Thursday, July 19, 2007

Why I love Seinfeld

One of the ways I relax is by watching Seinfeld DVDs. The picture of the cast above is completely unrepresentative of the show, making the characters look fun and zany, just like any American sitcom such as Friends. However, the characters in Seinfeld are often bitter, apathetic, envious or inconsiderate. They are not fun.

It took me a long time to appreciate how well-written and funny Seinfeld is (I couldn't get past the weird twangy music for years, I found the sets to be a bit muted and generic, and I didn't like how it was supposedly about "nothing"), but it's one of those shows where the longer you watch it, the more you get from it - with, little themes and jokes recurring. Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David's writing are wonderful, taking "observational humour" and making a sitcom out of it, while throwing in loads of neurotic pondering, where characters spend ages obessing about a real or imagined slight, the imprecise rules of socia behaviour and the exact meanings of vague utterances. I guess it helps to appreciate the show if you do those things yourself.
The world that Seinfeld lives in is random, full of co-incidences and often Kafkaesque. In one well-known episode Seinfeld and his friends are unable to remember where they parked their car in a shopping mall car park and spend the entire half hour wandering around trying to get people to help them find it, and are met with varying degrees of apathy from members of the public. This is a recurring theme - of people simply being unwilling to help or get involved. In another episode, the cast are waiting to get a table at a Chinese restaurant, while other groups get served before them. It's a reassuring form of comedy to know that other people care about things like that, but that also it's best to laugh at it (I'm one of those people who always seems to pick the slow queue at the supermarket.)

The only thing about Seinfeld that I don't get is how come there are so many beautiful women in the show - I'm sure in real life none of these women would give the male characters a second look (even if they are funny). FOrtunately, sometimes Elaine (the only female recurring character) bags herself a hunk, so there's something for me to look at as well.


matty said...

I remember that show having to grow on me. My ex LOVED it! ...He thought George was "hot" ...and he was serious.

this often worried me.

Andromeda said...

i always wondered how george got the babes. must have been his sparkling personality. great blog you have here. i will have to visit again.