Oh joy, the misanthrope is back. As Susie Greene says to Larry in one of their frequent confrontations in this season: "Just knowing you is a fucking liability." For the audience, though, knowing Larry is a sheer delight.
Curb Your Enthusiasm is easily the cleverest, if not the funniest, sitcom to ever come out of Hollywood. What makes is so clever is the fact that all the dialogue is unscripted – every line is ad-libbed by the actors. All they have to work with is an outline of each episode written by David. So the fact that it is so genuinely funny is a testament to the talent of Larry David himself, and the cast he has assembled from what began as a one-off special for HBO and has now grown into this monster that looks set to run a few more years yet.
As in previous years, this season has an overall arc – Larry and wife Cheryl (Hines) adopting a family made homeless by a hurricane. The family are black. And their surname is Black. Of course, this is a comedy goldmine for thoughtless Larry. And without trying to give too much away, some of the other plots this season include Larry railing against "sample abusers" (people who taste too many flavours at the ice cream store), faulty smoke alarms, rough toilet paper, anonymous donations, offending deaf people and the "N" word. Oh, and Cheryl's finally had enough and leaves Larry (a plot that reflects the real-life breakup of David's marriage).
Like Seinfeld, which Larry David co-created, Curb Your Enthusiasm is about the everyday minutiae of our lives. But this time it's from the perspective of a rich guy (David made millions from Seinfeld) and his rich friends. A rich guy who's mean, selfish, thoughtless, petty and incredibly prone to saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Each densely-plotted episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm is more cringe-inducing than The Office. It's an utterly hilarious show that is completely unmissible.
EXTRAS *** A Conversation With Larry David and Susie Essman, recorded before an audience at New York's 92nd Street Y; a featurette called On The Set, which has the cast and crew talking about Season 6; and a gag reel.