‘Seinfeld’ In Retrospect Is Inconsistent And Imperfect To A New Generation

Twenty-seven years since Jerry Seinfeld’s Seinfeld sitcom first aired for NBC, the show has been in syndication and nurtured by Sony-owned networks to keep recycling the show, allowing a new generation of viewers to become the test audiences for a comedy series that has no choice but to stand alone against the test of time.

In June of last year, comedian Godfrey said on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast that it didn’t matter that a stand-up comic was funny so much as whether people liked them, which led to their success. Judging from the opening segments on Seinfeld where Jerry is doing his stand-up routine, in retrospect, the jokes haven’t exactly held up very well.

Not because the jokes are funny, but because he’s a likable comedian, which is what makes Seinfeld so charming where we might be able to handle some rough spots in the writing of the series and accept some indecisiveness on the part of the creators throughout the first few seasons of the show.

For instance, it was during the first episode where they referred to Michael Richard’s character as Kessler before it was changed to Kramer. Or when they decided to give Jason Alexander the job of explaining the situation comedy rather than portray it, to write it into the show as they did in an episode called “The Chinese Restaurant,” and even though it was already late into the second season, it was one of those Seinfeld episodes that dragged on where the were written more like plays, similar to an episode which immediately followed called “The Busboy” where it had more of a human element to it and not as involved with multiple plots as what would eventually become a signature of the show.

Seinfeld cast is the reason the show is so memorable. The cast of the television show Seinfeld (l-r) Michael Richards, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Jason Alexander pose backstage with their awards at the 45th Annual Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 19, 1993 in Pasadena, Calif. [Image by Douglas C. Pizac/AP Photo]The overall feel of the show was certainly already in place from the beginning, which they didn’t wane from, as it’s the characters and really the casting that holds Seinfeld together.

In one write up by The Inquisitr concerning a particular view of where the show is today, Jason Alexander says that towards the end of the show’s run, they were told that when people think about Seinfeld in the future, they would think of all of them together rather than just Jerry, and in hindsight, this is certainly true almost 30-years later.

One other Jerry that does come to mind however is Jerry Stiller, who played George Costanza’s father and a frequently loved Seinfeld character, although one could not say the same for actor Phil Bruns, who first played Morty Seinfeld — Jerry’s father — only one time; as he wasn’t written with the comedic delivery that Barney Martin would later master when he took over.

Seinfeld's Cosmo Kramer one of the most memorable characters in television sitcom history Michael Richards played Cosmo Kramer on the Seinfeld series, 2004. [Image by Louis Lanzano/AP Photo]The infamous Kramer character is one that is written to be very flexible to the Seinfeld series where he’s able to go in many different directions with the situation comedy, but on occasion — and this would happen in later episodes — they would write in some very strange decision making for the character, making him seem far dumber than he was originally written to be, which is an example of the bad decisions the writers made just to put a ridiculous spin on the situation comedy, making it even more ridiculous, such as in one Seinfeld episode where he decides to put blood instead of water in Jerry’s car when it overheats, due to him blasting the air conditioner to keep the blood frozen. Both very absurd ideas, which might not have made any sense even when the episode called “The Blood” first aired for the ninth season.

George Costanza also goes through a transition from being slightly neurotic to over-the-top, on occasion acting a lot more neurotic to the point of being dangerously unsettling than comedic, which he would eventually get right.

Overall Seinfeld still feels great to watch, and at times it stands up well against “the elements.”

[Image by Mikael via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0]