Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 20th, 2006
It started as “the show about nothing”, but we really know better. While some say it’s much ado about nothing, they’ve missed the point, haven’t they. Ask some folks, and they’ve got nothing to say. Well. If you can’t say something nice…
Jerry Seinfeld did what so many comics have failed to do well. It seems just about every stand-up out there thinks the stuff will work on television. Some of it does. Those that got the chance owe much to the success of Seinfeld. Like few sit-coms before it, the series was the hot topic at work water coolers. If you can measure a show by its contributions to the pop culture, then Seinfeld must be one of the best. Terms like “Yada Yada Yada”, “No soup for you”, and “Not that there’s anything wrong with that” have invaded the lexicon and endured. What made this show work, however, was no mystery at all. It was a smart cast put in situations that were character chemistry magic. So many shows attempt to create bizarre complicated scenarios, when it turns out the mundane is funny after all. What makes these guys funny isn’t the situations they are placed in, but their reactions to them. This show proved you can take characters like this and put them anywhere and they’ll be funny.
Actually, Season 7 on a whole suffers from the ongoing impending marriage of George and Susan. When the series bogged down, it was here. Susan was never funny, and she never seemed to fit in. When did we laugh at her so much as when she kicked the bucket? Still, Season 7 managed some classic moments. You’ll find the Soup Nazi debuted in this set. Michael Richards has some classic moments when he gives movie info over the phone or attempts to defeat the New York ban on high volume shower heads. Jason Alexander’s George gets the most attention with the wedding arc, but has better moments. When a doll reminds him of his mother or when he attempts to protect his ATM PIN we get far better laughs. Julia Louis-Dreyfus has her moments here as well as Elaine. She gets axed for a misunderstood drug test gone bad and dates the self-absorbed Maestro. Even Knight’s Newman has one of the best episodes as he and Kramer try to get a truckload of bottles out of state for the deposit. Jerry’s the center of the gang’s universe as always, and is the perfect observer.
The full frame video looks impressive. Colors are near reference. Black levels are good but not necessarily an important detail for the show. While there’s nothing utterly spectacular here, this is still better looking than the original broadcast was..
The Dolby Digital 2.0 track does exactly what it needs to. Dialogue!
“Commentaries” There are 10 episode commentaries and they are as much fun as the show itself. Don’t skip them.
“Inside Look” 14 episodes come with this short few minutes of interview clips and anecdotes about that selected episode..
“Deleted Scenes” 9 of the episodes sport funny cut material.
“Notes About Nothing” Each episode has this text commentary which again offers anecdotes and some inside scoop.
“Queen of the Castle” This is a 16 minute feature on the character of Elaine and, of course, Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
“Larry David’s Farewell” Season 7 was Larry’s last year with the show, and his touch was missed from then on out. He was one of the masterminds behind the show’s creation and deserving of a spotlight here. Of course, he did several cameos in the show’s run and “Where’s Larry” points them out.
“Master Of His Domain” This feature looks at the opening and closing stand-up bits Jerry used on the show.
“Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That” This is a very funny blooper reel that runs over 21 minutes long. Whew.
“Sein-Imation” Cheesy animation versions of a couple Seinfeld short sketches.
Seinfeld defined a decade of comedy. The show about nothing was actually more about something than most sit-coms ever were. It was about characters. Putting the right cast together is an art form in and of itself. Seinfeld proved you don’t need 20 people trying to live under one roof, or 2 guys raising a kid, or even pesky in-laws to be funny. OK, there were pesky parents. Too many other shows find they need to reach for the laughs or resort to simple toilet humor. When all else fails, they bring out the sex. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”