I rarely watch tv, but this summer, I have had Seinfeld on in the background throughout the day. Growing up, I loved Seinfeld, and as young as 7, I’d watch the display and chuckle. Before I make this post, I want to note that I think Seinfeld is funny, but now that I am older, I am able to see it in a different light.
There is no doubt that Seinfeld has had( and still has) a huge impact on our society and cultural activities. While the show is meant to be humorous, satirical, and sometimes even social commentary, it still has some themes and messages that I feel should be analyzed.
For the purpose of this post, I wanted to focus on the episode “The Engagement.” In this episode, Jerry is sitting with George at the restaurant, and he comes to a conclusion that “peoples lives” are meaningless. He and George vow to change “peoples lives”, and George promptly get engaged. After having a conversation with Kramer, Jerry’s believes change. Kramer tells him there is no meaning to life, and marriage is a prison. Here is Kramer’s commentary on matrimony 😛 TAGEND
Most notably, he says, “There is nothing more.”
Ultimately, Jerry goes back to his superficial ways, and George is stuck in an involvement he does not really want.
To me, this episode various kinds of exemplifies nearly all the larger themes of Seinfeld. Here are some of the things I have learned watching Seinfeld 😛 TAGEND
There Is Nothing More
It’s no secret that the show about nothing truly shows that their lives have no meaning – and builds the point that our lives are really about nothing. When God( or something higher) is mentioned anywhere in Seinfeld, it is always as a utility, a tool. Though the characters are Jewish, they do not spiritually practice Judaism. Religion is only utilized for social intents, perhaps even to move up the social ladder. In desperate times, they sometimes do seek spiritual guidance, but lessons are never learned. In one episode, George even converts to another religion for a woman he loves, but he does not genuinely believe in that religion. All in all, there is no deeper meaning to their lives, and materialism and consumerism are prominent.
Materialism and Consumerism
They are always eating out. In fact, I rarely( if ever) considered an episode where anybody stimulates dinner. Occasionally, they will have a family dinner episode, but nearly every episode has the characters eating out and spending a lot of time at restaurants. I also noticed this happens in Larry David’s present Curb Your Enthusiasm . To me this promotes a strange lifestyle of consumerism and even unhealthy living.
Many of the episodes are about wanting things and materials usually for social status. While Kramer may be the exception to this, he is always looking for a quick money-making strategy. Jerry, Elaine, and George all seem to always be searching for something to attain them feel full, whether that be a product, a person, or something. Even when they pursue relationships, these relationships are often based on social status as well. For example, Elaine becomes obsessed with dating a doctor, just so she can tell others he is a doctor, which leads into my next phase. They treat people as products , not as people.
Relationships are Worthless
This is probably the central theme of the prove. None of them ultimately find love, and no matter how close they come, there is always something that kills the relationship, and it is always for a petty reason. Jerry seems to be the most aloof when it comes to relationships, and maybe even the least capable of love. George seems to only ever want a relationship for some self-serving intent. All of his proclamations of love are almost always highly misguided and inherently selfish. Elaine seems to know that deep down she feels empty, but she only cannot seem to devote herself to anything deeper.
Ultimately, this prove tells us that commitment is a mistake and really a kind of misery for people. It also tells its viewers that they should always be seeking someone “perfect” – somebody who has no flaws. In a way, this present villifies commitment. It tells us that really we would all simply be happier on our own, and that relationships and families are not worth it.
Nobody truly seems to have any fulfilling hobbies. Any of their extra hour is expended either feeing out, watching movies, or maybe going to a sports game. In one episode, George tries to join a volume club, but he merely cannot sit here and read. Rarely do any of them participate in any sort of deeper pastime. Their lives are spent functioning, and after work they lives are spent being entertained.
No Lessons Learned
If you watch the entire series, there is no character growth. No matter how many mistakes they stimulate , no matter how many people they offend, and no matter how many crazy situations they get in, they learn nothing. In the last episode, they all go to jail, and even then, they learn nothing. I get this is the point of the prove, but clearly it says something larger.
It tells us that our lives are just meaningless episodes tied up, and that once we get to a certain age, there is actually no room for growth.
Friendships? Family ?
I tried to analyze the friendships between Kramer, George, Elaine, and Jerry. I am not really sure what my conclusion is here, but they surely never have real friends outside of that social circle. There does not seem to be any “love” expressed for each other, but they do seem to care for each other. They do things to help each other out, even when they do not want to.
To me, this is probably the deepest entailing they have in “peoples lives”, but even then, I think it is inherently selfish. They are all convenient relationships overall, and I do not think they truly ever sacrifice for each other.
There is even an episode where Elaine finds the “bizarro” Jerry, Kramer, and George( the opposite of them ), and they are great people! Ultimately, though, the relationships are too much, and she goes back to her old friendships. To me this show that she favor the easier, more vapid relationships than any relationships that take commitment.
