"I think I can sum up the show for you with one word: Nothing."
Seinfeld is a sitcom made for every age gap, creed, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and generation. It is truly timeless and can be rewatched repeatedly. Seinfeld is colloquially known as 'the show about nothing', yet it encompasses a wide range of different themes. It was way ahead of its time, and even predicted future events to some degree. Creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David are absolute geniuses and crafted a rich and multi-layered screenplay with heart and humour. The writing is impeccable, and the acting flawless. Each character is unique and has their own set of quirks and personality traits.
Jerry Seinfeld portrays himself and is a stand-up comedian on- and off-screen. His comedy acts at the start and end of each episode are a perfect way to hook the audience. After Larry David departed the show in season 7, Jerry Seinfeld helmed the series on his own. For this reason, he couldn't write the material for his comedy acts.
Jason Alexander portrays George 'Can't stand ya' Costanza and is Jerry's best friend from high school. He is the most relatable and funniest Seinfeld character, at least for me. George is an enigma and a troublesome character, which stems from his unconventional upbringing. His parents Frank and Estelle Costanza have quite a dysfunctional relationship, and project their anger, frustration, and issues onto George. Throughout the course of the series, George is known for having public outbursts and calls out societal norms and conventions. Despite his rather nihilistic view on society, George is still bound to exist in a world with bizarre social rules that we all abide to for some reason. Whether he eats out of the trash, cheats on a book club, humorously tries to befriend a black person, sleeps on the job, fakes a disability, or tries to make money off plane ticket loopholes, George is us, at our most base and at our most human.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus portrays Elaine Benes and is Jerry's former girlfriend. Despite her title of being "the girlfriend", Elaine is never reduced to the role she fills in the other characters' lives. Elaine is an intelligent, committed career woman who knows her worth. Julia Louis-Dreyfus gives a whirlwind of a performance as Elaine Benes. Elaine can be charming and hilarious and sometimes even goes to the extreme at parties (e.g., her dancing). She is a revolutionary and beloved character because she is fully realized as both flawed and admirable. Like George, Jerry, and Kramer, she is relatable and familiar, but as the sole woman, she filled a role that was missing from the most popular shows in the 1990s.
"Aren't you tired of falling the rules? Why be uncomfortable if you don't have to?"
Michael Richards portrays the enigmatic Cosmo Kramer and is Jerry's hipster doofus neighbour. Kramer is perhaps the most idiosyncratic character, stemming mostly due to his quirkiness and eccentricities. Whether he tries to open a restaurant where you make your own pizza pie, prepares a salad in the shower, owns a rooster, slides off the baggage claim at the airport, runs after a plane, or gets arrested for being a serial killer, Kramer is one-of-a-kind, and his human experiences and frustrations are all too relatable.
The eighth episode of the ninth season titled "The Betrayal" is one of the series' most creative episodes. I loved how the story was told in reverse chronological order. It is such an interesting concept, especially for a sitcom. The episode starts off by pointing out the main conflicts, and throughout the runtime it is revealed how those events unfolded. "The Betrayal" is one of my all-time favourite episodes of Seinfeld.
For a show about "nothing", Seinfeld really reshaped the entire sitcom genre. Only few shows in recent memory managed to surpass the sheer brilliance of Seinfeld. The penultimate episode of Seinfeld was a nice retrospective episode that gave viewers the highlights, bloopers, and some behind the scenes footage of the past nine seasons. Plus, the song "Turning Point" by Green Day was a nice touch. I never knew that the song was released in 1997. I thought they released it in the early 2000s. This was rather surprising to me, as I wasn't born when Seinfeld originally aired on television.
"And by the way, they're real and they're spectacular." The series finale of Seinfeld was something. In my opinion, it gets a little too much hate from fans. It was neither a perfect nor terrible series finale. Rather, the episode served as a solid conclusion to a wacky and unique sitcom. I loved how they brought back numerous characters from previous seasons. Bania should have been a witness. He could have told the jury the soup story. "A soup is not a meal!" I would have preferred if George, Elaine, Jerry, and Kramer weren't arrested, especially for something so ludicrous. The audience fell in love with those characters for a reason. They are relatable and flawed like everyone else on this planet. Seinfeld prides itself in showcasing the lead characters as flawed, egotistical, and selfish because it mirrors reality. Honestly in a perfect world, Seinfeld could have run for one more season. I'd love to see Jerry's comedy acts in prison.
Seinfeld is a beloved sitcom for the ages and will be remembered for generations to come. I will never get tired of Seinfeld reruns. The show about "nothing" paved the way for other sitcoms and comedies. I am so grateful that it was released on Netflix in 2021. The HD resolution and aspect ratio makes the images much clearer. Seinfeld is what you call a landmark sitcom. It is a show where we can see ourselves and see multifaceted characters missing from far too many corners of television. With a plethora of binge options available, it is becoming clearer that while all the other shows are doing something, the best is still the one that did nothing. Oh, and I almost forgot: Long live Festivus!
Perhaps I'll end this review with a quote:
"The reason that Seinfeld is a genius and the reason that it works is that he's talking about these real things that we can relate to, these truths about human nature, but in sort of such an absurd way that it doesn't cause the viewer to see themselves in the actual craziness of what's happening. It works because there's not any kind of self-reflection."
Final verdict: 10/10.
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