I Wanna Be Literated #145

I Wanna Be Literated #145

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Wednesday, 01 March 2017
COLUMN

Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything

by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

No matter how much you think you know about Seinfeld, there’s always more to uncover. I considered myself a fan of the show ever since I would watch the live broadcast back in high school. But it’s only several years later when the show was being released on DVD in these nifty box sets that I decided to actually commit and rewatch the entire series. By then Seinfeld had begun to show its age a little bit (oh, how a cell phone would solve these problems), but still played remarkably well considering Seinfeld had always existed in its own universe. When watching Seinfeld, you’re merely catching a glimpse into this world which just barely parallels ours.

For those who wanted a closer look at the show, the bonus features included with the DVDs were essential. They were packed with behind-the-scenes featurettes, commentary on select episodes (although pretty boring ones) and short documentaries relating to the creation of the shows and the obstacles facing each season. Wherever a highlight would pop up during the lifespan of the show, the DVD producers would focus on it. Seinfeldia can be summarized as a book version of these features.

The scope of this book works just fine as it’s not a long exhaustive book on every little detail of the show and not a casual glimpse either. Jennifer Armstrong knows where to shine the spotlight, from the creation of the show, the history of Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, and the juice that kept the show going all these years. Throughout the book, Armstrong picks out different moments, snags, obstacles, bright spots, and simply bizarre moments in the show’s history and discusses how they helped contribute to make the show what it was. Seinfeldia is loaded with trivia and facts which are interesting to both fans and casual viewers and also brings the show up to date a little bit by exploring the impact the show has had on modern pop culture, from Twitter accounts, to conventions, to travelling soup salesmen.

Seinfeldia is an engaging and fun book that is bound to interest any fan of the show, and most importantly it knows when it’s starting to overstay its welcome.

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