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On Friends And Seinfeld

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Gack







PostPosted: May 8, 2004 1:30 AM 

you know why 'friends' and 'seinfeld' will never even be comparable in terms of how important each was to sitcom television? why, in fact, no relatively modern sitcom will ever be on the same level as 'seinfeld' was?

it's not about characters or the actors who filled the roles or even the writing (although 'seinfeld' always had the edge on everyone else in these areas, also).

it's a lot more simple than that. it's one reason. it's something that 'seinfeld' did that probably, if you went to the history books, was completely unprecedented in the situational comedy.

it was the attitude, man. it was that they never ever, not once, never got mushy. they didn't turn into a soapcom. in fact, the characters just got meaner and shallower with every passing season. these were four really bad people (even, and sometimes especially, kramer), and they always stayed true to their characters. that was why we loved them so much. i mean, can you imagine a finale where jerry and elaine actually tied the not, and everyone was happy for them? i shudder to think. they went to jail, which, even as the show itself said, was the perfect irony. there wasn't a single death that carried any emotional weight -- every time someone died, it was just a set-up for more jokes. (my particular favourite has to be when Elaine and Jerry are at Gary's funeral, and everyone is sobbing, and Elaine is going on about how she just has nothing to wear anymore). and it just went on like this, for nine years. seriously, did the canned laughter ever once emit one of those disgusting "awwww's"?

i've always felt that on part two of 'the clipshow,' jerry's introduction of the show should have had one last line tagged to it, just to stick it to all the saps out there who were making unwatchable tv shows:

Jerry: Nine years. A hundred and eighty shows. Same twelve boxes of cereal. Millions and millions of dollars. And not a single dramatic moment.

Bruce
Hipster Dufus

Posts: 52

Reply: 1



PostPosted: May 8, 2004 2:20 AM 

Yeah, Gack, that's right. There never has been an Aww!

Let's compare Seinfeld and Friends:
1) Monica and Joey had Twins
2) Seinfeld had a baby with the bris and that ugly baby who lived in the hamptons

rio
Latex Salesman

Posts: 347

Reply: 2



PostPosted: May 8, 2004 10:36 AM 

Nice write-up, Gack, couldn't agree with you more!

Babu Bhat
Superman

Posts: 104

Reply: 3



PostPosted: May 8, 2004 3:40 PM 

Friends was horrible. The jokes were so corny and predictable. The whole show was predictable, who would of guessed that Ross and Rachel would get together.
I completely agree with Gack. Seinfeld was pure comedy.

Drs
Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 4



PostPosted: May 9, 2004 12:39 AM 

Babu, i agree so much with you, i never watch friends, except the finally. Couple of weeks ago I saw couple mins of friends and i told my self that they'll be together at the end. They did. It's true its corny jokes more for the family. And the caracther, they look so fake, i mean. Look at elaine,george,jerry and kramer, in my head they ARE REALLY like that in person, it's like they were not acting.

But there's on thing, we can't really compare these too, Friends was more a soapcom, where you follow a story. But Seinfeld had no story, Seinfeld is like the Simpsons. But anyway Seinfeld is THE BEST!!!

P.S:can someone tell me what records seinfeld did?

Gack
Wigmaster

Posts: 809

Reply: 5



PostPosted: May 9, 2004 12:47 AM 

actually, jason alexander has made a point to say that he is absolutely nothing like george in real life.

abu
Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 6



PostPosted: May 9, 2004 5:22 AM 

all sitcoms are about nothing. seinfeld was a rare gem of a show that actually realised this, and was built upon this premise.

