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StarTopic Seinfeld |ST| "No, no, nothing happens!"

big lantern ghost

⚱️💎🦖
Moderator
Pronouns
he/him
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Created by
Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld

Streaming on
Netflix

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THE SHOW
When it was on the air, the whole “Show about nothing” marketing line was inescapable. Really though, it sells the show short! Seinfeld is absolutely about stuff, with more intricate characters and storytelling than many of its contemporaries. It’s just that those characters are petty, and their stories revolve around the excruciating minutiae of our daily lives. That’s not nothing! That’s like 95% of our existence. Seinfeld is about the absurdity of the human experience.

SEINFELDIA
If you have yet to check out Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s book on the show, “Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything,” I cannot recommend it enough. Fantastically written and briskly edited, it is without a doubt worth a read for any Seinfeld Enjoyer. How the show was able to work around network TV standards from its inception; its unique, intimidating writing room structure; the horrifying truth that Festivus is a real thing that a real dad invented. All of that and much more is in this book!

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While it’s not a major focus, Seinfeldia also dives into some of show’s missteps with representation. Which brings us to…

CONTROVERSIES
Like many pieces of entertainment from an older era, Seinfeld had its issues with representation of people and situations outside of the straight, white world it mostly inhabited. There is no excusing or accounting for those missteps, really. Not in a way that could possibly be relevant to everybody’s lived experience. Whether these flaws are forgivable or not is of course up to you, but I ask that you don’t try to excuse them in this thread.



Now...let's talk some Seinfeld!
 
I thought I would kick things off by recommending 10 episodes, with at least a little consideration for avoiding the massively popular ones. I know you know about The Contest!

The Stake Out (Season 1, Episode 2)
The first truncated season of Seinfeld is but a glimpse of the greatness to come, but there’s plenty of bright spots even early on; this is the second ever episode of the show! The chemistry between Jerry and George already feels pretty well-established. Most important of all: this episode marks the creation of Art Vandelay, the most iconic alias in a show packed with ‘em.

The Apartment (Season 2, Episode 5)
I adore this episode. It’s very unusual, with a bunch of it set in a unique apartment set never seen again. It’s also just a really nice apartment; Jerry you bozo, you should have taken it! “Shooting” for the apartment. The vagaries of what you tip a Wood Guy. Elaine’s expression when Jerry lets her out of the closet. The housewarming party at the end! Great stuff.

The Library (Season 3, Episode 5)
This show is well-known for its memorable guest spots, but I think Philip Baker Hall’s Bookman — a “library cop” who tracks down Jerry about an overdue book from high school — might just take the throne:



I am not an actor, but this scene always make me think of how impossible it would be to be yelled at by Bookman and not laugh.

The Trip (Season 4, Episodes 1&2)
This is cheating a little, but I wanted to highlight what I think is the most successful two-parter of the show. The citizens of LA bebopping and scatting all over George; discussing what gauge of shotgun is most popular; Kramer being interrogated for being a suspected serial killer! And that shot of Kramer combing his hair. It felt like the perfect time for the show to take its now diamond-sharp characters into terra incognita.

The Cheever Letters (Season 4, Episode 8)
Maybe it’s the English Lit major in me, but I find something so amusing about this episode’s central conceit: George’s father-in-law’s secret, gay affair with author John Cheever is exposed. Warren Frost does an amazing job in this episode, showing a genuine hurt and yearning while still being very, very funny. George breaking the news about the cabin is one of my all-time favourite scenes:



The Sniffing Accountant (Season 5, Episode 4)
This episode has another one of my all-time favourite Seinfeld moments, one I still yearn to emulate: chugging a beer and smoking a cigarette at the same time:



It’s good aside from that too, but seriously. That’s amazing!

The Doorman (Season 6, Episode 18)
Seinfeld has a murderer’s row of memorable guest performances, but Larry Miller’s performance as the sinister, conniving Doorman is emblazoned into my memory. I feel like I don’t even want to say more!

The Wink (Season 7, Episode 4)
I fucking hate it when people wink, and so this episode speaks very specifically to me. It’s also just really funny to see George fucked over, and that’s pretty much the A plot of this episode! Jason Alexander’s winks are very funny, and him yelling “GET IT BACK!” while holding his eyes open always makes me laugh.

The Andrea Doria (Season 8, Episode 10)
I love this episode for lots of reasons. If I had to pick just one, it’s that it is one hell of a capper for the character of George, with a clever use of his character history. But there is other great stuff too! Elaine’s bad breaker-upper boyfriend, who calls George “chinless.” Jerry trying to give a dog-like Kramer his meds. George ripping on the Andrea Doria survivor because it took so long to sink is peak Seinfeld.

The Merv Griffin Show (Season 9, Episode 6)
Larry David departed Seinfeld at the end of Season 7. In his absence the show became a lot more cartoonish. In my mind, there is no more elevated episode than this one: Kramer discovers the discarded set of the titular late night talk show, and reconstructs it inside of his apartment. His life then becomes completely amalgamated with the set, his social interactions taking the shape of guest interviews. It is completely bonkers in a way that frankly goes against some of the foundational pillars of Seinfeld, but that’s the beauty of it. This is the kind of episode you get to make in your last season, after a near-decade of success.
 
People want threads about something?

We’ll give them a thread about nothing!
 
It’s the type of thing that’s easy to override in your mind; did you know that Seinfeld gave its logo quite a few different treatments through the years?

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My personal favourite is the Season 9 logo, set against a starfield. I have seen people online draw a connection between the logo and the more outlandish nature of the season’s episodes which I think is pretty funny, intentional or not!
 
I’ve watched my DVDs of this show so many times I have it practically memorized (I have the full set.) One of my favorite memories growing up is watching it with my grandma (RIP) as a teenager
 
Actually I probably aughta contribute and @Yamanoi's post above reminds me of one of my favorite Seinfeld ending freeze frames:



Which also spawned the legendary blooper reel:

 
Seinfeld is probably the only piece of media ever produced that gets funnier every time you rewatch it. I'll be watching it in my death bed and I bet I'll be laughing.
 
This is genuinely what youtube is showing for my "Related to past searches" category right now:

 
Woke up thinking about the Buddy Rich tapes, and how Seinfeld pulls from them once in a while. If you're unfamiliar, let's have JERRY explain!



The tapes themselves are very easy to find on YouTube, but I'm not gonna link 'em! They're pretty vulgar sometimes. Also it's a lot of YELLING which can feel a little rattling unless you're prepared for it.
 
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I used to watch Seinfeld all the time as a kid (even though I didn’t get many of the jokes) since it was between or right after reruns of The Simpsons.

Last year, I restarted rewatching it from the beginning because I never saw the first five (?) seasons in release order. I got to the middle/end of Season 3 on Netflix. I feel like a lot is lost by being so far removed from and not watching the show in the 1990s so certain jokes/premises don’t hit as intended or are no longer relatable in a modern context. I’ll pick it up again at some point. Most of my favorite episodes are in Season 4 and later.

I used to really like Kramer because of how cartoon-like the character was. As an adult who has worked in an office setting, I relate more to Elaine. Jerry is kind of insufferable and George is a sociopath. As a group, they work really well together.
 
I used to watch Seinfeld all the time as a kid (even though I didn’t get many of the jokes) since it was between or right after reruns of The Simpsons.

Last year, I restarted rewatching it from the beginning because I never saw the first five (?) seasons in release order. I got to the middle/end of Season 3 on Netflix. I feel like a lot is lost by being so far removed from and not watching the show in the 1990s so certain jokes/premises don’t hit as intended or are no longer relatable in a modern context. I’ll pick it up again at some point. Most of my favorite episodes are in Season 4 and later.

I used to really like Kramer because of how cartoon-like the character was. As an adult who has worked in an office setting, I relate more to Elaine. Jerry is kind of insufferable and George is a sociopath. As a group, they work really well together.

Yea some stuff doesn't hit, but other stuff is timeless.

I view it as Mario (FRIENDS), Zelda (How I Met Your Mother), Pokemon (Big Bang Theory), Seinfeld (Kirby), Curb (Metroid), Sunny in Philly (Xenoblade).
 
wth I thought the thread got deleted because I scrolled 7 pages of treehouse. forgot seinfeld is not considered gaming by some. tbh seinfeld gaming is more interesting than "which third parties will release garbo 60 euro ports on switch 2 to show support???"

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Seinfeld is probably the only piece of media ever produced that gets funnier every time you rewatch it. I'll be watching it in my death bed and I bet I'll be laughing.
Yeah as you get older the more jokes make sense to you.
 
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