Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything

S. & S. Jul. 2016. 293p. notes. index. ISBN 9781476756103. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781476756127. TV
Coining the term Seinfeldia, Armstrong (Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted) examines the landmark TV show's metarealm of existence. It's a Twilight Zone-like dimension in which a gruff New York soup purveyor becomes the basis for the legendary Soup Nazi character, and the actor who portrays him goes on to sign soup ladles at conventions around the world. In charting Seinfeld's rise from NBC's hesitant four-episode order as a summer fill-in through to the finale seen by 76 million viewers, the author takes readers to the heart of the sitcom. Behind the scenes writers delve into their personal histories for story lines, directors film on sets to create a cinematic (and more New York) look, while on-screen the stars of the show Jerry, Elaine, Kramer, and George compete in "The Contest" or simply try and get a table at a Chinese restaurant. Armstrong also contextualizes the program, investigating the television landscape over its 180-episode run and its profound impact on legions of fans.
VERDICT Armstrong offers a masterly look at one of the greatest shows. The research involved makes this a boon to television scholars, but Seinfeld enthusiasts will also enjoy this funny, highly readable book.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing