Throwback Thursday: Seinfeld (1989-1998)

Seinfeld originally ran for nine seasons on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998
Seinfeld originally ran for nine seasons on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998

What: Seinfeld

When: 1989-1998 (Nine Seasons)

Starring: Jerry Seinfeld, Julie Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, Michael Richards

Reason for the Throwback: July 5 marked the 25-year-anniversary of the debut of The Seinfeld Chronicles, the original name of the sitcom that would go on to become a television institution and one of the most successful shows of all time. Additionally, have you seen the comedies that are on TV these days? Tell me you don’t long for the days of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer when you’re faced with Two Broke Girls and Whitney and the cavalcade of bad shows that have hit the air lately.

Even if you weren’t obsessive about Seinfeld the way some people were, it was one of those shows that invariably found a way into your life. There was no escaping it. Between the numerous catchphrases and quips that became part of our every day vernacular, the host of recurring characters that made memorable appearances or the eventual flood of reruns that aired in syndicatation, even if you didn’t watch Seinfeld, you knew all about it.

And you used the catchphrases. At least one of them. Everyone had a favourite. Frank Costanza’s “Serenity Now!” was big around my house and I still wish people a “Happy Festivus” every Christmas season. Everyone has said, “No Soup for You!” at least once in their life and there are still moments where a line from the show just fits perfectly into a conversation or Twitter exchange.

While Jerry and George tried to sell their show to the people at NBC as “a show about nothing,” the really great thing about the actual show itself was that it was just about life, really – the regular, everyday, mundane happenings of four friends in NYC that weren’t married with children. It explored those dynamics and their individual lives without ever having that over the top, “teach everyone a lesson” feel you get from some shows or the “man this is so contrived I want to shoot myself in the face rather than watch another minute of it” vibe that many of today’s modern sitcoms come with.

It was fresh, different, original, enjoyable, and consistently entertaining. It was the cornerstone of Must-See TV on Thursday nights on NBC for nearly a decade, replacing another stalwart (Cheers) and never hit that “Yep, they should have pulled the plug sooner” zone most sitcoms eventually decline into. Sure, the two-part finale fell flat and stands as a sad ending to an otherwise tremendous series, but there were far more memorable and enjoyable episodes than there were misses over the course of nine seasons, which is quite an accomplishment.

Most shows these days don’t come close to nine seasons, especially not sitcoms.

So to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the debut of Seinfeld yada yada yada… Throwback Thursday.

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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