“Seinfeld:” 23 Years Later


Daniel Torrillo

Even before it’s finale in 1998, Seinfeld has often been regarded as one of the greatest and influential TV sitcoms of all time. It has been described as “a show about nothing” and revolves around four friends living in New York City. What is it about Seinfeld that makes it so likeable and enduring 23 years after it aired its last episode.


One reason is it’s four main characters. Jerry Seinfeld, a stand up comedian, George Costanza, Jerry’s loser best friend, Elaine Benes, Jerry’s former girlfriend, now just a friend, and Cosmo Kramer, Jerry’s hipster-doofus neighbor. Unlike many other sitcoms where the main group is full of good-hearted people, the four main characters of Seinfeld are such terrible, self-absorbed people who constantly lie and cheat without remorse or regard for others feelings. Normally, this would cause the audience to dislike the main characters and despise the whole conceit of the show. With Seinfeld, however, the audience is able to see past the crazy shenanigans and identify and root for the cast of characters. How is that possible?!


The writing of course!


The plots, storylines and dialogue of many episodes are very funny and true to real life. For example, The Contest (where the four of them have a contest to see who can go the longest without pleasuring themselves), The Chinese Restaurant (where they are trying to get a table at a restaurant but end up waiting for nearly an hour), and The Parking Garage (where they are trying to find their car in a giant mall parking garage). This may sound like nothing to you, and it is. But that’s one of Seinfeld’s greatest achievements, making nothing look and feel like something. Adding to the mix are the actors’ perfect delivery of their character’s hysterical and memorable lines like: 

  • “Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That.” 
  • “No Soup for You!”
  • “Yada Yada Yada.”

Some people prefer other shows about friends living in a big city’ like Friends, How I Met Your Mother, or New Girl, but Seinfeld is the show that started that trope and made it popular for everyone throughout the years. If you start watching it now, you will certainly have a swell time watching nothing.