TV Review – The Best of Seinfeld Part 4

The Invitations (Season 7, Episode 24)
Original airdate: May 16, 1996
Written by Larry David
Directed by Andy Ackerman

The four main characters of Seinfeld are not meant to be aspirational figures. They are almost warnings about how not to behave in society. Few episodes highlight that aspect as strongly as the finale of season seven. It’s not their ugliest moment, but it is capped off by the coldest reaction we have ever seen them have. This moment underscores how Seinfeld was not like other family-friendly sitcoms and emphasized Larry David’s edict of “no hugging, no learning.”

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TV Review – The Best of Seinfeld Part 2

The Pitch (Season 4, Episode 3)
Original airdate: September 16, 1992
Written by Larry David
Directed by Tom Cherones

There are few seasons of network sitcoms as wildly bold as Seinfeld Season 4. Because it’s become part of the cultural conversation, we don’t really notice it, but it was insane that this was even made. Larry David decided to make a season-long serialized story about the sitcom characters making a sitcom based on their lives. These days, meta-humor is a fairly common element in media, but in 1992, most audiences had never seen anything like this. One of the things I’ve noticed about rewatching these episodes is how often Jerry’s comedy routine was picked apart or made the butt of a joke. It all informs Curb Your Enthusiasm, which would be Larry David’s unbridled dissection of the entertainment industry and his continued examination of the minutiae of daily life.

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TV Review – The Best of Seinfeld Part One

The Best of Seinfeld Part One

The Phone Message (Season 2, Episode 4)
Original airdate: February 13, 1991
Written by Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld
Directed by Tom Cherones

You’ve probably heard the story of Seinfeld’s creation before. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his friend Larry David co-developed the series for NBC. They focused on Seinfeld’s comedy routine, observations about mundane aspects of life and used it as a foundation for the sitcom. The result was a show that didn’t teach a heart-warming lesson in each episode or even have morally redeemable characters. It was a clear break from the direction the American sitcom was going in the 1970s and 80s. The result was that it became the highest-rated program of its day and had a tremendous influence on programming even today. It also has developed its fair share of people who dislike the series. They see it as grossly cynical & part of an out-dated mindset. They aren’t wrong, and revisiting it with a modern lens does illuminate problems I couldn’t see as a kid. However, I argue it is still a hilarious show and was just the sort of things a segment of the population needed who wasn’t interested in something like Full House or other family-oriented sitcoms.

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