A couple of weeks ago, I finished my first ever watch-through of Seinfeld (1989). For those of you who have somehow never heard of Seinfeld, it is a sitcom that follows a fictionalized version of comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his three friends as they live (and cause chaos) in New York City. As a whole, Seinfeld is often credited as being one of the most influential comedy shows in recent years, likely only beaten by The Simpsons.
Now, I never watched the show while it was originally airing, mainly due to the fact that I was born the same week that the final episode aried, but still. However, I had seen the occasional re-run and clips online, so I decided to see what the big deal was and binge the whole show.
It’s a good show. It is very funny. Now, some jokes do not age very well. There are cultural references from the 90s that I did not get and there are some jokes that make you wonder how they got away with saying that. But, the parts that are still funny, are very funny. In my opinion, the show is worth watching simply for George and Elaine. Jason Alexander as George Costanza, a character who is based on Larry David, might just be the best-performed character in any sitcom ever. And, Julia Louise Dreyfuss is absolutely charming in any role, even in the egotistical and at times crazy Elaine.
Now, I could go on and on about the show, but there are already a million other think pieces about the show on the internet. So, I’ll just list my personal top 10 moments from the show.
NOTE: I accidentally made this list almost all George Costanza moments. So, just be ready for a lot of George.
10. “We’re living in a society”
This episode, which takes place entirely in a Chinese restaurant as the main characters wait for a table, showcases Jason Alexander’s ability to be equally funny while screaming at the top of his lungs and speaking calmly. This is also a moment in the show where George’s Larry David (from Curb Your Enthusiasm) qualities shine through the brightest. I can fully imagine Larry David living out this exact scenario and then immediately writing it down to happen to George.
9. You want a piece of me?
As a bonus, here are the equally hilarious bloopers for this scene
8. The Fire
I think the comedy of this scene speaks for itself. George pushing everyone out of the way is always funny.
7. Eliane dancing
This scene, and other Elaine ones like it, inspired me to immediately binge all of Veep, another Dreyfuss show, immediately after finishing Seinfeld.
6. George’s answering machine
I just love how proud he is of the very lame answering machine message.
5. “The sea was angry…”
4. The Eclaire
George eats out of the trash and… I kind of understand his logic… am I gross?
3. The Contest
This is probably the most iconic episode of the entire show, and for good reason. The above clip tells you exactly what the episode is about. And the entire story plays out with the characters never saying directly, or using any slang, what it is that they are not doing. The clever writing that works around the FCC guidelines elevates the episode to another level. It also earned the show an Emmy for writing.
2. Big Salad
1. Jerk Store
Easily my favorite plot of any episode in the series. George gets zinged by a guy at work, comes up with a comeback later that day, and then goes to great length to get a chance to say it. It’s perfect. It’s also highly relatable as I’m sure we’ve all had that moment when driving or in the shower when you realize what you should’ve said in an argument or conversation. At this moment, George is all of us.
Wow, this list is almost all George Costanza. Interesting.