Seinfeld: Season 5, Episode 21

The Opposite (19 May 1994)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy
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A simple pick up line in the coffee shop proves Jerry's theory that every instinct George has is wrong. George decides to try the opposite, and that lands him an attractive girlfriend, a ... See full summary »



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Airs Tue. Jun. 09, 11:00 AM on TBS


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Title: The Opposite (19 May 1994)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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A simple pick up line in the coffee shop proves Jerry's theory that every instinct George has is wrong. George decides to try the opposite, and that lands him an attractive girlfriend, a job offer with the New York Yankees, and an apartment that allows him to finally move out of his parent's house. Simultaneously, Elaine's mistake of stopping off for candy after learning her boyfriend was hospitalized causes her fortune to take a downturn. She gets kicked out of her apartment, breaks up with her boyfriend, and the candy causes a chain reaction that ultimately leads to the end of her longtime employer. Jerry sees the parallel between his two friends and realizes that he breaks even on just about everything. Kramer continues to take the book tour for his coffee table book, but Pendant Publishing's bankruptcy puts the book on the shelf. Written by halo1k

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19 May 1994 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Jerry and George discuss what is essentially the premise of this episode way back in a scene from the pilot. See more »


George gets into Jerry's apartment without being buzzed upstairs or the apartment door being opened. See more »


Featured in Seinfeld: Highlights of a Hundred (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Season 5: Another very strong and very funny season that matches the standard achieved in season 4
30 June 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The fourth season of Seinfeld was the one that really hit the mark for me. I had enjoyed the first three seasons but the fourth just seemed to have stronger writing and the season-long thread of pitching a show to a network provided a cohesion that worked in its favour – much like Curb did after its first season. I wondered if it could sustain this level and, as I concluded season 5 it was clear that it could because it is wonderful throughout.

Where the first season was very short due to lack of network confidence, here the support and confidence appears to be high and the show benefits from that and it is most noticeable in the risks the show takes and how much it pushes the edges of what they could do. It perhaps is not so obvious now but at the time most sitcoms were family-orientated, with comedy and drama coming from family issues; in contrast this season starts with an episode about faked orgasms and has lots of similarly sex related material across the season. Not only must it have felt fresh and innovative at the time (as indeed it was) but it is also very funny and continue to be.

There isn't really a specific thread to this season but it does have a flow around the characters that prevents it being totally episodic (although it still is). The biggest boon to the show is having George's parents in the majority of the episodes and the reason this works is down to the recasting of his father with Stiller. I vaguely remember George's father from a previous season but here Stiller brings the madness perfectly, delivering yet another source for laughs to come from. Of course to give specific credit to one performance is to perhaps do a discredit to the show's main strength, which is the writing. As with season 4, season 5 is very strong on this front from the foundation upwards. The scenarios in each episode make perfect sense within the internal world of the show and also work outside of it as many are taken (or extrapolated from) reality. Mostly these are drawn from social situations or awkwardness but even something simple like picking up items to take to a dinner party can fill an episode (and fill it well). This is due to the dialogue that is built around each scenario. It is sharp and polished and there is very little here that doesn't work, which is again to the credit of the writers. So much of it remains quotable almost 20 years later and it remains very funny.

Finally the cast. Their delivery is spot on in most cases. In previous seasons I've thought both Seinfeld and Louis-Dreyfuss were perhaps not as good as Alexander or Richards, but as with S4, all are doing it here. Seinfeld is great now his character is more developed and he is less of anchor for the show and more flowing. Alexander yet again nails "bald neurotic and amoral" in a way that is funny every time. Louis-Dreyfuss is like Seinfeld in that she is much better now that the material for her is better. Richards continues to be great and his regular use supports his character so that he is not just a guy with a funny delivery, but his material is very funny too. The addition of Stiller is great and he works well with Estelle Harris, while the varied support cast are all good even if they mostly are working so the main cast can play off them.

Season 4 was the one for me that set the high bar - after three good seasons everything just seemed to click into place perfectly. Season 5 shows that this wasn't a fluke because for a further 20-odd episodes it delivers great episode after great episode with plenty of laughs. One on hand I don't want to rush through the show, but on the other hand I am now really looking forward to season 6 to bring me more of this.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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