Painful For All The Wrong Reasons
Written by: Alex Sandell
As any of you who have read through all the updates on this site, or have been here since the beginning know, I'm a big fan of "Seinfeld". I actually had a letter printed in "Entertainment Weekly" pleading with the "powers that be" to take the show off the air, before it gets any worse (the 8th and 9th seasons were, for the most part, embarrassing). You can read the letter in the "Entertainment Weekly Gets Juicy" update.
(I was bragging there, a bit. You can't blame me. It isn't every week "Entertainment Weekly" prints a letter written by me, slamming my favorite sitcom. Is it normal to write letters which are putting down your all-time favorite comedy show? I'm starting to worry over myself.)
Like all other "big" fans, I awaited this evening's "finale" with an anticipation that was previously only known to cows on their way into a McSlaughtering house. Finally, the time came, and, like a cow on its way to becoming a Big Mac, I ended up getting slaughtered. If NBC's predictions are right, 79 million people ended up getting slaughtered along with me. Millions and millions served! Mmm . . . huuuuuuuuuumans with catsuuuuuuuup.
I can't express how excited I was when I saw "Larry David" (co-creator, and one of the lead writers, to the first 7, superior, seasons of the show) listed as sole writer. I can't explain how great it felt to see "Seinfeld" go back to the old, "slapstick-free" style.
The original idea for the last episode was a twisted creation that would have fit Larry David's bitter writing style to perfection, and would have let the show go out with a bang (literally). Jerry, Kramer, George and Elaine were going to be going about life, as normal, until the end of the first half of the show, where they take a plane to California, and end up crashing. All four main characters being killed.
The second half of the final episode would have shown the show's regular guest stars all at the funeral. None of them remorseful, but only talking about what a bunch of self-centered wastes their "friends" really were, while enjoying the free food.
This may seem like a dark premise for a comedy; but through the first 7 seasons (and to a lesser extent, the last two), "dark" was what "Seinfeld" was about. Lots of deaths occurred, throughout the 9 years of "Seinfeld", and the "New York Four" characters did nothing but shrug each of them off. Sometimes they even used the unfortunate demise of others to their advantage. The final episode, as it was originally planned, took an ironic turn, and had everyone else shrugging over the deaths of the characters who had always been the ones doing the shrugging.
But this plot wasn't to be. Instead, the plane almost crashes, with the group inside. The second half is spent with them in a courtroom, where regular guest stars testify against their "friends." The gang finally wind up spending a year in jail, and the episode ends with Jerry giving his monologue to a less-than-enthusiastic group of prisoners.
What did I think of all
this? To be fair, and not let the nostalgic-for-the-past first 20
minutes get to my head, I would have to say this was the worst
Seinfeld of all-time. No matter how bad some of the episodes have
been, I've found myself laughing at at least one or two lines.
I did not even let out a "chuckle," during the second half hour of this show. It was actually PAINFUL to watch.
Yes, I'll be sad to watch the characters (and show) go. But after the last two seasons, and a lame excuse for comedy like this, I won't be shedding any tears.
Now, let's go get some coffee.
Back to the table of brains 1998
Back to the mind-map.
©1998 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved].