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I caught a few episodes of Seinfeld over it's final two seasons run on
public channel, and made it a point to catch a lot more of Jerry and
friends during it's reruns. I found it very amusing on first viewings,
but as time wore on, I began to like it more and more, and to eagerly
borrow taped episodes from friends, and to hunt for re-runs on
Of the two comedy TV series in the history of television, I would choose both Seinfeld and Monty Python as the cultural landmarks of the medium. In Seinfeld, there is not a trace of sentimentality and glib moralizing that plagues the American sitcom genre. Characters do not hug each other on Christmas, fall in love, wax on and on about family and friends, there is no faux-cathartic season ender so favoured by the writers of, say, "Friends".
Instead, we have the narcissistic Jerry, constantly mining the minutiae of everyday detail for every bit of situational comedy; we have the hyper-aggressive Elaine, whose strings of breakups with boyfriends are as impressive as her petty neuroses leading up to the breakups themselves; the ultimate schlub-loser George, who lies to every single woman he dates, sells faulty equipment to the handicapped and muscles off women and children when fleeing an apartment fire; and the impossibly inventive physical comedy of the entrepreneur cum schmooze Kramer.
Over and over again, week in and week out, the quartet discuss trivialities with unbridled zeal, as the non-descript narrative pings from one mundane setting to another. Seldom has such wit been generated by such gargantually pointless human endeavours. That is where the brilliance of Seinfeld lies, in the ability to go to the most bizarre ends to fulfill the potential of a less than hopeful comedic premise; and the endless, pointlessly smug and nihilistic banter that almost invariably escalates into some of TV's classic lines, such as when George shouts triumphantly after winning an argument that "there is no bigger loser than me!".
Surely, we won't find something like this again, for many more years to come.
It has ended 6 years ago and we still talk about it, i think that this shows us how fantastic this series was. There are some new programmes that are good, but any of them is half as interesting as Seinfeld was. Many of its episodes are really comedy masterpieces. After watching one of them you become an addict. The characters are fantastic, the actors performed so well that you can't think of them like anything but the character they played, maybe this is the reason because they couldn't success in other shows. The writers who could do 8 seasons of a "show about nothing" doing each episode funnier than the last one deserves our respect and admiration. To sum up, Seinfeld rules
I cannot, through any stretch of my imagination, grasp how anyone can't
the humor in this series. Perhaps they have succumb to a similar problem I
have in writing this review. I find that I cannot accurately describe just
why exactly this sitcom should be held so far above the others. It's
Kramer's awkward movements and border-line insanity; it's Jerry and
never-rekindled romance; it's George's terrible luck and inadequacy
it's all of those and so much more. I do find, however, that the show can
described with one word: irreplaceable.
"Friends"? Have you ever noticed that in "Friends" commercials, not even they, the reigning kings and queens of sitcoms, dare tread on the title of "funniest show ever"? Just watch the next commercial you see, and you'll find "the funniest (running) show on television!" I don't know if I would call that perfectly accurate, but it proves my point. Seinfeld was groundbreaking, and it went to places that few comedies (or dramas, for that matter) have since gone, and nothing before nor since has in quite the same way equaled it.
I notice a reoccurring complaint of negative reviews on this site: the opening and occasional ending of Jerry Seinfeld doing standup. I admit, it isn't the funniest thing that I've ever heard, though he is by far the best "have you ever noticed" comedian, but give me a break! That is your complaint? At least some other reviewers go on about characters, and the implausible plotlines (not that I agree in the least with them), but just that reason alone? You obviously don't have the intelligence to grasp the humor of the series, content only with the easy-to-understand slapstick of today's comedy; but nonetheless, in your blatant stupidity, you cannot grasp why it ISN'T funny, either -- so you pick the standup.
In any case, despite the negative reviews or even the positive, Seinfeld stands the test of time, and is the greatest sitcom ever made. Even TV Guide's compiled list of the "greatest television series' of all time," not at all exclusive to comedy (20/20, I believe, made the list), put Seinfeld right where it belongs: NUMBER ONE.
The last and greatest juggernaut of comedy, I know I'll be watching the untiring reruns that never seem to get old when I'm old and gray and long since committed to a retirement home.
And do you know what?
The intelligent viewers of humanity's next generation will be doing the same thing.
Seinfeld is the funniest TV show in history. Built around the
day-to-day life of a New York comedian, Seinfeld managed to spear every
sacred cow in sight. The irreverence of the show's four main characters
never let up over 9 glorious seasons. The "gang of four" were petty,
childish, surly, selfish, compulsive, obsessive, and totally hilarious
like 4 children in adults' bodies.
Jerry Seinfeld played himself and surrounded himself with an ex-girlfriend (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a childhood friend (Jason Alexander), and a neighbor (Michael Richards). Foour terrific actors with incredible chemistry among them, the four careened through 9 seasons of total mayhem. Sex, religion, politics, old age, political correctness, race, relationships, homosexuality, Los Angeles . you name it, they harpooned it.
Great supporting cast over the years included Jerry Stiller, Estelle Harris, Barney Martin, Liz Sheridan, Wayne Knight, Patrick Warburton, John O'Hurley, Len Lesser, and others.
Seinfeld probably added more catch phrases to the English language than any other show in TV history. Brilliant writing that found humor in WORDS (such a concept) as well as SITUATION, Seinfeld owed much to the writing of Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David and others. So with great scripts, a perfect cast, and no respect for anything, Seinfeld marched along to his own drum and made us all captives of its brilliant wit.
One of the great things about Seinfeld was that you could see a little bit of yourself in each of the 4 zany characters. And you could ALWAYS recognize the dumb situations they found themselves in. Just brilliant!
And let's not forget that Jerry Seinfeld became the first Jewish Everyman on TV. He was everything from comic to sex symbol and everything in between.
This show was totally unique. Nothing has been done like it before, or
since (with the possible exception of the Simpsons, which does mimic
some of the "nothing" plots a little). While it was about nothing, it
was really about everything--but the little things that no one thinks
about, like giving your bank code to your fiancé. I also liked how this
show was the last of the "non-fashion" shows.
You always saw Kramer wear the same ridiculous jacket, pants, and shirt. George always had those too-small plaid shirts and even Jerry had the black-and-gray striped shirt we saw him wear in the one where he and George make "The Pact". Even Elaine had many of the same clothes, even after her "make-over". I mean, I LOVE the show Friends but every time the guys have a new turtleneck or sweater, and the girls always have a new dress or a new pair of pants, which is totally unrealistic (for the guys anyway).
This show had consistent humour all the way up to the last season, which is unusual for many shows. I LOVED George styling his hair to look like the bald guy from NYPD Blue, Elaine buying the JuJubes on the way to the hospital, Uncle Leo yelling "STOP THE SHOW" on the PBS special--these were just some of the great moments! This show is the best on televison, and if you haven't seen it, go and watch now!
This is sort of a small tribute to the show.
It is too bad that this show is no longer being made. NBC should have used the "carrot and stick" approach with the creators and maybe the show would still be on. Instead, NBC gave them so much money that they just cut and ran. Sort of like "we'll give you millions and millions of dollars to do a short run series and then you guys can go". Which is what happened.
I am like some of the others here on this post who said that they did not really watch "Seinfeld". It took several weeks to catch on to the characters to get to like the show. Even in re-runs "Seinfeld" is still very funny.
Those people who say they do not like the show because it's about nothing are lying to themselves. They love it. They just cannot believe that someone could have been so successful with the show's premise.
You could tell after Larry David quit "Seinfeld" the difference in the shows humor and pacing. And I saw some movie Larry David made right after...stinkola. I think it was called "Sour Grapes". Maybe some sort of comment on life after "Seinfeld"?
It is extremely difficult to find anything on TV that even comes close to "Seinfeld". There just isn't any. This website suggests "Friends". Please. I think I just might throw up. "Friends" is just another of the cookie cutter sit-coms. After watching "Seinfeld", I cannot watch any sit-com, because it is just not the same. The others just fall way short of making any noticeable effort to put on some truly original humor.
I think that in a couple of years, one of the Turner cable stations will have the syndication rights to "Seinfeld". I hope that they will honor the show by always putting the show on from its first show to the last without skipping the order because a big part of the successful formula for "Seinfeld" was that the show had a distinct timeline. The way it is being aired now, on one day you'll see a show that aired in 1990 then the next day they have one on that originally aired in 1995. That really stinks.
Oh well. To all of you dyed-in-the-wool "Seinfeld" fans here is a little trivia I came across on the web.
An anagram for "Seinfeld" is "snideelf". One last one for "Jerry Seinfeld" is "friendly jeers".
Cheers to all of the creators, contributors, writers, producers, etc. of the greatest TV comedy ever.
I was sitting in my apartment tonight watching the end of a sitcom era with
the last "friends" episode and it brought me back to 1998 when we all said
goodbye to "seinfeld". I won't sit here and debate, which was the better
show because, lets face facts they both did a fine job. They are two very
successful sitcoms, but other than that they really had an entirely
different feel and format.
"Seinfeld" gave us all so many catch phrases and we all continue to enjoy these characters and episodes six years after the show ended. I just love it. I constantly find myself reciting lines from the show with a good friend of mine. This show rocks. It will always be a great show. I will continue to watch this show in reruns over and over. It sure doesn't get old.
