Aired: HBO, 2000-Present
Having co-created Jerry Seinfeld's roman a clef of a sitcom, Larry David has turned himself inside out on Curb. The pilot involved David returning to his standup comedy roots ahead of filming an HBO special that he eventually chickened out on doing; as we saw him do sets, friends attested to the parallels between him and Seinfeld's George Costanza. Yet the show's eight seasons have made him ineffably Larry, at large on the Westside of Los Angeles and bumping against any number of societal rules, written and unwritten. Before the latest run of acclaimed sitcoms, including Modern Family, The Office and 30 Rock, Curb was a game-changer in the industry, seeming to show a new way to approach the half-hour comedy. It's as though David is making a series of short films about himself, post-Seinfeld, while using the same conflating and intersecting story form math that Seinfeld used.