Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Christmas is Over yada yada yada.....
Well we are officially back (in California) from Christmas having completed our Texas swing with stops in San Antonio and Houston. While we are both generally glad to have the holiday travel behind us (which included drives between SA and H-town and rental cars and airplanes and taxicabs and weight-limit-challenged bags) it is a bit sad that it is over - not sure why. We had alot of large family interplay and covered alot of ground and met some old friends and new ones (more of that drama later) - so I'm not sure what the deal is - maybe because it has been rainy and overcast here in LA and one of neat things of coming back home to SoCal is reveling in the fact that it is still sunny and green and wonderful. But it looks like Houston right about now.
So enough of that - what did everybody get? Let's talk common Xmas gifts - as one blogger and I were discussing today. I received the boxed set of Seinfeld CDs for Season 5 and 6 this year as I did for years 1 through 3 last year. And of course this one this year came with a minature version of the puffy shirt which frankly is almost suitable for display near your Kosta Boda candles in the wall unit. Even my Mom thought it was cute.
Now some of you have recently heard about my pop culture passion for Kelly Clarkson (more on her later) and we haven't even mined the Springsteen vein yet here - but the Seinfeld TV show ranks up there as one of my very favorite things ever. Ever, ever, ever. I am a nut for the show.
So much so that my girlfriend "hates it" although she laughs her butt off every time she watches it. I sort of made her sick of it because when I moved to LA Seinfeld was just ending and to watch re-eruns just made me feel at home, a little bit less homesick (of course now she's a serious "Curb Your Enthusiam" fan). When she came out here I still watched it anyway - because, well it was still a touchstone for me. As I once told my father, who was asking about its popularity, I said "its like everyday life - this is how people talk about things - do I have to break up with her in person? Well, how many times did you go out? How many times did you sleep with her?" And in fact the parent-to-Jerry-to-George interplay is just priceless - and of course I could go on and on.
Jerry was just on the Larry King show a month or so ago hawking the new CDs and you can just see the different level of communication.
LK: "Jerry, why was the show so popular - it was about "nothing" as you say.
JS: Nothing? It was about nothing? Who would watch a show about nothing. Oh, it was about something alright. (conflicting almost everything he's ever said about the show).
LK: Well then what attributed to its success?
JS: It was funny.
Man - he was just toying with Larry. But you see - no cosmic reason. It was funny that's all. But it was funny also because it did not go the classic sitcom route. It almost removed plot as a critical function and wove pertinent current and sometimes less than contemparary events into a weave that somehow resolved itself at the end. "Mr. Kramer - you wouldn't be trying to pull the wool over the eyes of a Texan, now would you?" I mean who bets on flight schedules?
Ah, who's kidding who. It was funny. (In fact I was sitting with a friend over Christmas and he was telling me how he now watches it with his son but he never really caught the show before - but he made a comment I always though somewhat true - that the show was really about George Constanza - please discuss amongst yourselves). I'm getting verclempt!
"George you bastard - when are you coming down to Houston - you bastard?" - imaginary Houston Astro executives talking to George on an airplane while making way full use of the onboard service.
Anybody who's a Seinfeld afficianado knows the many different story lines that occurred in the show's run but I always find it interesting as how they were combined with other story lines in a single episode. I mean everyone knows about the Soup Nazi, but that was also the one that had Jerry and his new girlfriend talking the baby talk - you know the "Moopie schloopie" stuff. Man I pull out the "Schloopie mooopie" talk out at least once a month. And of course that girlfriend is now Mrs. George Stefanopoulous.
Now we all have our favorites - and there are the famous ones like the Contest and the Soup Nazi as above. But there are many others not a famous that are great. One of my early favorites was the one where George is parking cars downstairs, Kramer is in the Woody Allen movie and Elaine's 60-ish old boyfriend collpases of a heart attack in Jerry's apartment. "Now there's a show." I also like the one (Season 8 I think) where George is the "bad boy" and attracts the attention of one of Elaine's employees. George plays the bad boy and winds up being picked up at the police station by his screaming father. "You want a piece of Me?!" Jerry Stiller was and is fantastic.
Seperate from other Seinfeld enthustiasts is that I liked him way before. I grew up wanting to be Johnny Carson or one of the standups that came before him and I loved his schtick. Very smart. I love the deal about how we don't really root for sports teams but we really root for their uniforms. "You see we are just cheering for laundry, people." Very true.
I also like the one about the Marine Bioligist - and in fact Jerry mentioned it as one of his favorites (again one not constantly hyped by a lazy media). "Is anyone here a marine biologist?" Priceless. "The sea was angry that day my friend. Like old man returning soup in a deli."
And living in LA, while everybody said the show was about New York, I thought it was as much about LA - many of the story lines were ripped from here. And the facade of Jerry's apartment is really a building in Santa Monica.
So what's your favorite Seinfeld episode - and does the show still do something for you?