TV on DVD: “Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Seventh Season”

Written by Television, TV on DVD

Seinfeld fans finally got what they wanted during the seventh season of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm: a reunion of the cast of Seinfeld that is a funny and, some might say a more proper send off of their beloved characters. Eleven years after the Seinfeld (co-created by David) went off the air on NBC Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards reunited to portray themselves and their famous characters of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer for a proposed Seinfeld reunion in David’s critically acclaimed Meta comedy series. That the actors were playing versions of themselves and we only see snippets of this so-called reunion special doesn’t make the reunion any less sweet. Moreover, it’s all done in a way that only Larry David’s mind could have pulled off: with crass, uncomfortable situations and plenty of laughter. In other words, perfect.

Season seven of Curb picks up where the sixth ended, with Larry David (the character) divorced from his wife, Cheryl (the splendid, Cheryl Hines) and living with his belligerent new girlfriend, Loretta (Vivica A. Fox) and her insane family. Larry is miserable and quickly begins scheming for a way to get her out of his life. At the same time, he runs into Cheryl and realizes that he misses her terribly and needs her back in his life. After he succeeds in convincing Loretta to leave him (in typical Larry fashion), the writer reluctantly takes a meeting about a Seinfeld reunion. He’s against the idea, but sits with an NBC exec as a courtesy to his manager (Jeff Garlin). While sitting in the meeting Larry has an epiphany: If he were to write a Seinfeld reunion special and create a role specifically for Cheryl, now a fledgling actress, they would have to work together constantly and he could possibly win her back. Larry agrees to do the reunion special.

This being Curb nothing is easy for Larry David, and so, he can’t just call up Jerry, Jason, Julia and Michael and get them to just sign on for the special. He has to woo them, he has to stroke their egos, and he has to do favors until they’re all convinced that the Seinfeld special will turn out to be something better than the series finale. Give credit to David and Seinfeld for turning the divisive series finale ending of Seinfeld into a good joke that pops up a couple of times throughout this season of Curb.

Of course, Larry does convince the main players to participate and when the four cast members of Seinfeld get into a room together, even though they’re playing make believe versions of themselves, there is a certain magic in their performance s. It’s a magic created from nine years spent together of a soundstage, making people laugh. The comic timing between the four actors comes back instantly and it is just a real gas to see them performing together as a team again.

The Seinfeld plot plays throughout the entire season, but it does not hog the spotlight. There are still exceptionally funny episodes in this season, including Larry’s run in with Christian Slater, Larry dating a disabled woman, Larry and Jerry having to deal with their assistant who wears inappropriately short shirts, and the friendship that Larry forms with a nine year girl that rapidly becomes grossly inappropriate. Still, it’s the opportunity to see Seinfeld one last time that makes this season worth watching.

In addition to all ten episodes from the seventh season of Curb, this DVD collection includes some nice features that look at what it took to pull of the Seinfeld reunion, from rebuilding the sets to a look at how and why this reunion happened when it did.  David also interviews the entire cast in a hilarious featurette.