The Good

There is a great deal of Larry David's classic brilliance in this 5th Season.

The Bad

The final episode of this show could have lost the "Heaven Portion."

Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Fifth Season is a terrific, if not perfect 10 episode look into the life of Larry David. While there is much debate about whether "LD" is really like this, I tend to think what we are seeing on display here is at least 60% accurate. This 5th Season is bookended around Richard Lewis's need for a new kidney and his best friend Larry doing everything he can not to give it to him. In the midst of this Larry questions whether a friend's kamikaze grandfather was actually a kamikaze at all, he accuses a woman of having a big vagina and pretends to be more Jewish than he is to further find ways out of helping Richard Lewis.

Curb Your Enthusiasm is a great show that if you have any interest in watching, makes itself highly accessible to you. Filled with a lot jokes and interesting guest stars, Larry David's brilliance lies in his ability to find humor where you least expect it.

Features

Featurettes

There are two featurettes on this DVD. They are titled The History of Curb... So Far and the The History of Curb... Even Further. They look at the show, how it's developed, the characters and basically the overall arc and direction that this show has taken since it began as an HBO Special. I really liked this because I think it helps to put the characters in perspective, and at the same time makes you understand just how clever the creator and all the actors really are.

Video

Aspect - 1.33:1. These shows are shot on some form of High-Definition video that doesn't like like video, but at the same time it doesn't look like film. There is a brightness to the images that isn't harsh as much as it is attention grabbing. While there aren't many fancy camera moves or tricks being employed by any of the directors, these 10 episodes look even better on DVD than when I watched them last fall.

Audio

Dolby. Closed - Captioned. Subtitled. There are random moments in some of the episodes where it sounds like the microphones recording the action got a little distorted. Or, there were times when you could tell that something that was said was an obvious overdub. These are minor sound things and really I probably only noticed them because I had already seen these shows when they originally aired.

Package

The usual Curb packaging in which you pull the bottom or top tabs and both discs in the set come out. The front cover is a bunch of people all with Larry David's head Photoshopped onto them, and gold ole "LD" is in the middle with his classic "LD" expression. One can easily open up the front flap and read about the episodes on the discs, as well as find out about the bonus features. The back cover has all the standard stuff: a description of the show, a Special Features listing, technical specs, etc.... All in all, pretty standard packaging that should make collector's of this show happy to own it.

Final Word

I was sadly disappointed with the final episode in this two disc set. In fact, that isn't even accurate. I was let down about halfway through when Larry ends up in heaven. I just didn't like the direction that the show had taken, and this compounded with the need to throw in guest stars just for the sake of having guest stars really didn't sit well with me. As someone who felt letdown by the final episode of Seinfeld, I sadly had that same feeling here. One thing this does confirm is that Larry David does what he wants and he certainly isn't afraid to deviate from his own formula. Unless of course getting 95% there and then blowing the last 5% is his formula.

Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Fifth Season will be a welcome addition to your DVD collection and it's a welcome addition to TV on DVD period.

Curb Your Enthusiasm was released .