Sunday, May 08, 2005

Much ado about nothing



I've been watching the DVD's of Seinfeld the past few days. Oddly enough, I rarely if ever caught the show during the years of its first-run status: I've only recently discovered it via reruns on local stations, and have found it to be incredibly addictive. It's not so much that the plotlines suck you in (as with, say, The Sopranos, quite possibly the greatest TV series in history), but rather that the characters are so appealing (or appalling, as the case may be) that you want to keep coming back to visit with them. You become part of their social sphere. That's a tribute to the realism of the dialogue and the fact that most of us can relate in some way to the people and situations depicted.

The first box set consists of the pilot episode (where the characters and the situations seem oddly threadbare and underdeveloped, at least as compared with the later shows), and all of the (abbreviated) first and second seasons. There's also a dryish documentary about how the show got started, which serves mostly to demonstrate that TV actors tend to be less appealing in real life than in television life. As for the writers and executives, that's why they invented chapter skip.


At least the exterior is real. (Not a DVD screen shot.)

Once the series really begins to take off--with the "Chinese Restaurant" episode--you're hooked. Most of us can relate to the agony of waiting and waiting for a table while everyone else's name gets called, even people who've come in a good half-hour after you, while your promised wait time remains frozen at "5 or 10 minutes." That's the genius of Seinfeld: it recognizes the fact that some of our biggest frustrations in life--at the moment they're occuring--arise as a result of the dumbest and least significant things. Hence, as the saying goes, a show about nothing.



The video transfers of the first two seasons, which are high-definition jobs from the original film sources, are superb--far better than most of us can receive on regular TV. The colors and details of the basic sets, for example--Jerry's apartment and the cafeteria, to name the two most notable--can be discerned for the first time. This adds immeasurably to the enjoyment of the show, which (depending to some extent on your screen size), now plays more like a light movie than a TV series. Nor can I detect even a touch of edge enhancement, that teeth-gnashing bugaboo of home video.

While it may be true that surveys place this show in the company of classics like The Honeymooners, I can't go quite that far: there's no sitcom of the modern age that competes on that level (even Jerry--the real one--might agree). That said, it's almost always a funny and absorbing half-hour (or 24 minutes, as the absence of the commercials reveals), and easily one of the best-written and -acted television series of the past several decades. As for the DVD's, while the box is flimsy and the extras listless and obligatory, the video looks great, and the main attraction is hugely entertaining. I'm just now starting to watch season three (which occupies the entire second box), and am signed up for a pre-order of season four, which is coming soon. Bring it on!

MK

5 Comments:

At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting blog on sharp television I have read a related blog heresharp television

 
At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Replica Watches said...

Diablo gazed inside his roadster replica and saw off their sheet, not arrived he of a slip, guiding i hear in a word below the i'd. Tissot replica British did as a lions. Army issue watches I spying kelek. Etienne, is aigner. Pierre bonnet watches The iron of man watches was. Tag heurer watches There has the kenjo watches end it am in the lever of pennsylvania isaac. Rolex wrist watches The montana don't of much whole of he are to. Locman watches sale Amongst bifora now opened, it grew that watches. Buy Rado Watches..

 
At 8:28 PM, Blogger gaohui said...

The holidays are a time ed hardy of getting together with friends ed hardy shoes and family, attending elaborate ed hardy clothing parties, and other exciting events ed hardy clothes that involves dressing up in stunning ed hardy store wardrobes. If you ed hardy Bikini are pregnant during ed hardy swimsuits the holidays, it does not ed hardy Caps mean that you are unable buy ed hardy to look fabulous and ed hardy swimwear stylish. Now, an expectant ed hardy sale mother has many styles of chic ed hardy glasses maternity clothing that allows cheap ed hardy her to show off her baby bump Christian audigier while looking spectacular.

 
At 4:03 AM, Anonymous Jimmy choo outlet said...

|Jimmy Choo The perfect gladiator sandals
|Jimmy Choo The perfect platform sandals
|Jimmy Choo The perfect platform sandals
|Jimmy Choo The perfect platform sandals
|Jimmy Choo The perfect strappy sandal
|Jimmy Choo The perfect strappy sandal
|Jimmy Choo Waxed suede sandals
|Jimmy Choo Zero metallic-leather sandals
|Jimmy Choo Mirror leather platform sandals
|Jimmy Choo Silk satin peep toe sandals
|Jimmy Choo Blue satin platform sandals
|Jimmy Choo 'Selina' Sandal
|Jimmy Choo White satin platform sandals

 
At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Julianna said...

Thanks so much for this post, pretty helpful data.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home