Last Seinfeld Episode Really Sucked

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goldenband
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Re: Last Seinfeld Episode Really Sucked

Postby goldenband » November 30th, 2020, 7:53 pm

bluenote wrote:As far as Seinfeld's character, I don't think he was treated with respect, I think he was cast as the straight man. He was the least funny of the four. He wasnt the draw of the show and I dont think he was supposed to be.

The show made him out to be an attractive ladies' man, though -- almost all the women he dated had Hollywood good looks, so much so that it wasn't really credible that the fictional Jerry would be able to date women like that.

I guess I just prefer Larry David's "I'm the world's biggest idiot/doofus" routine to Seinfeld's "Everyone who isn't me is such an idiot" routine. Even the show points out that Jerry is incapable of remorse for his actions (I think that's an exact quote from Elaine at one point?), and basically cares nothing for anyone else's well-being.

goldenband
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Re: Last Seinfeld Episode Really Sucked

Postby goldenband » November 30th, 2020, 8:09 pm

Here's an old article that says, more elegantly, some of what I'm trying to say:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/chuckklosterma ... pong-table

When you come down to it, the three leads (excluding Kramer) were all sociopaths -- funny, caustic sociopaths, but still fundamentally empty people.

I've never been convinced that the real Seinfeld was in on the joke -- in the sense that, with his seemingly unending supply of attractive women and total lack of real-life issues (finances, etc.) or consequences for his actions, the show never had the courage to make him out to be a loser like George and Kramer (and to some extent Elaine).

He might be the show's straight man but he's portrayed as someone you're supposed to want to be, or at least envy -- and I think the real Seinfeld (who's no great shakes as a human being) wanted it that way. His work after the show seems to suggest that, anyway.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Last Seinfeld Episode Really Sucked

Postby VideoGameCritic » November 30th, 2020, 8:17 pm

See that's where I disagree. I don't think they were sociopaths. I think they were eccentric and often oblivious to their surroundings, but antisocial and lacking a conscience? I don't see it.

goldenband
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Re: Last Seinfeld Episode Really Sucked

Postby goldenband » November 30th, 2020, 8:27 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:See that's where I disagree. I don't think they were sociopaths. I think they were eccentric and often oblivious to their surroundings, but antisocial and lacking a conscience? I don't see it.

Fair enough, but I think there's enough evidence in the show that I feel comfortable in my opinion. :) The only one of them who ever showed any sign of caring about others is Kramer. George has some flickers of humanity too, I guess.

I think they're often mistaken for just being superficial or a little bit narcissistic. But that's kind of how sociopaths typically come off -- they're not always (or even usually) murderous, predatory, or openly destructive. It's more often that they just...don't care about others, and see them strictly as fodder for entertainment or for getting something they want. And they think all the people who do care are just pretending, which is a pretty big Seinfeld theme.

And I think that's the real-life Jerry Seinfeld, quite frankly (OTOH Jason Alexander and JLD seem like perfectly lovely people). Someone once pointed out that all Jerry Seinfeld's humor is at someone else's expense, never really at his own.

LuckyWDFN
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Re: Last Seinfeld Episode Really Sucked

Postby LuckyWDFN » December 1st, 2020, 9:51 am

I think (and remember) that the pressure was SO high for them to produce a finale worthy of the brilliance of that show. The show had peaked but there was no decline in the final few seasons like other shows (like The Office or Friends). I think they swung for the fences and slapped together something unique and it just failed. It's a tough watch and I remember even back then that people thought it sucked. To me, the first whole 2 seasons of Seinfeld were even worse than the finale. They really found a great formula in Season 3 but those first two seasons were abysmal.

Favorite finale ever - Newhart

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C64_Critic
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Re: Last Seinfeld Episode Really Sucked

Postby C64_Critic » December 1st, 2020, 10:29 am

I was a huge Seinfeld fan during it's run (after the first season, that is), and while I definitely think the two-part finale was not up to their usual standards I'm also not sure there was anything they could have done that wouldn't have disappointed. The show was so great for so long, for my money probably the single best comedy to have ever aired on television, that there was just no way they could have topped the expectations people had for it. I remember not enjoying the finale, but in hindsight I also don't think it's "unwatchable" either. It's somewhere in the bottom 5 worse Seinfeld episodes ever (I don't think it's the worst), but I think they did what they could in any attempt to revisit all the iconic characters over the span of the show and it just didn't work out. I think the finale gets unfairly characterized as 'awful' simply because the show itself was such a legendary hit.

I definitely wouldn't characterize them as sociopaths either. They are generally self-centered where strangers or people they don't really know very well are concerned, but generally caring about their friends and family. Jerry bought his father a brand new Cadillac. Elaine spent hours on the phone with a strange child in an attempt to keep him from having to learn his grandmother had passed away. George and Jerry both went all the way to California to try and help their friend (Kramer) when he was accused of being a serial killer. They've all had moments of selfless caring. Personally I believe they reflect what most people do/think/feel in 90% of the situations they present.

I always did find it funny how Jerry's girlfriends invariably looked like - and in some cases actually were - supermodels, whereas George's love interests were always very pedestrian. I just assumed that was one of those "Hey, it's MY show and I'M the star, so of course I'm going to score the hotties" kind of a thing.

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: Last Seinfeld Episode Really Sucked

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » December 1st, 2020, 11:15 am

They might be sociopaths in some episodes.

In some moments.

But that's going to happen when you're writing about characters who embody people's less admirable traits and temptations. It was mostly relatable (they would try to be good people sometimes, too), and the universe punishing them for their plots was what kept them sympathetic. It was like a Rube Goldberg approach to karma.

Usually.

Sometimes, the line is hard to draw, on deadline. And sometimes, bad taste is an easy solution to narrative problems. Just ask The Simpsons, in their zombie seasons.

What I didn't like about the Seinfeld ending, was that it made the easy way out canon, and then punished them for it in the laziest, preachiest way possible. It didn't really belong to the rest of the series.

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Gentlegamer
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Re: Last Seinfeld Episode Really Sucked

Postby Gentlegamer » December 1st, 2020, 1:34 pm

goldenband wrote:I've never been convinced that the real Seinfeld was in on the joke -- in the sense that, with his seemingly unending supply of attractive women and total lack of real-life issues (finances, etc.) or consequences for his actions, the show never had the courage to make him out to be a loser like George and Kramer (and to some extent Elaine).


That's because Jerry is Even Stephen.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Last Seinfeld Episode Really Sucked

Postby Retro STrife » December 1st, 2020, 3:41 pm

I think Problem 1 was the writers' goal to work in as many characters as possible. Like the premise was "let's cram as much fan service as possible into the episode with former characters and people will love it." So they started with that end goal, and then worked backwards to concoct an episode around it. And it's great in theory, but how can you really get all the characters in one place? They come up with this boring unfunny court trial, dragging in one witness after another. And to get to the trial concept to work, they work backwards again to come up with some unfunny, illogical reason for arrest. It's like they were more focused on reminiscing with nostalgia about the past 9 seasons rather than making a great new sendoff.

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Re: Last Seinfeld Episode Really Sucked

Postby VideoGameCritic » December 1st, 2020, 4:58 pm

I like Retro's theory. It would also explain why there were so many "forced" scenes in the beginning. This makes a lot of sense.

Also, much like football coaches I think writers like Larry David can overthink things. He was clearly trying to do something completely unexpected, but instead of zany it came off more anti-Seinfeld.

The sad thing is, the next-to-last episode would have been a sweet send-off. It was just a hour of compilations but it really got to the heart of what made the show so great.


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