Amph The Seinfeld Chronicles: A Thread About Nothing (Episode-by-episode) THE MOVIE

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Havac, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. yankee8255 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    While we're waiting for Havac to continue, thought I'd mention that he's doing the episodes in the order they appear on the DVDs. NBC actually bumped The Chinese restaurant to end of the season because they didn't like it. The Stranded wasn't aired until season 3 because Larry David was never happy with it. Clearly better to trust Larry's judgement than NBC'S.
  2. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    The Statue

    Jerry does some pretty good stand-up about junk mail, by starting with an I've-got-big-news tease to the crowd, then "According to the information that I have in the envelope I've received, it seems that I may already have won some very valuable prizes." He keeps mocking the nature of these idiotic sweepstakes letters, ending with a spiel about how he wishes they would send out "YOU HAVE DEFINITELY LOST!" letters.

    We then get Jerry and Kramer clumsily working a big package into the apartment. George is sitting on the couch, offering no help. Jerry explains that he's had this box sitting in storage since his grandfather died; they're old clothes that he doesn't want, and his parents didn't want, but he never felt right about just throwing them out. Now, of course, Kramer wants to go through them. He starts digging through, while Jerry mentions to George that Elaine's Finnish friend's grad student boyfriend cleans apartments and he's letting him do it. "Students can't clean, it's anathema," says George. Jerry gives him the what-the-hell-are-you-doing stare. "They don't like it." "How long have you been waiting to squeeze that into a conversation?" Kramer finds a little statue in the belongings; George gets excited and wants to see it. He and Kramer pull-fight over control of the statue, because they're both giant children. George says it's the same as the statue he accidentally destroyed when he was ten years old. "My parents looked at me like I'd smashed the Ten Commandments. To this day, they bring it up. The single most damaging experience of my life. Aside from seeing my father naked." I love the development we're getting of George's family here. They pull back and forth with the statue some more, with Kramer shouting that he's got dibs. Jerry breaks it up ("Break it up, you numbskulls!" he shouts in ironically theatrical Jerry style, then smirks at Richards). Jerry tells them to settle it like adults, so they immediately begin fighting over which juvenile choosing method to use. They settle on some inka-dink back-and-forth-pointing rhyme, with Jerry pointing back and forth, and starting up with a second verse, and then a finale, which of course goes back and forth until it ends on George. The two just start fighting again, with Kramer seeming indignant and then deciding that pointing at George means he's out and Kramer gets to keep it. Kramer just looks baffled when Jerry tells him George gets it, and insists, "Do-over, start with him!" There's something just fantastic about watching the childishness of these characters. They all three go out; George leaves the statue to pick up later, while Kramer literally throws his pile of clothes into his apartment. On the way out, Jerry tells George that he owes him; "it" is bad in inka-dink.

    We then get Elaine and Rava, the Finnish writer, on the couch in Jerry's apartment, talking about how Rava demanded that Elaine be her editor for her new book. Jerry wants to know where the boyfriend is. Elaine says he's probably in traffic; "Or maybe he's dead" says Rava. I see we're going for the dark, moody, glum Northern European stereotype. "So what do you write, children's books?" asks Jerry. There's immediately this vibe of disdain between both of them, probably because Jerry had a bad history with the actress offscreen. The boyfriend then pops in, doing a pompous, plummy "Greetings, greeting and salutations, I beg your forgiveness!" routine. It's immediately totally mystifying how these two are together. She appears to merely tolerate him, looking away and puffing on a cigarette as he kisses her hand. "And you must be Jerry, Lord of the Manor! Ah, my liege, a pleasure to serve you!" he intones, and does this flowery bow. Jerry looks at Elaine like "What the hell have you gotten me into?" Elaine seems to think it's mildly endearing, if anything. Let's just say that this guy would not be cleaning my apartment, friend of a friend of a friend or not. Jerry takes off for the airport, telling him after a particularly flowery promise of cleanliness, "Yeah. Toilet brush
  3. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    The Heart Attack

    The episode opens with some really good stand-up. It helps that, not only is it funny, but the stand-up is actually given a decent length of time to play, so Jerry is actually able to build up something and go along with it rather than getting off about three cracks and that's it. He talks about how great adulthood is, because you can eat cookies whenever you want. You want a cookie, you eat a cookie. I can still remember the oddness of that actually setting in on me, back in my freshman year of college. I could just walk down to the little shop and buy cookies. Whenever I wanted them. No one was there to stop me. No one was telling me I couldn't have them. It was all up to me. I could buy candy bars whenever I wanted them. I could rent movies, buy music, buy posters for my room. I could stay up until six in the morning. It was the fact that I was completely unaccountable that made it so weird. Anyway, sometimes Jerry spoils his appetite just for the heck of it. Then he calls up his mom and tells her! Why do we care? It's not like we're going to run out of appetites.

    We then get Jerry in his apartment, asleep on the couch. In the single greatest performance of his life, Larry David is on TV in a horrifically funny B-movie, wearing what appears to be a giant silver bag and a pair of swimming goggles, and bellowing in a German accent about how "the planet of our solar system is incinerating!" to someone named Sigmund; it is just as Sigmund prophesied. "Like flaming globes, Sigmund! Like flaming globes! Ahahahahahahahahaah!" Jerry wakes up briefly and glances at it.

