HBO and Cinemax free preview starts now

Set those DVRs folks, it’s time for another HBO free preview weekend. You can get all the great content on HBO and Cinemax from channels 501-523. This time around you can see the tenth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. This show has been airing on and off for an astounding twenty years, featuring Seinfeld creator Larry David playing an amped-up version of himself. Be the first to catch it when it airs Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 10:30pm Eastern.

Curb has been breaking new ground for a generation

Larry David’s arc in life often surprises even him. As a failed standup in the 1970s and minor bit player on  a small number of TV shows in the 1980s, he teamed with Jerry Seinfeld to create one of the most popular TV shows of the 1990s. Yet, he was a largely unknown character himself.

Mr. David certainly didn’t need to work after Seinfeld went off the air. Yet, faced with ambition and the ability to do pretty much anything he wanted, he created an experimental piece of television in 1999, an HBO special called Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm. It was shot in documentary style, following Mr. David around in the process of creating an HBO standup concert film. In 1990s “meta” style, you see Mr. David going through all the problems associated with a TV production, working with his costars and producers, and in the end, not creating the concert film at all.

HBO’s executives were impressed (or scared, perhaps) enough to turn Curb Your Enthusiasm into a limited series, which first premiered in October of 2000. It takes the Seinfeld form and twists it around. Larry David, his fictional wife Cheryl (based on then-spouse Laurie David,) his fictional manager, and his friends explore the foibles of daily life. This being HBO of course, they can get away with a lot more swearing and risque situations.

The real difference

The real difference between Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld is that Curb has no script. Using then-new consumer video cameras to shoot tons of digital footage, each episode had only an outline. Then a skilled group of comedians enacted the events as only they could. The result was incredibly fresh and different.

Today this seems like a tried-and-true formula but remember we are talking about twenty-one years ago. Technology was only just evolving to allow the cameras to roll as long as they did, and digital editing was just beginning to make it easier.

There’s a lot more on HBO

While you’re waiting for more of Larry David and company (including the amazing Susie Essman) check out the other great movies and shows! HBO premieres a new movie every week and this week it’s the summer blockbuster Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Perhaps unfairly panned at the box office, this is a fun romp with barely a serious undertone. Sure, there’s a message there somewhere, but the big deal is simply watching a giant moth fight a three-headed dragon. Where else are you going to find that?

You’ll get the entire HBO and Cinemax package, and in the next 72 or so hours that means about 1,000 hours of content for you to choose from. That’s pretty much the same as Disney+ has in its entire catalog and it’s all yours, all for free, all this weekend.

If you like what you see, you can subscribe to HBO and Cinemax by calling us at 877-312-4547 or visiting DIRECTV.com or ATT.com and logging in. It’s very easy to get started.

As an added bonus, it looks like everyone who subscribes to HBO on DIRECTV will get a free subscription to HBO Max when it launches. This means for one price you will get not only 22 channels of live entertainment but the most exciting new streaming service to launch this year. Sounds great to me!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.