This blog has had, from its inception, an open invitation to anyone who would like to have something posted on a relevant topic, to have it presented here. Robert Taylor, a longtime friend, wrote this piece on Seinfeld, in conjuncture with our Seinfeld countdown. It appears unedited, as all guest pieces will.
I am of the “Jerry Generation”. A senior in high-school the same year the show went off the air; my life has been impacted in a real way by the show’s presence. I still own my original copy of the Wizard of Oz-themed send-off issue of Rolling Stone. As some type of bizarre trophy for my decades long love of the show, I proudly still preserve a number of unlabeled VHS tapes which we used to record the episodes we weren’t home to watch. I am of the population who’s use of Seinfeld quotes and references is as normal as saying “Hello” when I leave and “Goodbye” when I arrive…see how I did that? Admittedly, the show’s dialogue and circumstances ring through my mind daily and influentially; almost mantra-like. I often find myself smiling while choosing whether to refrain from alerting friends and co-workers that our current situation (whatever it happens to be) is similar to one that George, Jerry, Elaine or Kramer fumbled through. I point these things out not just to acknowledge that I write this with an everlasting adoration for the show, its actors, characters, and creator (so I confirm some amount of nostalgic-bias) but also to set up my true motive: to contend that TV (and we) will never be the same.
I suppose I should acknowledge that Seinfeld means something very different to me today than when I was glued to its original run in the 90’s. As the silver years have passed, I still softly chuckle at the show’s undeniable physical humor. No less funny now are Elaine’s “kicks”, her exaggerated shoves, her tantalizing head tilts; George’s sweatpants, his Dennis Franz idolization and pre-teen bedroom décor; Kramer’s unceremonious entrances, his spastic collapses, even his eccentric hairdo; Jerry with his sneakers, his knowing smirks, and his propensity to crack mid-scene under the weight of his co-stars’ incredible comedic presence. These are all engrained in the show’s DNA. What has unquestionably surpassed these intricate comedic details though, as my (and I know many others’) personal watch counts of each episode have elevated beyond good taste, is the recognition and appreciation of the show’s commitment to its original rules of humor. In doing so, they not only perfected their satirical (yet irresistible) colliding story-line formula but jolted opened the doors for an entirely new era of TV and put away for the good the notion of taboo network subject matter. Thus the show’s immortality in both quality and influence is indisputable. Continue reading