    Transition to Jerry in bed, waking up, blearily jotting something down, giggling, and falling back asleep.

    Now we have Jerry, George, and Elaine in Monk's. I really like the fact that they're seated realistically. The gang clearly have a favorite booth or two, but we very frequently see them seated at a table, or as they are now, at one of the booths along the other wall, sometimes even at the counter. It's just very realistic that these people don't always manage to land the one same booth, and it also adds some visual variety and zest to the frequent diner scenes. Great directorial choice. Anyway, George waits until the waitress leaves, then sneaks out a cucumber and starts chopping it up into his salad. "You're bringing in an outside cucumber?" Elaine asks. George is upset that he never gets cucumber on their salads; he wants cucumber. Jerry actually does a nice bit of acting here, with this great look of finds-this-weird-but-doesn't-really-care-and-is-thinking-about-something-else. Jerry is trying to read the note from last night; he can't make any sense out of it. He thought he had a great bit, but now he can't remember it and the note makes no sense. "'Fax me some halibut'? Is that funny? Is that a joke?" I'll note briefly my mild annoyance that Jerry clearly didn't spend enough time writing in the scene we got to have written down all the stuff he's trying to decipher here. Elaine and George both try to figure it out. "'Don't mess with Johnny'?" Elaine then asks where Kramer is. "I don't know. It's like asking where's Waldo." Even just this nod at the idea of Kramer coming out to eat with them is great; Kramer's slowly, slowly being integrated into the main group.

    George then says he thinks he's having a heart attack. Jerry keeps thinking he's reading crap off the note, and tells George he doesn't get it. Elaine then points out that George seems to be having an actual heart attack. George starts listing his symptoms. Jerry is dismissive. "I know what this is! You saw that show on PBS last night, Coronary Country! I saw it in the TV Guide, called him, told him make sure not to watch it . . ." "There was nothing else on!" The idea of these people bickering and dismissing each other when one claims to have a heart attack is perfectly in character, and makes for great comedy. "He saw that show on anorexia last year, ate like an animal for two weeks." "Why can't I be having a heart attack? I'm allowed!" (There's more in a deleted s
  4. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    The Revenge

    The stand-up is about how when criminal masterminds do the perp walk, they're always trying to cover their face, as if their good name is their biggest concern. He then riffs on the idea of their boss watching: "Isn't that Johnson from sales? He's up in that clock tower, picking people off one by one! I don't know if that's the kind of man we want heading up that new branch office. He should be in bill collection."

    We open with some chubby guy in a three-piece suit sitting in an office, telling his buddy over the phone about what sounds like some sex he had; pretty good for an open. "Get this: I got it all on video!" And then . . . George storms in an immediately starts off on one of the things George does so, so, so well: epic rants. He just busts in, waving some piece of paper, and starts going to town on this guy, while the boss just looks baffled. "That's it. This is it! I'm done! Through! It's over! I'm gone! Finished! Over! I will never work for you again! Look at you. You think you're an important man? Is that what you think? You are a laughingstock! You are a joke. These people are laughing at you. You're nothing! You have no brains, no ability, nothing!" He flips over some knicknack. "I quit!" And he storms out. And . . . scene. Perfect. I love that we don't even get a buildup. Just straight to George rant. It couldn't be any better.

    Kramer then pops into Jerry's apartment, complaining that Newman called him again at three in the morning, telling him he was going to jump off the roof. Newman the perpetual suicidal who won't follow through is certainly a different tack from the Newman we come to know, but it does sort of fit with his pathetic nature that he'd go through a phase like that. Kramer told him to go through with it or shut up; "At least I'd respect the guy for accomplishing something." "What's his problem?" "No job, no women . . ." "He called the right guy." "What am I supposed to tell him? How much there is to live for? Why should I lie to him?" Jobless sad-sack Newman, now that's a departure. Kramer here comes off as more cynical, a little more mean-spirited than you usually see him, but he's the character that veers back and forth most in his personality and characteristics due to the writers' main defining motivation with him being "Make him act weird." Jerry says he's going to the laundry; Kramer nags at him for using this laundry instead of the machines in the building. Jerry says he uses it because they do it for him and he just has to pick it up later; of course, the first episode of the series started with Jerry going to a laundromat to do it himself. Apparently he's now hooked on this service, though. Kramer wants him to put a little of his own laundry in; Jerry doesn't want to have to deal with mixing and sorting. Jerry finally agrees; Kramer takes off his shirt and puts it in the bag.

    Jerry's at the laundromat, where he tells the guy to put Kramer's stuff in a separate machine. "In fact, I would prefer if the machines weren't even touching each other, because something could, you know, jump across." The counter guy is perfect, an old shmuck with a big cigar, ballcap, and unbuttoned shirt over a T-shirt; he doesn't give a damn. George walks up out of nowhere; "How did you know I was here?" "Kramer." So George tells him he quit. Why? Because he used Levitan's private bathroom. And he got a memo telling him to use the men's room. "I mean, we share it with Pace Electronics! It's disgusting!" "You and your toilets." Jerry asks him if he's going to get another job in real estate. "Pffft. No one's hiring now. The market's terrible." "So what are you going to do?" George realizes he's screwed.

