DVD reviews: Curb Your Enthusiasm – Series 8 | Entourage – Series 8
Curb Your Enthusiasm keeps going from strength to strength.
Curb Your Enthusiasm – Series 8
Entourage – Series 8
Having reunited the cast of Seinfeld and got back together with long-suffering wife Cheryl in the previous series, Larry David’s magnificently misanthropic, reality-blurring creation begins the new one in a happy and settled place – for approximately 30 seconds. That’s just enough time to let his near psychopathic fastidiousness rear its amusing head and catalyse a divorce, which turns into exile from Los Angeles and, eventually, a jaw-droppingly funny return to Larry’s old New York stomping ground. Along the way laughs flow freely from the ever-more excruciating circumstances that Larry’s forthrightness lands him in. With girl scouts, non-Jewish lawyers and Ricky Gervais among the targets of his ire, the entire series is comedy gold. That said, two episodes in particular stand out as being among the finest and funniest 30 minutes of television comedy ever to have come out of the US: one involves Larry getting drawn into a West Bank-style territorial dispute between a Jewish deli and a Palestinian chicken restaurant, the other features him accusing new neighbour Michael J Fox of milking his Parkinson’s disease just to annoy him. Nobody bar David could get away with this; long may he continue.
Continuing is not something Entourage is interested in doing: the long-running HBO show draws to a definitive close with this eighth series, which is perhaps for the best. After all, while the Hollywood-set show – following on-the-rise movie star Vincent Chase (Adrien Grenier) and his close-knit band of childhood friends – has generally been pretty entertaining, there’s only so much mileage to be had in its fantasy “everything always works out” approach. What’s particularly frustrating is that while the show may have started off as an attempt to do a small-screen version of Swingers – the main character was named Vince in tribute to Vince Vaughn – it bows out in a way that makes it hard to deny the niggling criticism that it’s really just Sex in the City for guys. Marriage, babies, relationship problems, grand romantic gestures, obscene materialism – it’s all here, and not even Jeremy Piven’s once-great super-agent Ari Gold can save the day.
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