I wanted to add some favorite lines or scenes from the show, but there are truly too many. Kramer, Elaine, George, and Jerry just rule and have such a great chemistry. The additional characters throughout the years were cool too. Some of my favorites were Puddy, Peterman, and Frank Castanza. Oh greatness.
So keep Seinfeld alive in your hearts and keeping watching the show about nothing.
The best television show ever. Ever. It's been off for how many years and we still try and get our 1 1/2 hour fix every weeknight. Like those famous Beatles, the combination of Larry David (too outrageous) and Seinfeld (too pedestrian) was so much greater than the sum of the parts. Classic ensemble work by Jerry, Alexander, Richards and Louis-Dreyfus. Richards and Louis-Dreyfus are all-time comic all-stars in their own right. It took them about 1/2 to 1 year to get up to speed and then they're off and running. With David gone the concept showed considerable wear in the final season, where some episodes are a grim caricature of earlier successes (e.g., George's "Twix" episode). The Puddy story lines were the show's one regular miss, particularly so towards the end. But what a run! And completed by a fitting send-off. The only television series I've watched regularly in the last 25 years. The DVD collections are highly recommended and include loads of fun commentary from the stars. 10 out of 10.
I hate saying something is the best ever. Still how could you go wrong
with Seinfeld. Just hilarious characters and setups everywhere.
For everyone who has seen this show, what other show or even movie deliver so many open ended endings that still felt like a perfecting closing. That right there is great writing.
The characters are another great example of great writing. To think of people like Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer. These characters were developed so greatly that the ideas for episodes were endless. Also the guest stars did a great job in their appearances just sliding right in.
The plots of the episodes were not that great from the outlook. If you actually watch the episodes though the most basic daily problem could be made into a very enjoyable episode.
This can only be done with great, superb writing. If you have seen this show watch it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I first stumbled across 'Seinfeld' late last year, while flicking
through channels and I can honestly say that it left me extremely
surprised. As a thirteen year old used to the sappy family-friendly
comedies such as 'Everybody Loves Raymond' and 'Friends', I was quite
amazed that this show that everyone was talking about, was devoting an
entire episode to masturbation.
A day later, I tuned in again and I was surprised once more, but for a very different reason. IT WAS BRILLIANT! How come I had never come across it before?
Seinfeld's genius cannot be summed up easily. It has absolutely amazing actors playing the parts who are obviously enjoying themselves - one many occasions you can see smirks forming across Jerry's face, it has unbelievably funny situations which the characters find themselves in, and it has excellent writers - chiefly Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld - who manage to turn normal everyday situations in full blown moments of genuine comedy.
When you watch 'Seinfeld' you are guaranteed three things - Elaine to have a wonderfully funny break-up with another unlucky guy who strolled into her neurotic ways of dating, George to be chasing after anything with a skirt on - with hilarious consequences, and Kramer falling over and performing some of the best slapstick comedy seen since John Cleese in 'Fawlty Towers'. But where does this leave the show's namesake and Superman, if you will? Well, Jerry starts off many of the episodes with superbly observational stand-up comedy and for most of the episode he is in the middle of all of his friends' completely insane lives. But that's not to say that he is normal whatsoever. He is absolutely miles from it.
Although all of these would be reason enough to proclaim Seinfeld as the greatest comedy that America, or anywhere has ever produced, there is one more reason why Seinfeld is, in my view, the greatest show ever. It lies in the writing. While episodes of other comedies may seem to be made up as they go along, I can safely say that Seinfeld is the best-written comedy programme in history. The writers take completely irrelevant and pointless situations and make whole episodes of magnificent comedy out of them. Each episode is made up of at least two or three different stories which manage to link up perfectly in the end. Sometimes I devote the 30 minutes of the show, trying to work out how it will end, but I'm never able to guess it. For example, in one episode Elaine dates a guy who breaks up horribly with women, and is therefore attacked by his ex's frequently. Meanwhile, George is trying to get a good apartment by convincing the board that his life is a complete mess, and he therefore deserves a break for once. Right up until the last moment, it appears as if George's wish will come true, but he is beaten by who? Elaine's ex, the bad break-up guy, who got the apartment by telling the board of all the times he has been attacked by women in the street. It's a brilliant ending which I could not predict and proves once more, that Seinfeld really is THE GREATEST SHOW OF ALL TIME.
Sure, Season Nine may have thrown us some duffers, but overall no television comedy has had such a magnificent strike-rate, created so many phrases now used in everyday life, and influenced so many people. Shows have come and gone since it ended eight years ago, but none have even been half as hilarious as Seinfeld.
Like Jerry's idol, Superman, it is respected by everyone, and will never be forgotten. 10/10
- Alan Skelton
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