    We then get George on the floor of Jerry's apartment, giving the same stare. "I like sports, I could do something in sports." Of course, he eventually will. "Uh-huh, uh-huh. In what capacity?" "You know, like the general manager of a baseball team." George's sad, childlike seriousness totally sells this whole thing. And it's all shockingly good setup for his eventual Yankees gig. Jerry
  5. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    I remember this one. The best bit is definitely the Kramer with the cement sequence which is just full on brilliance, not surprisingly.

    I also remember a Frasier (I should do one of these threads for Frasier!) where Frasier attempted to talk Niles into the whole 'living well' bit. Niles goes on one of his epic freakouts about how you so seldom see that type of revenge in operas, which is just perfect for Frasier. A whole so & so gets revenge on Gonzago in the third act by living well and all that. Great stuff.
  6. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Just in this season, we've had two episodes where George goes to ridiculous lengths in an attempt to avenge some minor slight. They've got George's character nailed down right away. With all the epic rants and everything, you can tell this is just Larry David's "Me if I could do everything I wanted to do" character. The really fun thing here is that George, unusually, actually succeeds in gaining his revenge, rather than just humiliating himself.
  7. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    The Deal

    Women trying on clothes is our stand-up topic, making fun of the process of women sticking the dress in front of them, as if this shows anything. Not bad.

    We then see Elaine and Jerry in the apartment, arguing over what to watch, and they stumble across late-night porn. Jerry doesn't want to watch; Elaine leaves it on to mess with him, and they start complaining about how long it's been since they've had sex. "I remember it's a good thing. Someday, I hope to do it again." Sexual tension mounts; there is a look. They slowly wheel over to the fact that they had sex in the past; Elaine remembers that it was thirty-seven times, precisely, which is amusing for its randomness. They slide over onto the subject and you know, what's the big deal if they do it? They're both on the same page, talking each other into it, about how sex is just a thing and they can enjoy it without it being a big deal. Why, it would be stupid if they didn't! Then they admit the downsides, and we get this and that, which is just a great bit of writing as they both refuse to directly address the word itself; of course, it's much funnier this way. Jerry discourses on the rules they should put in place to keep things from being awkward. As if. So, years ahead of the curve, they launch into the friends-with-benefits arena, surprisingly easily. The slow walk over to the bedroom is a great ending; "So you think you can handle this?" Jerry smirks at her. "Definitely," says Elaine, and walks into a shelf.

    It's morning, and Kramer comes in. Then Elaine walks out in Jerry's shirt and sneakers. She just smiles; Jerry gives a "Busted!" shrug. Richards gets mileage out of Kramer's reaction, going from whoah-holy-crap to I'll-get-out-of-here with undertones of go-Jerry.

    We then get George and Jerry discussing Aquaman in Monk's. George can't get a job. How about Jerry? "Nothing much. I slept with Elaine last night." George freaks out. Jerry's typical smug, manipulatively aloof approach to human interaction. George demands details. Jerry says he can't give details. "I'm not in the mood." "You ask me here to have lunch, tell me you slept with Elaine, and then say you're not in the mood for details. Now you listen to me. I want details, and I want them right now. I don't have a job, I have no place to go, you're not in the mood, well YOU GET IN THE MOOD!" Jerry gives in and starts; George keeps interrupting to demand more information about where they were on the couch, what time it was when they started talking. Jerry mentions "the naked channel" coming on, leading to George running off with a great monologue about how he doesn't get cable because he knows that he would spend his entire time watching the naked channel and never leave the house. Jerry then goes vague about how the topic came up, and admits he may be getting too mature for details. "I hate to hear this. That kind of growth really irritates me." Jerry just says that it was really good. Jerry tries to explain the not-a-couple situation. George bursts out laughing so hard he has to stagger out of the booth. "Where are you living? Are you here? Are you on this planet? It's impossible! It can't be done! Thousands of years, people have been trying to have their cake and eat it too, so all of a sudden you two are going to come along and do it? Where do you get the ego? No one can do it. It can't be done." Jerry is insistent that he's got the rules, the rules will work, the rules will save him. George laughs him off. Jerry then gives him the rules, and George immediately loves the no-call-the-day-after rule. But spending the night being optional? "I know less about women than anyone in the world. The one thing I do know is that they are not happy if you don't spend the night. It could be a hot, sweaty room with no air conditioning, and all they have is a little army cot this wide. You're not going anywhere."

    We then get Jerry raiding Elaine's fridge, not caring that her roommate's going to be pissed. He starts to take off. Elaine immediately reacts poorly. She says that the person whose house
  8. Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Isn't this where Larry David wanted to end the series?
  9. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    He assumed it wasn't going to get renewed, though it did. I don't think he wanted to end it here.
  10. Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    I'm trying to remember an interview on Oprah after the DVDs first came out.
  11. yankee8255 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Certainly a one dimensional episode, but done to perfection. The Jerry Elaine dialog is great throughout, but nevertheless blown out of the water by George.
  12. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    The Note

    Here we are, the third season! Things are heating up!