Onslaught-X
Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 7



PostPosted: May 9, 2004 10:28 AM 

Friends was notthing more than a Seinfeld rip-off.
I'm glad it's off the air.
Friends sucks!
Seinfeld rulez!

the other guy
Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 8



PostPosted: May 9, 2004 11:29 AM 

Don't be stupid. Friends is/was a great show. It's as good as Seinfeld but in a different style.
Gack : "4 really bad people". Would you have said that in 1993. I think not. It's easy to say that once you know that the characters end up in jail ! Besides you probably heard it or read it and you just repeating it.
"it's not about characters or the actors who filled the roles or even the writing" ==> i'd like to see you saying this to seinfeld, larry david, Julia and the 2 other guys, and the writters !!! These people made Seinfeld as good as it is.

About Friends and the predictable story : first, who cares about the story ? Want a story ? Have a life or watch a soap (best :read a book)! What is important is to have fun watching the episods. Could you predict the jokes ? maybe some, but not the most.
And of course R & R get back together at the end. It's been 10 years that we speak about them. Othewise it would have been a waste of 10 years !!!

Anyway, to me, Seinfeld and Friends are both REALLY FUNNY shows but simply differents.

I just want to add that we can't judge 10 years of a sitcom just with the final episod. It's stupid imagine 199 bad episods and a great final versus 199 great episods and a bad final. Which show do you prefer ?

Gack
Wigmaster

Posts: 809

Reply: 9



PostPosted: May 9, 2004 12:52 PM 

first of all, on the writers/actors/characters... you're only half quoting me, other guy. i gave them all props, said that all three areas were superior to "seinfeld's" contemporaries. what i'm getting at is that there are plenty of shows out there which also have great writers, actors, and characters, but what they're missing (and thus, why they're lacking in comparison) is the genuine meanspiritedness of 'seinfeld.' was the jerry character funny to watch when he kept seeking george's counsel about how to progress his relationship with lynn in the pilot episode? nope. what the 'seinfeld' crew finally understood was that the meaner and shallower these characters were, the funnier they were (ie: jerry dumping a woman strictly so that he could make fun of her stomach). believe me, if i ever met jerry or larry, i'd have no problem telling them that it was the attitude of the show that made it work more than anything else.

and i'm not repeating things i've heard. i'm just a fan. you don't need a tv guide to figure out that these weren't exactly virtuous characters. and any fan who would say "jason and michael" as opposed to "the other 2 guys" will probably tell you the same thing.

Other Walter
Rageaholic

Posts: 650

Reply: 10



PostPosted: May 9, 2004 6:14 PM 

When Jerry learns how to get mad from Patty and express his feelings, leading to his breakup with her, he becomes sensitive Jerry. Open to George expressing his deepest feelings, he says "Sure I'm not funny anymore"... This shows the Seinfeld strategy pretty clearly as well as being true to life. I think the main reason the show rises above others is the chemistry between the four main characters. Like the Beatles the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and the synergy developed between any pair of characers in any combination gave the show its amazingly versatile hilarity

Anonymous
Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 11



PostPosted: May 9, 2004 10:53 PM 

man, I couldnt agree more, that's so true. Seinfeld is not a slushy, mushy soapcom. It was written by a PROFESSIONAL comedian who had spent years slugging it out on the circuits and in the clubs. He lives and breathes comedy. When he gets up on stage, the thousands-strong audience shudders knowing he's an expert, they are intimidated by his quality, they WANT to laugh at him, whatever he says. Seinfeld is a show which oozes comedic excellence, perfect timing, absurdly unrealistic yet strangely normal situations; it has PROFESSIONAL CLASS written all over it.

And what was friends? (I'm so happy to put "was" in that sentence!) A bunch of 20-something barbie dolls who couldnt act, who were manufactured and brought together by a mindless profit-slurping network, out to get a few quick and very cheap laughs, and rake in the profit.

Friends is a manufactured, plastic, mass-produced teenage "Mcsoapcom". It is nothing more than any other teen program.

Seinfeld is quality and professionalism.

Seinfeld is Hendrix or Led Zeppelin, classics who revolutionised and are remembered, loved and continue to inspire decades later. They didnt mess around, and they didnt do it for the money, they were class acts.

