Seinfeld” plays himself in the mock story of his own current life. It’s basically a rawer West Coast Seinfeld (1989). Everybody has asshole tendencies and you can count on many small errors and accidents to knot up into one great ball of aggravation over the course of each episode. The central character often “deserves” what he gets and has few sympathizers. There are lots of upper-class issues of communication, transportation, favours and gifts, dumb courtesies, celebrities and other revolting problems.
A fairly good example of the “therapeutic nightmare” style of R-rated sitcom, outlining unlikely failures to look out for with grating verisimilitude, but in this case, with an atypical level of self-consciousness as well.
The most appealing part is the fact that Larry shows himself making serious errors of judgement, more so than Jerry. He tries to dodge, lie, bitch and bribe his way past various First-World annoyances, usually failing in the end, which gives the comedy an edge of Schadenfreude—lots of people take revenge—and an aspect of real frustration. He does not have a care in the world. Most of the characters are terribly shallow and selfish, repeating empty phrases and worrying about pure luxuries which they have no trouble affording.