    We start with Jerry riffing on doctor recommendations, about how all doctors are referred as the best. How are all the doctors the best? And then people tell them to make sure to tell the doctor they know so-and-so. What for? "Oh, you know Bob. I'll give you the real medicine. Everybody else I'm giving Tic-Tacs." Solid stuff.

    Also, side note: this is the only episode with scat singers doing little vocal riffs in with the music. They didn't ask permission to do this, and as soon as the suits heard it, they immediately made them stop. Thank god. It's just awful, terrible, distracting, horrendous. There is nothing good about this idea.

    We then get Jerry getting a massage from a woman who's chatting at him. Jerry starts off with this Seinfeldian conversation about what the worse part of being blind would be. "I think it would be not being able to tell if there was bugs in my food." She tries to start talking about herself again and mentions her son; Jerry starts talking about a child abduction in Pennsylvania. He keeps talking about how scary it is, and anyone could be an abductor, and just keeps creeping this woman out more and more. The touch that really makes it work is when Jerry says he really thinks this massage is helping; he's relaxing, but he's getting the masseuse all wound up.

    We then get Jerry talking about it with Elaine and Jerry; none of them like to talk during massages, but Jerry does it because he feels like the masseuse is bored otherwise. "Yeah, I do that too," says George. "I feel guilty about getting the pleasure. I feel like I don't deserve it, so I talk. It stops me from enjoying it." There's nothing to say. This is just perfect George. Jerry keeps trying to tell his story about what an idiot he was with this conversation, but George and Elaine keep interrupting him; no one is interested in his story. He finally gets it out, and Elaine just keeps rubbing in what a terrible decision this was. Jerry mentions to Elaine that he's going to stick with this masseuse, because his insurance covers it as physical therapy. George immediately perks up; he wants some free massage.

    Cut to George and Elaine at the "physical therapist's." They're told their masseuses' names: "And George, you'll be with Raymond." George halts in the middle of the act of sitting down. A . . . man? He's confused; he doesn't seem to think he can really object, but "I can't have a man touching me." Elaine won't switch with him; she doesn't want a man. George wants to know what her objection is; men are supposed to be touching women. "No, it could get sexual." "I know. That's the point. If it's going to get sexual, it should get sexual with you." "I wouldn't be comfortable." "I would?" Elaine's failure to comprehend just how deeply this uncomfortableness runs in men is one of the great little beats of understanding the way people really think. Women don't think anything of being touched by a woman; why should a man think anything of it? But oh boy, we do. Now George won't be able to enjoy this at all; if it feels good, that's bad. Raymond strides out and takes George in. The framing of the shot, with seated George stuck uncomfortably in frame with Raymond's ass, is pretty good. There's also a nice bit where Raymond puts his hand briefly on George's back as they walk off, causing a nervous glance from George. Poor George.

    George is now on the table, wildly uncomfortable as Raymond massages him, puts a knee up on the table to loom uncomfortably over George. George keeps giving these terrified glances back, like he's worried he's being molested without his knowledge, and then Raymond tells him to open his pants as he starts working down around George's lower back. The look of pure terror on George's face is great, as is the dynamic of George knowing he just can't back out of this. Raymond's creepy smile is perfect, too. George undoes his fly, upon which Raymond grabs his belt and gives a big yank down; George bolts up like so
  13. Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    That's actually true about women and being touched. I much prefer a female doctor, for example, particularly with women's questions and physical examinations.
  14. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Time for The Truth.

    The stand-up is about the extra buttons that come with suits, and who would actually save a huge stash of buttons. Not particularly good.

    We get George in Monk's, with a goofy-looking (very white) woman in a kimono with chopsticks in her hair, talking about how she's an accountant now, but her art career is going to take off. "I don't understand. Papier-mache hats? Whatif it rains?" says George. He couldn't be more bored or turned off by this cuckoo.

    We then get Jerry and Kramer in the apartment; they're going over Jerry's past tax returns because he's getting audited over some charity Kramer got him to donate to that of course turned out not to be legitimate. He barged in during Jerry's first date with Elaine to demand he donate money to a volcano relief fund for Krakatoa. "It was supposed to erupt!" Perfect. I could stand to learn more goofy backstory like this. "Well, you know what my feelings are about this. I don't even pay taxes." "Yeah. That's easy when you have no income." Kramer looks slightly confused. Elaine comes in to complain to Kramer about his putting sauce on noodles while they're in the strainer at her apartment; apparently he's dating her roommate Tina. She also complains about tribal music and public living room makeout sessions. Elaine starts ragging Jerry about his donation after she drags it out of him that it was the donation he made during their first date. "Now you're being audited for it? See, that's karma." "No, that's Kramer." Jerry's going to use George's accountant girlfriend to fix his taxes for him.

