An examination of the sitcom seinfield

The father of Ben Stiller continued his late-career surge immediately after Seinfeld, playing another iconic crotchety sitcom dad, Arthur Spooner, on The King of Queens for nearly episodes.

An examination of the sitcom seinfield

Weaving Coincidence into Community When Jerry Jerry Seinfeld and George Jason Alexander on the NBC sitcom Seinfeld to present pitched an idea for a new sitcom to a television network, the concept for this show-within-the-show was clearly intended to apply to the actual Seinfeld series.

In this reflexive plotline Seinfeld created a label for itself, a label which seems to characterize the distinguishing quality of the show: Characterizing Seinfeld as a show in which "nothing happens" seems to be an intuitively correct way to describe the show, but this self-defined label also hides the fact that Seinfeld is one of the most densely plotted comedies on television.

How is it possible for a show to have a breakneck narrative pace and yet also seem to have "nothing happening? Rather I suggest that the narrative of each episode is constructed using certain innovative principles. I will articulate key narrational patterns in Seinfeld, [1] showing how episodes packed with plot occurrences use distinctive strategies to differentiate the show from the structure of more traditional comedies.

Plotlines without Goals Before examining the construction of a show in which ostensibly nothing happens, we should briefly survey the principles for constructing a narrative in which something clearly happens.

The initial exposition clearly lays out the consistent set of character traits which motivate the protagonist toward achieving the goal. Though the protagonist frequently has allies, the goal should be attained primarily through the protagonist's efforts e.

The protagonist's attainment of the goal is blocked not by large social forces but by a single character who personifies the forces opposing the protagonist. The narrative reveals a series of obstacles which the leading character must overcome to attain the goal state.

Each of the protagonist's actions to overcome an obstacle has direct consequences, setting up a new set of circumstances which the character must confront.

Such chains of obstacles and actions can end with the protagonist either happily achieving the goal the most frequent case or not, but these stories must end clearly with all major plot questions resolved unambiguously.

Such "situations" should be basic enough to be recognized quickly by a viewer grazing through the channels and concise enough to be summarized in a short sentence in the television listings.

Rather than arranging the entire cast's actions around a single protagonist's goal pursuit, sitcoms presented two separate plotlines, each with a cast member as the action-driven protagonist.

One of these plotlines might be given less air time than the other, or one might be more "serious" and the other "lighter," but both protagonists would pursue their goals in the trait-driven, obstacle-encountering method outlined above.

Characters in the ensemble might serve as confidants or helpers, but the two protagonists must pursue their goals independently, creating two parallel plotlines. As the sitcom form continued to develop, it added more and more plotlines. An episode of Night Court might give individual plotlines to several different characters, forcing the sitcom form to convey situations and resolve plotlines in ever terser, more efficient ways.

Seinfeld, like many sitcoms, uses a multiple plotline structure. In each episode there are at least four separate plotlines, usually one for each of the primary characters: Sometimes single characters serve double duty as protagonists in two separate plotlines.

For instance, in one episode [3] Jerry investigates whether or not his Uncle Leo owes Jerry's mother money from decades ago, while Jerry simultaneously vows to stop kissing people hello.

Seinfeld's narrational structure can instigate and resolve up to six separate plotlines in a single episode.

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But other sitcoms also rely on multiple plotlines. What makes Seinfeld's plot structure distinctive? Seinfeld distributes the various characteristics of the canonic story form among its various plotlines.

Instead each plotline tends to assemble a patchwork of the canonic narrational elements. There are three basic types of Seinfeld plotlines, each one containing a few elements of canonic storytelling. One type of storyline occurs when a character does a seemingly simple action on a whim and then has to live with the disastrous series of circumstances which result from this innocent choice.Photo: Carin Baer/NBC/Getty Images At long last, you can clear all those syndicated Seinfeld episodes off your DVR.

Following years of speculation about when and where the historic sitcom would. Jerry Seinfeld has always delighted in presenting immaculate, word-perfect gags – fired from a laboratory and guided by laser – that deal with the mundane details from everyday life.

At the end of Seinfeld's run, Jerry Seinfeld commented that one of the more underrated aspects of his show was the number of its locations and sets, creating a sense of indoor-outdoor movement unusual for a multi-camera sitcom.

Jessica and Jerry Seinfeld in Years before Seinfeld was created, Seinfeld dated Carol Leifer, [50] [51] a fellow comedian and one of the inspirations for the Seinfeld character of Elaine. [52] [53] On national TV with Dr. Ruth Westheimer, he explained how, in , he was engaged but called it off.


He was the first of the main cast to attempt to headline a sitcom, with ’s seven-episode The Michael Richards Show, and he was a regular on the Kirstie Alley TV Land vehicle Kirstie in , but it was done after one episode season.

George's colleagues try to force him to leave. Jerry makes fun of his girlfriend's bellybutton. Kramer hires an intern.

An examination of the sitcom seinfield

Elaine gets back together with David Puddy.

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