Seinfeld

Seinfeld

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Seinfeld


     It was a warm September Thursday night in 1991. I was engaged in my
favorite past time of "channel surfing" when a light appeared at the end of the
tunnel. Displayed on my favorite, "20 inch friend", (also known as my usual
Saturday night date), appeared a remarkable treasure. There before my eyes was a
sitcom called Seinfeld. From that moment on I was astounded to find that not
even great sitcom's such as my beloved Mash and I Love Lucy were as captivating
or enthralling. There is only one show that could have started Must See TV,
only one show that could be the anchor for new sitcoms year after year while
continuing to hold it's position of number one in the rating wars, only one
sitcom is this grand, this superior, and this notable, Seinfeld. The zenith of
television sitcoms. Season after season, Seinfeld has provided non-stop
laughing, excellent acting and original scripts mirroring real life.
     One of the major factors contributing to the overwhelming success of the
show is its cast of unstererotypical characters. The main characters refereed
to as the "Fab Four", consist of Jerry Seinfeld, Elaine Benes, George Costanza
and Cosmo Kramer. Jerry Seinfeld, known by his own name on the program, is the
central figure of the sitcom and the catalyst for almost everything that happens.
He is involved in the antics revolving around Kramer, George and Elaine. On one
episode George, Kramer and Jerry are spying on the naked lady across the street
all day to see who can win a bet. The twist at the end of the show is when we
see George and Jerry peering through the window and gasping, " Is that Kramer in
her apartment? Wow he is naked!" Another episode involves Jerry who is mistaken
for a Nazi leader arriving in town to speak at a meeting. He continues the
charade in order to secure a limousine ride home after the frustration of his
own ride not being there to pick him up. As the main character, he is most often
the straight man allowing the other characters to play off of him. One of his
common lines is, "wait a minute here, you mean to tell me-----", then recapping
the situation, action or blunder the other character was involved in. This in
turn allows the supporting actor or actress to verbally and almost always
physically respond with exaggerated gestures and eye movements. Jerry reflects
the single male, quasi yuppie, New Yorker, with the bicycle hanging in the
apartment, the security system to "buzz" guests in, and the 12 boxes of cereal

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always present and visible on his kitchen shelf. He becomes so easy to relate to
because he seems very typical of his socio-economic and age group, while still
being on the eccentric side.
Elaine Benes, the only leading female, is Jerry's mildly neurotic ex-
girlfriend and current platonic pal. She often appears venerable to the pitfalls
single females encounter in their relationships, while never giving an inch to
the male dominance on the show. She has an exaggerated character but manages to
maintain a sense of feminine strength. Elaine has taken the idea of the smart,
sassy single women and updated it to a 90's outlook. The most enduring part of
Elaine is her often gross habits of a personal nature, such as pulling down her
underwear in an exaggerated manner, which every female has tried to do
gracefully while walking down the street. The female audience can relate while
she gets to indulge in the very behavior females wish they had the nerve to do.
Her critical perspective of the females who enter into Jerry, George, and
Kramers' life put each of the male characters in a comical defense of his
current "fling". Once again the characters have the opportunity to describe the
"victim " using the exaggerate gestures and facial expressions we often think
and feel but probably wouldn't express.
George Costanza portrays the character on the show who is always busy
finding excuses and "way out" explanations for why he has to weasel out of
situations, or explain why he failed his attempt to accomplish something. He was
ultimately responsible for the death of his fiancee because of narrow focus on
saving money even when it becomes detrimental to the very thing he is attempting
to do. He is so easy for the audience to relate to because we would all really
like to be able to choose the path we want without a conscience. We all love
George and his inflated ego, whining, penny pinching personality. George off
and on is forced to live with his parents, depending on his current job and
financial situation. The smothering, overwhelming New York Jewish parents, who
add a depth to the show because of their bazaar behavior. They speak with the
New York accent, whining to new heights, expressing the last conservative
generations values. These very values that seem to be bigger than life and clash
wit h everything George thinks and does. George always seems to be in the wrong
place at the wrong time. Who couldn't relate to that feeling? He never seems to
have things go his way but by the end of the show he has fixed everything in
some backward method and is well on his way to creating yet another problem.
Cosmo Kramer, my favorite character, is Jerry's eccentric next-door
neighbor. Kramer is famous for his ritual entrance of barging through Jerry's
door and moving his body in wild gyrations. This has become a trademark for not
only the character but the actor as well. He has been seen in commercials
imitating this famous "move", which is so unique in sitcom, it should have a
special name. Kramer is a crazy version of a renaissance man who seems to be
informed about everything going on around him. He is the character who usually
incorporates the introduction of current concerns. These issues range from the
mundane and irrelevant to serious social concerns. A wide diversified range such
as taxes and health care to current basketball stories. Kramer is the character
we all wish we could be. His strength of personality and enormous sense of self
is reflected by his choice of extreme clothing he wears with absolutely no care
or concern to others opinion. He has the ability to comment with a depth and u
nderstanding usually reserved for the character on the show wearing a three
piece suit and carrying a briefcase.
     While we find it easy to relate to various pieces and parts of the
characters, we can not help but recognize the abilities of the actors/actresses
are what make it all work. The superb acting of Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Richards,
Jason Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfus provide the spark for the show. The show
has won many honors including the prestigious Peabody, Emmy, and Golden Globe
Awards as well as the Screen Actors Guild Award. Each individual actor/actress
has won numerous awards as well. The casting for this show was a grand success.
The personalities mesh with each other in a special way, like Archie, Edith and
the Meathead of All In the Family. This "meshing" is rarely achieved. When
watching a Seinfeld episode you can immediately get the sense of the on screen
charisma. This charisma emulating from the actors/actresses and characters is
what truly makes the show special.
     I am sad to say that the 1998 season will be the final season for the
"Fab Four". They will not soon be forgotten for they have granted us with hours
of entertainment. Seinfeld will always be remebered as the superior of all other
television shows. Year after year Seinfeld has provided laughing, along with
good acting and superb scripts. Now that you have been enlightened on the
superiority of the Seinfeld sitcom you can now truly enjoy your Thursday night
as I do, watching Seinfeld
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