    Cut to George breaking up with the woman in the diner. "It's not you, it's me. I . . . I have a fear of commitment. I don't know how to love." "You hate my earrings, don't you?" She's convinced that it's something she did, and George keeps firing off the tiredest it's-my-problems excuses. "I WANT THE TRUTH!" "The truth? You want the truth? It is your earrings! It is your chopsticks! But it's so much more! You're pretentious! You call everyone by their full name! You call my doorman Sammy 'Samuel'! But you didn't even say, 'Samuel,' you went, 'Samuel!' Papier mache? What is papier mache?" It's this perfect George rant. George's ability to just explode with this stuff is the fodder for endless episodes, and it's always great. The woman just stares at him. "Keep going." George is out of gas. "I . . . I think I made my point. I'm sorry if I was a little harsh." She thanks him for the truth and gets up to go; the whole thing is wonderfully awkward. She asks George how much she owes for the meal. "Oh, please . . . uh, four dollars is fine."

    We then get Jerry ranting to Elaine about how if he didn't have this accountant, he would have killed Kramer, as Kramer sits in the same room listening. "You ever been through an audit? It's the financial equivalent of a complete rectal examination" gets big audience laughter. George buzzes in; we learn that his full name is George Louis Costanza from Jerry's too-on-the-nose still-pleased rambling about how lucky he is. George comes in smiling. "My whole life has been a complete waste of time," he says with joy. "And there's so much more to go," cracks Jerry. He's figured it out. He's just got to tell the truth now. Yeah, like that'll work for George. Jerry wants to know if he gave the papers to her. "What?" "My papers." ". . . oh." He gave her the papers . . . he just also broke up with her. Kramer bolts from the room. George says she'll still do it; they left on good terms, because he told her the truth. Jerry and George go back and forth about why the hell you'd tell the truth. Elaine asks George how he'd like it if someone told him the truth. He insists she does. "You're . . . extremely careful with money." Jerry grimaces in the background. George flips out. Jerry makes George call her office to find out what happened. Apparently her name is Patrice. Of course. "She never came back from lunch." He calls her house. She hangs up on him. George promises to apologize the next day and get the papers.

    Then, about the b
  15. yankee8255 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Probably can't classify either of these as "classic", but incredibly solid. Season 3 really was excellent, but overlooked because of thebrilliance of Season 4.
  16. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    I've seen every episode of Seinfeld, but there are a rare few episodes about which I really can't recall anything. The Dog is one of those few. I've probably only seen it once, the first time I watched through the episodes, and never in syndication. After watching it, it's apparent why: there's really nothing much to it, and it's one of the weakest Seinfeld episodes you'll find in its full seasons. Still, like every Seinfeld episode, it has its moments.

    The stand-up is about a pilot saying he'll make up time in the air after leaving late. If he can go faster, why not go that fast all the time? "There's no cops in the air!" Alright.

    As one might suspect, we open with Jerry on a plane. He's getting yammered at by an old drunk in the next seat (we eventually learn he's named Gavin Polone -- a no doubt flattering tribute to Larry David's manager of the same name), who mentions he's got a dog on the plane in the baggage compartment. Jerry's going with minimum engagement here. The old guy goes on about how enriching it is to have a pet. "How about picking up their, you know? You find that enriching?" I see Jerry shares my attitude toward pets. The old drunk feels ill, so they have to make an emergency landing in Chicago. But he wants someone to take care of his dog; the flight attendant asks if he knows anyone on the plane. Jerry studiously looks away, but the guy names him anyway. Jerry gets stuck taking care of Farfel, the dog, in New York until the guy gets there from his hospital stay in Chicago. God only knows how Jerry got talked into going along with that.

    We get Jerry in his apartment with Elaine, fighting with the dog over a sneaker (Farfel always remains offscreen), and the dog just will not shut up. Jerry is hilariously unsuited to taking care of a dog, and he has all his barstools up on his sheet-covered couch. The dog won't stop barking, and Jerry won't stop screaming at it to shut up; it's been three days, and he's going nuts. Jerry complains that the dog is insane, and probably has rabies. "What if I get lockjaw?" "If only." Elaine finds it hilarious when Jerry confesses to picking up after the dog when he walks it. Jerry can't leave the dog alone, or it will piss all over everything, and he's finally going to get his first night out of the apartment by going to see a movie with Elaine and George while Kramer dogsits. The movie is Prognosis Negative; I believe this is the start of Seinfeld's love affair with silly fake movies. Jerry gets in another smirk at his own joke, in the middle of the joke, when it's not even a particularly good joke. Jerry may never discover the ability to keep a straight face. Kramer pops in to say he can't sit the dog because he has to break up with his girlfriend, Ellen. He can't stand her, and he's just gleeful about this breakup. "You know how there's some people you worry about hurting their feelings? With her, I'm looking forward to it! Boy, I'd like to get it on video! Watch it in slow motion and freeze-frame it!" Richards puts on a pretty good twitchy act here. Elaine Jerry both go off on how terrible Ellen is, and they're glad Kramer's breaking up. Kramer complains that they never told him they didn't like her; Jerry explains that you can't tell people that you don't like their girlfriend while you're still dating them. "But I tell you!" "You! I'm talking about people." There's a pretty nice recurring theme of Jerry excluding Kramer from membership in "people" or "humanity" when they're having these societal discussions. Kramer stands outside society, which makes him particularly useful on show as obsessed with the meaning and ritual of society as Seinfeld. As George shows up downstairs, Jerry tells Elaine that she and George have to go to the movie alone, because Jerry's got to stay. Elaine is desperate for Jerry to go; she and George can't go alone. They're only connected through Jerry. It's nice that the show is actually doing something with the nexus around Jerry it created, and attempting to break down the barriers to get the cast out together. We've alrea
  17. yankee8255 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    The main plot with the dog is just a little too sitcom-y. Love the two B-plots, though, the juxtaposition of the Kramer breaking up and then begging her to take him back are brilliant, and I love the bit with George and Elaine at Monk's.
  18. Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Was it a later episode that centred around all of them at a movie theatre trying to see the same film, Rochelle Rochelle?