You think Mat perry or Mat le Blanc care two toots about comedy? About the careful ART of comedy, the way Seinfeld or Gary Shandling do? Jerry wanted to be a comedian as long as he ever lived, and he worked damned hard at it for decades, sometimes working for no pay, just to perfect his act. You think any of the 6 in friends ever wanted anything other than a quick ride to fame and cash?

Friends are the Spice Girls. They were fake, manufactured, achieved nothing of intellectual or artistic values, and 5 years on, everyone says "who?".

It is always so clear when one sees classic artists versus manufactured nonsense, no matter what the genre; music, comedy, or even politics.

Seinfeld re-runs will NEVER get boring. 6 years on, we all still talk about them on this forum, we would all wet our little panties if it was announced tomorrow that there will be another series.

But who CARES to see Ross winge and whine about how he had a boner for rachel in high school? Or how much monica loved Magnum PI, but it could just never be? Its TEENAGE NONSENSE. It has been designed to emotionally exploit the hormones of teen girls who will tune in every week.

Does Seinfeld try to exploit emotions to get it's ratings? No, it does it by quality laughs. Does Seinfeld witter on mindlessley, making you "love" it's characters? We all love it to death, but would we care or cry if the characters all went to jail or died in a plane crash?

Of course not! Because it's COMEDY, DUMBASS!

We all weep our eyes out like little girls during the "R&R Breakup" episode where he begs her to forgive him for sleeping with some drunken slut.

When did Seinfeld ever attempt to make us cry? I mean, it's jokes stand out and will do so for ever. Try to remember ANY one single really, really good joke in Friends. It was just a bunch of semi-witty, diluted, double entendre one-liners, designed for cheap laughs.

Compare that to "Vandalez Industries", which you will never forget.

Compare it to when George's mother "catches him" and she falls and hurts her back and he didnt know "whether to help her or zip up". "So what'd u do?" "I zipped up!.... Well I couldnt go over there, the way I was!"

Oh man, I'm in stiches just remembering it.

"So she starts screaming ' oh georgie, how could you?, NO!' "

And then she asks him to see a psychiatrist. Oh man, classic.

Think about the costanzas yelling at one another all the time. Insane. hahaha.

Think about Kramer's crazy..you know..that thing he does...with the hand spasms... in fact, think about Kramer's anything!

Think about when Elaine slaps George on his big bald forehead! haha, oh man. She's really a man in a woman's body.

They weren't barbie dolls. They all looked so normal. (well, excluding Cosmo of course!)

anyway, I really could witter on forever, but let's leave it there!

Anonymous
Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 12



PostPosted: May 10, 2004 10:15 AM 

i basically agree with u completely, seinfeld is one of the rare shows that has never had to stoop to mushy sentimentality to maintain interest (however i, like the rest of us, love a bit of mushy sentimentality on occasion....if there's one show i love almost as much as seinfeld its frasier, and i'll admit i nearly cried after the famous daphne and niles kiss scene jus before daphne's wedding...but i digress...) but i would like to point out that there was on rare occasion moments of sentimentality on seinfeld, mainly during the early series before it found its true strength...the way jerry and elaine are genuinely concerned that their friendship may have been jeopardised by their sleeping together in "the deal"...george's pledge to care for his (nearly) son in "the fix up"...these are rare moments in the show, and they are basically isolated incidents that occurred early, however i think they rate a mention

rio
Latex Salesman

Posts: 347

Reply: 13



PostPosted: May 10, 2004 11:23 AM 

Yeah, but I think those instances show perhaps a bit of 'humanism' rather than 'sentimentalism'. I mean, they weren't meant to make the audience go, 'awwwww'. Instead, they just showed that the characters *sometimes* cared about stuff. I do agree, though, that those would probably be the softest moments in Seinfeld.

