I Watched the Entire Seinfeld Series 3 Times In a Month
Intricately breaking down a 30-year-old sitcom that makes fun of sitcoms
Seinfeld is known as, “the show about nothing,” but in reality, it discusses everything, from masturbation to dating mishaps to unspoken rules about society.
Usually in my articles, I begin by getting into my personal history with the subject and blah blah blah, but not this time! Today, I will be intricately analyzing several characters and several aspects of its strange, timeless humor.
What Is Seinfeld?
I’m mainly adding this as a throwback to my MakeUseOf writing days where every single article had to have a very much not needed, “what is” section.
For the few that are unaware of its existence, Seinfeld is a sitcom that makes fun of sitcoms, but more so makes fun of itself. Some of the humor may be cringy at times, but it is still self-aware.
In other sitcoms, the neighbors just walk into the friend’s house with no knocking whatsoever and the main character just thinks this is normal behavior. How is it so unspoken? No one walks into my house without knocking so why does Jim (I’m making up a name, it just sounds like a sitcom name)? This is made fun of in Seinfeld when in almost every episode, Kramer sock slides into Jerry’s apartment, runs into his door, comes in running with a hot pan, etc. It makes fun of the fact that barging into someone’s private dwelling is not normal.
The Most Underrated Seinfeld Lines
I grew up watching Seinfeld with my mom, and I always knew she loved the lines like, “serenity now”, “hello, Newman,” and, “the rooster has sex with all of them.” But it is absolutely incredible how many timeless quotes are not talked about. Here are my personal favorites:
- “Do you think it’s effeminate for a man to put clothes on the gentle cycle?” — Jerry
- “You’re bringing in an outside cucumber?” — Elaine to George at a restaurant.
- “Get me a schtickl of fluoride.” — Newly Jewish Tim Whatley
- “Is it ok to drink bleach if you dilute it?” — Jerry asking George if he can somehow feed his girlfriend bleach to wash her mouth out.
- “Can I get you anything? Bread? Water? Salad dressing?” — Jerry after someone enters his home.
- “These pregnant women, they misjudge their fetal girth.” — Jerry to Elaine, worried about a baby shower happening at his apartment.
- “Doesn’t the fat fetish conflict with the minimalism?” — Jerry talking about someone who loves big women who happens to be a minimalist.
- “Story is the foundation of all entertainment — you must have a good story; otherwise, it’s just masturbation.” — George talking to people at NBC… they did not have a response to this statement.
- “Pastrami.. is the most sensual of all the salted cured meats.” — George flirting with some random woman in a kitchen.
All of these quotes are from a 30-year-old sitcom. I feel like they could be from anything: a television show, Netflix special, or YouTube video, and people would still find them amusing. I mean, the fact Jerry wants to feed his girlfriend bleach because he’s a germaphobe is both morbid and hilarious.
Analyzing the Characters
1) Jerry Seinfeld
You may think that the main character of the show must be everyone’s favorite, but that cannot be further from the truth. This isn’t even simply because he has to compete with characters like Newman, George Costanza, and Kramer. Jerry Seinfeld in this show is just incredibly immature.
According to a ScreenRant article, Jerry’s character was around 35-years-old in Season 1 and 44-years-old at the end of Season 9. There’s a huge debate out on what makes an “actual” adult, but I feel like 35 to 44 is a full adult male. He may be a likable character, but he does so many things that the viewers roll their eyes at.
This can be seen in several instances:
- Drugged his girlfriend multiple times to play with her toy collection.
- Didn’t have a threesome, even though it wouldn’t have any consequences, because he thought it would turn him “into an orgy guy.”
- Jerry stalking a person at Elaine’s work and heckling her for petty revenge until she ran out of the building from a panic attack and got run over by a bus.
- Looked at a 13-year-old’s cleavage, then pointed it out to George who stared at it like the sun.
Situations like this come up incredibly often in the show, making you question if this is who Jerry was as an actual person. We’ll never know how he acts in his private life, but there was a situation when he decided to date a 17-year-old… when he was 38. It is incredible that he made it passed this news, have the show continue, and continue to have a good career to this day.
2) George Costanza
My personal favorite character of the show is George Costanza. He has a physical resemblance to my dad, and acts like him as well. In my opinion, George Costanza is the most realistic character of the show. It’s a shame that he’s portrayed as such a loser, due to being unemployed and confused about his career for a fair amount of the series.
Like Jerry, he has his moments of immaturity, including sharing in the fun of drugging a woman and staring at a 13-year-old’s cleavage, but overall, he is pretty misunderstood.
Viewers feel that George hates his parents, but there’s evidence that this isn’t the case. When losing his job, he tells Jerry he has $714 in his bank account and has to move back into his parents’ house. Jerry tells George that he’ll loan him money for the rent, but he turns him down to not risk ruining the friendship. When Kramer finds out George needs a place to stay, he offers to let him stay at his apartment until he’s back on his feet. Comedically, George responds, “thank you, but that might not work out.”
If George really hated his parents as much as viewers thinks he does, he would move in with Kramer instead. It would have made for some hilarious episodes if that’s how the storyline played out, and there still could have been funny interactions with his parents. But George moves in with his parents anyways despite their nagging and annoying habits.
The last character I’m going to be analyzing is Kramer. I would absolutely love to do a part two to this article and continue by talking about Elaine, Newman, Mr. Peterman, and other amazing side characters.
As we can see from the previous section, Kramer is incredibly selfless. Without hesitation, he offers George a place to stay in his time of need; however, he still has his fair share of selfish habits. This includes:
- Using Jerry’s faucet to fill up his hot tub so he doesn’t have to pay for the water.
- Eats Jerry’s food
- Steals George Costanza’s Boss’s birthday card to make a quick few hundred dollars
- Uses Jerry’s place whenever he wants throughout the day
But as much as Kramer takes away, he gives back. In one episode, he gives a homeless man some leftover Chinese food (though this goes sideways when Kramer tries to ask for the Tupperware back).
Kramer also talks a lot about self identity in the Season 6 episode, “The Switch.” Kramer’s mom comes back into the picture and says his first name, Cosmo, in front of George, which the entire group of friends makes fun of. To combat this, Cosmo Kramer doesn’t get petty revenge by embarrassing the three of them, but simply embraces his first name.
Kramer wanted to hide from his past; there’s plenty of times throughout the series where he subtly mentions the abuse in his past. He doesn’t want to mention to Jerry what would happen if he broke a rule as a kid, only implying that his mother would punish him. He also tells his friends that he’s been avoiding his mother for years since they don’t see eye-to-eye on many things.
In my eyes, I see Cosmo’s mother as bipolar and abusive. She’s incredibly happy when she sees him for the first time in years, and they seem to get along fine. But that love doesn’t take away past abuse. During the episode, they start to become closer and even talk about starting a business together; however, this quickly ends when she hooks up with Kramer’s best friend, Newman.
Although Kramer had an abusive childhood, he continues to be selfless, full of good spirits, and a people-pleaser every day of his life, from close friends to strangers on the street.
Seinfeld: The Show About Everything
I really hope this article reaches plenty of Seinfeld fans out there and I hope you learned something. If you look closely, Seinfeld isn’t about nothing; it’s about everything. It tackles societal norms big and small, isn’t afraid to confront problems of racism, talks about how misunderstood the gay community is, and can even have an entire episode about masturbation without saying the word once.
It’s a show about career changes, selflessness, and friendship at a level other shows still don’t.