    I know very little about movies from this time, so when I was younger I assumed they were real.
  19. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    The Library

    The stand-up is about how weird ventriloquist dummies are, how they're talking about sex and that's just weird, how their legs never look natural. Whatever.

    The plot kicks off right away, with Jerry ranting on the phone to the library about their trying to get an overdue book from 1971. Which made me realize that 1971 was only twenty years ago back then despite seeming tremendously far off now, which made me realize that the show is twenty years old now, and what the hell that's just not right. Jerry then explains to Kramer what's going on, and Kramer tells him how he's going to have colossal overdue fees. "That's a nickel a day, for twenty years, it'll be fifty thousand dollars!" Well, no, that comes out neatly to $365. Jerry says he distinctly remembers returning the book in question because he was with this girl he'd known and that was the day she was wearing this orange dress that first made it apparent that "she was developing this body in secret under loose clothes for like two years." There's also a very brief flashback image of her just standing in this orange dress, looking busty, which is a really weird moment for Seinfeld. Very unusual. Kramer goes on about how he doesn't have a library card, and complains about how everyone in there is a cheapskate, which is just perfect coming from him. Also, he's correct in that those huge wooden sticks the newspapers are on are ridiculous. But, of course, he gives an eager "Yeah!" when Jerry asks him to come along with him and George.

    We get them at the library, where Kramer is denouncing the Dewey Decimal System as a "scam" for unknown reasons. I love it when Kramer goes on these conspiracy kicks. They go up to the desk, where the librarian has her back to them, ignoring them. Kramer goes on about her completely at random. "Look at her. This is a lonely woman looking for companionship. Spinster. Maybe a virgin. Maybe she got hurt, a long time ago. Just a schoolgirl, it was a boy, didn't work out. So now she needs a little tenderness. She needs a little understanding. She needs a little Kramer." There are so many of these great, random, ridiculous, hilarious monologues in this episode. Larry Charles is having a ton of fun. And Richards just delivers it perfectly. "And then she needs a little shot of penicillin," cracks Jerry. The librarian finally gets over now that they're done being funny, and has this fantastic little moment where she reads the slip Jerry gives her with this longing sigh. "Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller." Then she realizes they're there. Anyway, the case has been turned over to Mr. Bookman, the library investigator. Kramer comments on the fact that this is a ridiculous name for a library man, in the same way that Jerry and he have both been saying the whole situation is ridiculous. I love the fact that, though Charles is going much more absurd than the show usually goes in these seasons, he's very willing to remark on it and joke about how silly it all is. George comes in to meet them, all disturbed, saying the hobo outside, "screaming obscenities and doing some sort of calisthenics routine" was Mr. Heyman, their old gym teacher. This jackass with the newspaper-on-a-stick keeps shushing them every time George gets excited. Jerry says that George got Mr. Heyman fired, so Kramer wants to know the story. George doesn't want to talk about it. "Some other time." "So, tonight?" They leave after the librarian says Bookman isn't in; Kramer stays, with his eye on the librarian. "So, what's a guy got to do around here to get a library card?" Worst pickup line ever, or best pickup line ever?

    We then get Elaine at work, I believe our first glimpse. Karen went to pick up lunch without getting Elaine's order. She always gets Elaine's order. The secretary telling her this could not be more apathetic. Elaine starts freaking out, convinced this is a sign she's going to get fired, she's out at the company. The secretary continues to not give a damn. "See, 'I don't know anything' means that there's something to know! If you really didn't know
  20. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Time for another classic: The Pen.

    Our stand-up is: Old-person swimsuits. Whatever.

    We start off with Morty and Helen in their retirement home; Helen is complaining that Jerry and Elaine are late and Morty should call the airline again. Morty is upset that the scotch tape is gone. It's incredible how rapid-fire the comedy is here. Constant back-and-forth, and every line is hilarious. Jerry and Elaine come in, and Helen is complaining that they shouldn't have rented a car. They would have picked the two up. They could use the parents' car. Helen and Morty don't even use the car! ("What are you talking about? We use it!" - Morty) If the kids were using the car, they just wouldn't use it! "What would you do, you'd hitch?" Jerry is having none of this. Helen's smothering kindness is perfect. She's upset that the rental car costs too much. "Plus the insurance!" says Morty. Jerry didn't get the insurance. "How could you not get the insurance?" Helen insists they'll pay for the car; Jerry refuses. Helen tells Morty to back her up. Morty just looks away. It's super-hot in the house, but Helen won't put on the A/C. Now Helen wants to know about Jerry's speech, about which Jerry knows nothing, which she says he has to do at the testimonial dinner for his father, the outgoing condo board president. She says he should do one of his bits; finally recognizing an inappropriate audience, Jerry says it wouldn't fly. Then Helen tries to make Elaine sleep in their bed. "I'm up at six o'clock in the morning!" "I can't kick you out of your bed." "We don't even sleep!" Helen says the sofa bed is uncomfortable; Jerry points out that then his parents will just be uncomfortable. "Why should I be comfortable?" asks Morty. It's just a perfect barrage of that awkward over-kindness. Elaine goes into the room, and Helen pulls Jerry aside to say that really, he can sleep with Elaine; she's not going to make him sleep on the couch. Jerry says they're not together anymore; they tried all kinds of arrangements and nothing worked out. "We decided we really don't work as a couple." "What does that mean?" Morty barges over, bellowing, "Why are you whispering?" Helen whispers that it's about Elaine. "What about her?" Morty says, at his usual old-person elevated volume. Elaine comes out for a minute, and Jerry dives off into a monologue on sun-dried tomatoes. Finally Jerry explains, "We can't seem to be friends when we sleep together." "What do you need more friends?" Morty wants to know. I like Morty.

    It's then that Jack Klompus arrives, with his wife Doris. Jack Klompus is chomping on a cigar, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, and I notice that the place is coated in pictures of Jerry in the background. I love those little touches. Jerry mentions that he's going with Elaine to scuba dive, which is why she's down there. Helen is baffled that anyone would want to go scuba diving. Jerry explains that it's for fun. "For fun?" she says, as if utterly confused by the concept. Jack pulls out his checkbook to pay Morty for a restaurant bill Morty picked up, and the two start bickering over the amount. "Did you have a Coke or what?" "I did not have a Coke." "Somebody had a Coke!" Jack adds it up, including tip, Morty says to call it twenty bucks. "It's $19.45." Jerry asks Jack about his pen, and Jack explains that it's an astronaut pen that can write upside down. Much marveling at the concept is done. Jerry asks where he got it, and Jack gets defensive and says it was a gift. Jerry says that a lot of the time he writes in bed, and could use a pen like that; clearly he just wants to buy one, but Klompus starts in with "Take the pen." They get into a back-and-forth, with Klompus getting increasingly insistent. "Do me a personal favor! Take the pen!" Jerry finally caves. Jack leaves, and Helen starts in on Jerry immediately. "What'd you take his pen for?" Jerry quite reasonably explains that he didn't do anything; he just said he liked, it, and Jack insisted, while Helen chews him out for "making such a big fuss" about it. There are these great cuts to Elaine
  21. yankee8255 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Can't really add anything, two really brilliant episodes. One thing struck me for the first time, though: Jerry gets his sense of humor from his mother: "What do you have to go underwater for? What's down there that's so special?" could come straight from one of his stand up routines.
  22. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Great observation. They've both got this sort of relationship with societal norms that you can see influencing Jerry too: Morty's determined to stand up for his interpretation of "the rules" -- you say what you mean, none of this double-meaning pussyfooting around, and you don't take a gift back -- and Helen is obsessed with what everybody else thinks.
  23. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    The Parking Garage

    The stand-up is about figuring out where to go using mall directories. It's kind of terrible.

    We start with the whole gang coming down the stairs of a parking garage, moaning about what a complete waste their trip to the mall was. Only Kramer got an air conditioner. Jerry complains that he always thinks everyone else is doing something better with their Saturdays, while he's stuck doing stuff like this. Elaine says that no, this is what everyone does. It's a nice, quick capture of that sort of melancholy feeling that you're wasting your life, that you ought to be out there frolicking in the sun every weekend, and instead you're watching your friends shopping for air conditioners. Which, of course, is something everyone does, but it doesn't make you feel any better about it, because you know next weekend you'll manage to go shopping for blinds or something. George starts off on how his father was even worse than they were about buying; he'd go on multi-state, weeks-long sojourns to get the best deal on a new car. Elaine at least bought a couple goldfish in a bag, leading to George remarking, "Pssh. Fish. What do they do?" and Elaine replying, "What do you do?" George explains that he's going to be late to meet his parents for the dinner and a show he's taking them to for their wedding anniversary. We keep dancing around George's parents. This now gives us two ticking time bombs: George's meet-up time, and Elaine's fish.

    Kramer, lugging this giant air conditioner box (Richards, of course, made sure it was filled with a real air conditioner, so he's got the actual weight to play around with), can't find the car. Jerry complains that he's got to go to the bathroom, and can never find the mall bathrooms, which are always hidden. He then points out an attractive redhead to George, who only complains that he doesn't need good-looking women pointed out to him when he's got no opportunity to do anything about it. "Do I need that pointed out for me? What is that going to do for me? How does that help me, to see her? I'm trying to live my life, don't show me that." "That was a guy," says Kramer out of the blue. Which is just perfect. Kramer admits that he's totally lost. George starts panicking. Panicky George is good George. They wander around, and just can't agree where it even might be.

