By: Matthew Shircliffe
“I do not know how or under what circumstances the four of you found each other; but your careless indifference and utter disregard for everything that is good and decent has rocked the very foundation upon which our society is built.”
These were the final words said by Judge Art Vandelay in the closing moments of the Seinfeld series finale in reference to the four most narcissistic, self-absorbed, apathetic, yet lovable characters to have ever graced television and now after a long over-due addition, “the show about nothing” has finally made its way to Hulu’s extensive library.
In honor of Seinfeld being added to the video streaming service last month , I took it upon myself to re-watch the entire series in order, which I began June 24 and ended July 25 taking up only 30 days of my time.
It was a task I was willing to undertake.
It has been 26 years since the airing of The Seinfeld Chronicles (the pilot) and since that episode, the series has served as a compass for awkward social situations, relationships and gaps in our society where there are no laws, only vague unwritten rules that this foursome seemingly tackles every episode.
Over the course of the nine seasons Seinfeld was on the air, we were afforded to journey through the adventures of George Costanza, Elaine Benes, Cosmo Kramer and the man himself, Jerry Seinfeld, an emotional attachment to these four individuals was virtually inevitable.
For those who do not watch the show, I cannot stress enough how profound and unique it was and the cultural impact this show left us.
Phrases and terms such as “re-gifter”, “the Soup Nazi”, “not that there’s anything wrong with that”, “the bro”, “the big salad”, “bubble boy”, “puffy shirt”, “anti-dentite”, “yada yada”, “these pretzels are making me thirsty” just to name a few, were popularized and coined by Seinfeld itself.
Several of the tales and situations exhibited throughout the series were based on real-life situations by a few of the writers, including co-creator Larry David who is on record of stating that the character George Constanza was based on himself and many of the situations the character ends up in, is exactly what Larry experienced in real life.
What truly makes the show unique is the lack of evolution among the four of them. Larry David’s infamous quote saying “no hugging, no learning”, where there are no moral lessons taught at the end of the episode, there is no love lost and that is made Seinfeld so remarkable.
Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer always failed to realize the moral lesson in all of their escapades.
The ingenious writing of Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld still to this day has been unmatched in terms of genuine, observational humor.
At times the show has been labeled as off-putting, offensive, and controversial in episodes such as The Puerto Rican Day, where Kramer accidentally lights the Puerto Rican flag on fire, The Outing, where the gang deals with homosexuality after a misunderstanding and The Cigar Store Indian, where Jerry dates a Native American girl and certain jargon about her race is brought to light.
A certain style of humor Larry David implemented in the show is where the characters’ different stories and sub-plots would somehow interlope and tie-in with one another to the point where it would lead to a climatic ending and at times would incorporate a plot twist that left the audience with their jaws dropped in amazement.
Obviously this was not every episode, as that would take away the element of surprise; however when it did happen, it was structured in such brilliant way in episodes such as “The Marine Biologist” and “The Opera”.
I highly recommend this show to binge watch during the scorching, hot summer. There are not many shows I am able to commit an entire Saturday for, let alone a month, but Seinfeld definitely cracks the list.