To me the theme is that we should only have people in our lives if they are convenient for us. Otherwise, there really is no point in working or sacrificing for anybody.
It is important to note that Jerry and George do seem to love their families, but it seems more out of duty and necessity than a deeper kind of love.
The characters are ultimately strictly selfish. Though they are not necessarily evil, in the end, they only care about themselves. Every moment, every situation, and all the problems is rooted in their selfishness. They seem to understand others’ motives, but they rarely, if ever, have empathy for others. Even serious life situations like funerals are seen as superficial and mandatory to them.
In the involvement episode, George and Jerry say they wish they could be like normal people and “care.” Ultimately, that never happens.
At days the characters have moments of complexity and deepness, but these days are thrown out in a moment of selfishness.
Again, I know this show is meant to be humorous and satirical, but to me, there are some major messages that viewers may either consciously or unconsciously take away as they watch it.
I grew up in a “Seinfeld” sort of family. Nothing truly seemed to matter other than materialism. There did not seem to be a lot of love, only if it was a matter convenience. I feel like more and more people are falling into this lifestyle.
In fact, I would even tell Seinfeld was somewhat “predictive programming” for the next generation( happening right now ), where people seem to fall into these meaningless patterns. Many are denying anything higher than themselves, and most go to work, come home, and then entertain themselves. Many are preferring not to commit to relationships or having infants or households. Many have resorted to nihilism, extol life is ultimately meaningless. Eventually, many go across the motions, never growing or learning themselves – from one episode of “peoples lives” to another, with no chance for anything deeper.
Of course , not all people are this way, and Of course, there are many factors involved in this transformation in national societies. However, it is no secret that television programming is there for a reason. I am sure many of you have find the amount of strange, eerie, and accurate “predictions” made by the Simpsons. I put predictions and quotes because I feel like they “know” these events beforehand( but that’s another post …)
To me, Seinfeld was predictive programming for the current generation and many to go( depending how many we have left !). We are supposed to live vapid, meaningless lives, and that is all there is to it: nothing.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. What did I miss? This is a post just for discussion – I do not claim to be some pop culture philosopher or anything:)
Edit for people missing the larger point of my post 😛 TAGEND
Comedy is the perfect road of brainwashing.
Think about how comedy has even transformed through time. I couldn’t bare to watch “it’s always sunny.” That demonstrate sickens me, and that is the next pushing. The characters on the depict are 200 days worse than the Seinfeld characters. That is the next stage.
When commentaries are claiming my post itself is satire . .. no I didn’t make this post as irony but I do see the irony.
I believe this show was truly predictive programming and push for an ever more selfish society.
They use humor to get people used to things. That’s the conspiracy.
I get the irony and contradiction of making this post though.
Great comment by / u/ pieceofchance
The show about nothing … but then again, everything can be more than one thing, and often is. On the surface we are told it is all about nothing in that same route that nihilism is touted as nothing more. But it is all so much more than that.
Postmodernism, for example: we are told that postmodernism is just a new phase of human culture development. Rather, postmodernism is simply the narrative form employed by capitalism to overcome its own glaring incoherencies, to counter and subjugate opposing paradigms and to strengthen the embedded posture capitalism holds within the post-modern Western cultural framework. Without postmodernist positions to suggest that everything is relative and is accessible to interpretation, the Western capitalist paradigm doesn’t have a leg to stand on.
Similar with the show about nothing, which is really the conditioning( programming) of hyper-relativistic ethical egoism, where there merely thing of value is the feeding of wants and desires and the avoiding of distastes. How do you get out of something you don’t want to do? Lie. Every fucking time. Learn to lie while smiling.
Repeatedly throughout the display, the only repercussion of lying is momentary social discomfort, alleviated by isolating within your single-serving social world where your prejudices are reinforced by friends chosen only for their willingness to reinforce your racisms.
The thing is, “ethical egoism” is an academic way of saying do what thou wilt, really( and postmodernism is the narrative kind it takes ), and seinfeld and many other examples are clearly social conditioning for a lucifarian society.
And the normalisation process doesn’t end there either: do not adjust your define and have a look at the display through a culturally sensitive lens for a moment and find what you find there: a gala of Western secular judaism and jooish culture and tradition. Even jooish sexuality is freely acknowledged on the prove, though hidden in plain sight. Seriously, look up the meaning of shiksa … it isn’t “non-jooish woman”. While searching, chuck the word “talmud” in there for some fun results!
Just keep in mind that this conditioning is intent to model all of society on the secular remains of those who killed Christ. Those who are also still waiting for their savior when everyone is waiting for the antithesis. Something to keep in mind …
Maybe the characters are evil but this evil is normalized. They do some pretty terrible things in this show.
It is deceptive slapstick to me.