The other day, The Daily Post, a blog run by WordPress that sends out a daily prompt, asked this question:
When was the last time a movie, a book, or a television show left you cold despite all your friends (and/or all the critics) raving about it? What was it that made you go against the critical consensus?
To hear some people talk about it, if they gave Nobel Prizes for television, Seinfeld would have won one, hands down. I mean intelligent, well-read individuals were saying this. And for the life of me, I can’t think of a single reason why.
They said the show was about “nothing.” I disagree: it was about four unlikable, neurotic characters maundering through life and getting on one another’s nerves. You have Jerry, the anal-retentive who alphabetizes the many cereal boxes in his kitchen cabinets; George, a little weasel who’s always trying to get something for nothing; Elaine, a narcissistic harridan who thinks she’s God’s gift to men; and Kramer, an individual who respects no one’s personal boundaries and is either high on something or a complete loony. There is nothing about them that mitigates any of their faults; you feel no sympathy for them because there’s nothing about these people that evokes it. Every week was an exercise in pitting these four against characters who were just as unlikable and neurotic as they were and watching them be outnastied.
Where’s the humor in that?
And yet, it’s described in Wikipedia as “[a] critical favorite, commercial blockbuster and cultural phenomenon”. Really? Why? All I can figure is that it benefitted from the Thursday night schedule, strong on NBC and weak on all the other networks.
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