Seinfeld (1989–1998)
8.1/10
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The Understudy 

Jerry dates the ultra-sensitive understudy for Bette Midler in Rochelle, Rochelle: The Musical. When the Improv is scheduled to play Rochelle Rochelle in a softball game, George plows into ... See full summary »

Director:

Andy Ackerman

Writers:

Larry David (created by), Jerry Seinfeld (created by) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Seinfeld ... Jerry Seinfeld
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ... Elaine Benes
Michael Richards ... Cosmo Kramer
Jason Alexander ... George Costanza
Bette Midler ... Bette Midler
Jerry Stiller ... Frank Costanza
June Kyoto Lu ... Ruby (as June Kyoko Lu)
Amy Hill ... Kim
John O'Hurley ... J. Peterman
Adelaide Miller Adelaide Miller ... Gennice
Alexandra Bokyun Chun ... Lotus (as Bok Yun Chon)
Vonnie C. Rhee Vonnie C. Rhee ... Sunny
Craig Thomas ... Player #1
Michael McDonald ... Player #2 (as Michael James McDonald)
Lou DiMaggio ... Stagehand
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Storyline

Jerry dates the ultra-sensitive understudy for Bette Midler in Rochelle, Rochelle: The Musical. When the Improv is scheduled to play Rochelle Rochelle in a softball game, George plows into catcher Bette Midler to score the winning run. Bette is injured because of the incident and is unable to perform in the Broadway premiere. Jerry, George, and the understudy are vilified for the incident, and Kramer goes out of his way to help Bette. Meanwhile, Elaine suspects that a local nail shop is making fun of her in Korean. She learns that George's dad Frank speaks Korean and brings him along to spy on them. Frank recalls his time in the Korean war and how he had an affair with a young Korean woman. Elaine gets kicked out of the nail shop and wanders around aimlessly, and has a chance encounter with catalog magnate J. Peterman, who hires Elaine to work for the catalog. Written by halo1k

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

actress playing herself | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Korean

Release Date:

18 May 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Understudy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In season 4, there was an episode titled "The Movie," where Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer are supposed to go to the movies together, and an erotically-themed movie titled "Rochelle, Rochelle" is being shown at the theatre. This is the title of the play Bette Midler, and her softball team, perform in. See more »

Goofs

When Elaine is talking to Mr. Costanza in the coffee shop, he mentions the name "Sun Yung Moon." The person referred to is "Sun Myung Moon." This is possibly a deliberate error consistent with the character. (Although it's also possible that "Yung" is the correct pronunciation, it isn't likely, because the written Korean language is ideographic, not phonetic, so silent consonants probably wouldn't occur in English transliterations.) See more »

Quotes

Elaine Benes: I'm telling you Jerry, I have a sneaking suspicion the women at the nail parlour were talking about me. I think they've been calling me a dog.
Jerry Seinfeld: How would you know? You don't speak Korean.
Elaine Benes: Because this woman came in with a dog and Ruby calls the dog the same word they were saying when they were pointing at me.
Cosmo Kramer: Ya know, maybe in Korea, dog isn't an insult. It could be like the word fox to us. 'Oh, she's a dog.'
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Connections

Featured in Seinfeld: The Chronicle (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Wind beneath My Wings
(uncredited)
Written by Larry Henley and Jeff Silbar
Performed by Bette Midler
Sung by Michael Richards
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User Reviews

you can cry..
30 June 2019 | by Arth_JoshiSee all my reviews

Seinfeld

Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the creators, of the dream sitcom for every stand up artist is the milestone set as an example on how to use your humor as a part of narrative. The series was clearly ahead of its time and fixated within that time limit when it was aired- or maybe not even then. This is how the series both remains timeless and also fails to test against time. The concept of the series- in fact there is an episode, where the series takes an almost meta turn, whispering the secretive meeting held within the confound of NBC walls about the pitch- is to just joke, just talk, analyse with a mockery tone, bombing brutally on a subject from the most privileged position under that circumstances. There is no storyline, no character development, no arc, no rhythm to follow. Usually, a film like such becomes more than a film with such an idea; take the Life Of Brian series. And similarly the series refuses to participate in the expected or not even expected aspects of the storytelling.

There is no end, no beginning, it captures a brief period with an agenda in mind that you will have the time of your life. But this is where this coherent plan backfires. First the runtime itself. Something so monotonous cannot withhold its audience for nine years. It is simply preposterous. For the style of the joke, the humor, the vocab of these characters, if as-planned is intended to be the same, will grow natural or normal to the viewers. This makes the relationship between the viewers and the characters, similar to what the viewers have in the outer world, maybe a friend or a family member.

Basically it would never be interesting, sure some cases would come up, just as chapters does in here, but that too will carry the momentum of just that brief period of screentime. Another major challenge it faces is, in order to stay far away from the textbook sitcom structure, the character has to and does deny on getting on or blending in with the society. Now that's fine. But in order to last longer they had to create an unfair world that takes uncalled detours just for the laughs, ignoring both emotional and ethical aspect of it, resulting into a physical distance that you, as an audience, carry for the rest of the series. By the end, it gets difficult to survive and something so beloved, something so smart, Seinfeld is left under a dry heap of jokes.

The Understudy

The finale doesn't feel like one. This often shows maturity. But at the end of the day there is not a single done changed among the world or characters. Plus it gets tedious if you don't have any romance with the characters, the dry humor doesn't age well.


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