    As they wander, Kramer suggests to Jerry that he should just pee behind a car, and holding it in will cause bladder damage. "Jerry, are you aware that adult diapers are a six-hundred-million-dollar-a-year industry?" Jerry, of course, regards this as ridiculous. "There's too much urinary freedom in this society. I'm proud to hold it in. Builds character." Elaine almost gets clipped by a car screaming around a corner (which in a deleted scene leads to her complaining about how people are terrible drivers, and she was one question away from failing the drivers' test and she's better than most of these people -- which neatly ties in with how Elaine will later be shown to be a terrible driver), and Kramer decides to set the air conditioner down behind a car and come back for it later, despite this being a recipe not only for theft, but for forgetting where the box is. Richards does perfect physical comedy here, awkwardly sliding down between a car and the wall. George starts whining about how his parents will never let him live this down if he's not there. "They'll put me on an aggravation installment plan, with interest, that will compound for decades." Jerry says his mom still nags him about keeping track of his jacket after he left a jacket on a bus when he was fourteen. Which I can totally see Helen doing. They're all flipping out (really, all this episode is is flipping out and whining), and Jerry declares that they need "a system!" Which is very Jerry. Jerry finally says they might be on the wrong level entirely, which gets a great stop-dead-and-slowly-turn from George. They start trying to figure out how long the escalator ride was; this is really a perfect representation of the exasperation of having
  24. yankee8255 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Uromysitysis!!! Like you said, good episode but not quite classic. Seem slike they were trying to recapture the magic of The Chinese Restaurant and just didn't quite make it work.
  25. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Yeah, there just wasn't the same zing to all the little stuff eating up time inside the nothing-concept that The Chinese Restaurant had.

    The Cafe

    The starting stand-up is a pretty sharp observation, about how there's always that one store in your neighborhood that just can't do business. It's constantly shutting down and opening up as something else, and no one can succeed at that location. "It's like some sort of Bermuda Triangle of retail."

    The open is George and Jerry leaning against a wall; George is talking about how his girlfriend thinks he's nice, but women don't want nice, while Jerry stares at the Dream Cafe and its owner, cheerily, desperately staring at passers-by, and remarks on how absolutely no one has gone into the place since it opened. Jerry then notices that George is wearing cologne, which George admits reluctantly; he's doing it for Monica, his girlfriend. Jerry is derisively amused. "She wants me to take an IQ test." "It's because you're stupid enough to wear the cologne." She needs to give him the test for her education program she's in. Jerry just keeps running him down. "She's going to find out I'm a moron. You know, people think I'm smart, but I'm not smart." "Who thinks you're smart?" George has been lying about his SAT scores for years, he says, and refuses to tell Jerry what his score actually is. "This I take to the grave."

    The next scene is Jerry staring at Babu Bhatt outside the Dream Cafe with binoculars, continuing to obsess over this business in this sort of morbid fascination and pity at how he's just bombing. Elaine is over at the table, demanding to know why he won't let it go. "It's like a spider in the toilet, struggling for survival. Even though you know he's not going to make it, you kind of root for him for a second." "Then you flush." "Well, he's a spider." Randomly, Jerry pulls his shirt over his nose, which annoys Elaine. I love it when they just do this random, goofy crap that people actually randomly do. The buzzer goes off; Elaine refuses to get it, so Jerry has to cross the room to let George in. Jerry goes back to watching, while Elaine says "Casus belli" out loud, because she read it in a book and likes the sound of it, even though she has no idea what it means. She points out that Jerry hasn't exactly been in the cafe he's so worried about. George comes in carrying an SAT study book; Elaine sniffs his cologne suspiciously and laughs at him. Jerry and Elaine then start saying "Casus belli" back and forth at each other, which plays straight to George's neuroses. "What's that?" "Since when do you wear cologne?" "Why is what I do so important? Why must I always be the focal point of attention? Let me just be, let me live." He hasn't taken the IQ test yet, he says to Jerry, then gets back on topic. "What's casus belli? Is it about me?" "Why must you always be the focal point of attention? Why can't you just be? Why can't you live?" They keep talking about the IQ test, and George explains that he's all worried and they're bogus anyway. Jerry repeats George's line from last night about not being smart; Elaine asks what he got on the SATs. "It varies." Elaine says her IQ is 145. George jokes that she should take the test for him; Jerry goes on about a time in college George became a "legend" for passing a test out a window to another guy to take for him. The idea takes root in George's head; he tells Elaine they should actually do it. Elaine doesn't have anyplace nearby to take it where she won't be distracted. "Take it at the Dream Cafe. You won't hear a peep." Elaine starts to get into it and asks Jerry what he thinks: "I love a good caper." Elaine buys in, which gets George all excited. He high-fives her, except misses and hits her in the head.

    Cut to Jerry entering the Dream Cafe, where Babu Bhatt is just staring out the window. Jerry tries to act all friendly, as Babu asks him smoking or non-smoking -- which is just two tables next to each other. Babu's just completely overeager, and hovers around Jerry, giving him a hot towel, which Jerry hot-potatos on