|Index||2 reviews in total|
Jerry talking about traffic, George having girlfriend problems, Elaine
having problems with people in general, Kramer occasionally passing by
with his latest crazy idea... It's all business as usual in the twisted
universe of Seinfeld, whose second year begins as brilliantly as the
previous one ended.
At the center of events is George's ex-girlfriend, Marlene, whom Jerry starts dating. Needless to say, he gets tired of her attitude pretty quickly, although he finds himself unable to dump her because of the "psychosexual hold" she has on him. In the meantime, Elaine can't understand why someone she met through a mutual friend doesn't say hello to her anymore, and Kramer insists everyone try the superb cantaloupe he bought at a store that just opened.
As familiar as it has become, the format of the series never gets old or boring: the mix of stand-up comedy, everyday life, quirky characters, yada, yada, yada, (that's "Seinfeldian" for "et cetera") keeps raising hysterical laughs, even when the premise is extremely ordinary (read: dull). I mean, how many stories have we heard about people's ex-girlfriends? Far too many, right? Wrong: in the hands of Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, the subject develops in the most unexpected way, leading to one of the most original break-ups I've ever seen on screen, big or small.
The outspoken king of the episode, though, is George: this is the season where he began to show his more awkward side, and alongside The Apartment (and of course The Revenge) this is his finest moment in Series Two. Whether he is complaining about a chiropractor's bill, demanding that Jerry get some books for him from Marlene's apartment or reacting in a truly unique way to a quite unusual event ("I think I swallowed a fly!"), it is no wonder this insecure loser is one of the most loved characters in the history of US television.
I've recently finished a revisiting of the latter seinfeld seasons and
my God does this episode feel like a pack of fresh air. I mean, I'm not
kidding here, these are two completely different shows. One concerned
with social and relationship commentary and another with surrealistic
tales of four weirdos. I know I'm probably in the minority here, but
I've always preferred the early seasons over the last ones and I know
they are imperfect and the creators are still trying to catch the tone
and style, but there is a sense of creativity, of wanting to do
something unique. I mean, it's not totally unique cause what they
really did was take Woody Allen's movie subjects and translate that to
the small screen (with the romantic and philosophical themes put
aside). But over the years that initial idea would slowly vanished, so
I will always considered the first five to six seasons of Seinfeld as
their ultimate statement.
Now we can move on to this episode. I don't know what was I thinking but I've always remember this episode to be a kind of "meh" one. My God was I wrong. From start to finished The Ex-Girlfriend is an unstoppable vehicle for Seinfeld to explore as much social situations as they can. From relationships breakups to dating with a friend's ex girlfriend to even minor story lines like Elaine's (a situation a could definitely see myself experiencing) or Jerry's stand up bits. The only things that hold this episode from being truly great for me is the underusage of Kramer (though he wasn't that prevalent on this early episodes) and a couple of odd serious scenes that really feel most un-seinfeld. Nevertheless, this is Seinfeld's sixth episode ever and it is astounding that they already have a clear sense of purpose even if they don't match with style or tone.
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