Seinfeld is a US Sitcom series, airing from 1989 to 1998, created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. The series is based fictional but real-life inspired encounters, with Jerry Seinfeld a stand-up comedian, playing himself, living in New York. The show focuses on 3 other characters, Jerry’s whacky neighbor Kramer, Jerry’s ex-girlfriend Elaine, and his best friend George. The show is essentially about “nothing”, in that it doesn’t have an overriding plot or direct development, it’s a show about single people in their 30s and generally just whacky stories that the writers have adapted from real experiences, such as waiting in a Chinese restaurant for a table to open up.
You might think that without an overriding plot, Seinfeld would be a shallow series that isn’t in-depth enough to keep your attention, with no cliffhangers or developing relationships. Ultimately this is the reason I think the show has been so successful, because it doesn’t require investment, it’s very easy to pick up and watch. But as the same time, the ease of which you feel when watching, makes you invested in the show and the characters through a sense of related experience. The show is extremely “relatable”, even now in 2013, you can watch the show and nearly all the jokes about modern living and society still hold true.
The other reason I feel the show is successful, is because it focuses on light humor, rather than trying to focus on a plethora of entertainment devices such as romance, suspense or tragedy, that many sitcoms try to mix in to stay relevant and popular. One point about the characters in Seinfeld, is that over the series, the characters become the definition of their peculiarities, I think this character development is usually inevitable in nearly all TV series, because it’s an ongoing look at their lives, and you don’t really see “well rounded” characters in a comedy, you mainly see caricatures of personalities; “the crazy guy” Kramer, “the neurotic worrier” George, “the voice of sense and reflection” Jerry and his female counterpart Elaine. Once you start to watch the series, it’s almost guaranteed how these characters will act in the situations, and that I think is another reason the show is successful, it adheres to your expectations mostly, but still manages to make you laugh through the absurdities, brilliant acting/timing and turning your expectations over through clever writing at many points.
Overall I’d definitely recommend Seinfeld to new watchers, as it is still very relevant and thus enjoyable to watch. It’s a series that doesn’t require investment, but will earn your investment because of how well it has been produced.