Anonymous
Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 14



PostPosted: May 19, 2004 10:16 PM 

true, and its also true that these incidents were completely isolated, which is slightly strange..."the deal" concludes with jerry and elaine essentially in a relationship (or at least sleeping together) but then we never hear of it again, which considering the underlying tension between jerry and elaine in this respect continues right throughout the show, is unusual. Similarly in "the fix up" george is seemingly in a happy relationship, but we never hear of it again
i think u are right in saying that these are just isolated "human" moments, not sentimantal ones

Shad
Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 15



PostPosted: May 19, 2004 10:16 PM 

true, and its also true that these incidents were completely isolated, which is slightly strange..."the deal" concludes with jerry and elaine essentially in a relationship (or at least sleeping together) but then we never hear of it again, which considering the underlying tension between jerry and elaine in this respect continues right throughout the show, is unusual. Similarly in "the fix up" george is seemingly in a happy relationship, but we never hear of it again
i think u are right in saying that these are just isolated "human" moments, not sentimantal ones

moops
Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 16



PostPosted: June 7, 2004 12:33 PM 

Sorry, I'm a bit behind on my reading.

The closest I think they ever came to showing a little "drama" was when Kramer was in LA and Jerry told Kramer he was sorry about the keys. Kramer just says it's forgotten. Then at the end when Kramer shows up in Jerry's apartment with Jerry and George looking incredulous. Jerry throws Kramer his keys and Kramer has a rather dramatic acknowledgement. But that "dramatic" moment is broken when Kramer comes back with his keys which is this huge ring with a zillion keys and it hits Jerry's coffee table with a bang.

I believe that's the closest they came to drama in show.

Dark Avenger
Low-Talker

Posts: 15

Reply: 17



PostPosted: June 9, 2004 11:44 AM 

I totaly dissagree with some of you ppl on the whole friends part.

They are brilliant actors, the lasted because its chemistry was amazing. It was predictible at times but then that never made the show un-funny or crap acted. Friends WILL be remembered in years to come, as one of the best sitcoms ever made which changed pop-culture as much as Seinfeld did. Why are you matching these 2 sitcoms up any?? They are very different.

You can't moan at friends for having sad parts in it because that was the whole point of Friends, it wasn't trying in anyway to be like Seinfeld because Seinfeld is different to any other sitcom and thats why really it shouldn't be matched up to other sitcoms.

Seinfeld is quality and professionalism
Friends is quality and professionalism.

The actors did care about their characters, they had acting talent which has shown through Lisa Kudrow. They have made some awful films but then they have shone. Lisa Kudrow in Wonderland! Jennifer Aniston in the good girl.

The writing in Friends is brilliant and unbeatable, its fast paced, hilerious and has some great stories/lines that will never be forgotten.

"We were on a break"

"Oh My God"

"Sometimes i wish i was a lesbien, did i say that out loud?" etc

jerkstore
Low-Talker

Posts: 16

Reply: 18



PostPosted: June 16, 2004 8:59 AM 

You guys are all idiots analyzing Seinfeld like its a Picasso. I am honestly a bigger Seinfeld fan than any of you, but take the show for what it is and just enjoy. Making comparisons to other shows is irrelevant and futile. Just because Seinfeld rocks hardcore doesn't mean that other shows can't rock too. Seinfeld is the best but just chill out and have fun laughing to tales of Costanza and Company!

jerkstore
Low-Talker

Posts: 16

Reply: 19



PostPosted: June 16, 2004 8:59 AM 

You guys are all idiots analyzing Seinfeld like its a Picasso. I am honestly a bigger Seinfeld fan than any of you, but take the show for what it is and just enjoy. Making comparisons to other shows is irrelevant and futile. Just because Seinfeld rocks hardcore doesn't mean that other shows can't rock too. Seinfeld is the best but just chill out and have fun laughing to tales of Costanza and Company!

J. Chiles


Posts: 5139

Reply: 20



PostPosted: June 16, 2004 11:18 AM 

Glad to know that you are a bigger Seinfeld fan the any of us, Jerk, er, I mean jerkstore. Oh, BTW, they called.

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