Wall Bangers: Seinfeld

  • Seinfeld, "The Dealership". George's candy bar subplot makes no freaking sense. In the first place, all of the peripheral characters in the story are laboring under the impression that Twix candy bars contain coconut. This running gag would make sense if this was a common misconception, but it isn't- not even close. It's just a bunch of characters believing an incorrect fact for no identifiable reason. In the second place, George lets himself get all worked up because he can't seem to get his hands on a Twix. A bit extreme, but believable- he is The Chew Toy, after all. But then the story jumps completely off the rails when he tries to figure out who took his candy bar by arranging a "candy lineup" consisting of all Twix bars. Um, so when George was just hungry, he almost literally can't get a candy bar to save his life, but now that revenge is his goal, he's suddenly able to obtain all the Twix he needs? George would definitely do this, but how is he able to?
    • Also, he gets all these chocolate bars, he's starving, but he won't let himself eat one? Apparently, the lineup would have been ruined with one less Twix pretending to be another candy bar. On the plus side, it was almost worth it to hear him yell "TWIIIIIIX!" near the end of the episode. That and the "they all have swirling chocolate!" exchange.
      • Not Skittles!
    • Not to mention that Twix has an extremely distinct look compared to other chocolate bars. Whatever you think they taste like or contain, everyone and their mother can spot a Twix at a distance of maybe forty feet. But it was funny, and that's all that matters.
    • Maybe when George got really upset he was willing to hoof it to a store and buy some Twix with that bill he got from Jerry, and by that point he was too consumed with spite to worry about hunger.
      • This is exactly what happened. No issue here.
      • You have to remember that this is George Costanza we're talking about. If it means proving that he's right, doing the rational thing is not even a concept, let alone an option.
  • None of the Seinfeld cast members were exactly Likeable Protagonists per se, but I don't think they were ever as unlikeable than in the Finale, when they witness a fat person being mugged, and all they do is make fun of his weight. Fittingly, this is their one crime that they're ever called out on and even arrested for, but still, that point of cruelty just seemed to come out of nowhere.
    • That's not a crime. Well, in-story it was, but it was a contrived thing that wouldn't pass in the real world just to get them arrested.
    • Yes. In early seasons, Elaine in particular would probably have intervened. At the very least they'd have been disturbed by the sight. Seinfeld is often hailed as a great achievement in Jerkass characterization, but really it's the result of creeping Flanderization.
      • Even though the gang were a bunch of jerks for making fun of the guy, it seems that the above posters (and the arresting officer, in show) forgot one small detail: the mugger had a gun! How were they supposed to "intervene"?
      • Well, they could've discreetly called the police, but then again, I can't say if that would've been in character or not. Nobody's expecting these guys to be heroes, but jeez, couldn't they at least have felt guilty about it? And it doesn't help that the jokes they crack during the mugging aren't very funny either.
      • There was a cop right there. All they had to do was swing their heads.
      • Then why didn't the cop intervene?
      • And quite possibly the biggest one of them all; the gang had a camera. They recorded the whole incident. Including the mugger's face. They have video evidence of the crime including what the mugger looks like! But instead of using that evidence to find and arrest the mugger the video is used during their trial to convict them!
      • "No hugging, no learning" is an brilliant mantra, with one catch — the characters must be of Seinfeld-quality to pull it off and still be likable (as in "identifiable" and "enjoyable to watch", not as in "nice") to the viewer. In that episode, it wasn't so much their actions that came off as wall-banging as it was their demeanor, which simply felt "off". Seinfeld characterization is very subtle and tricky, and it seems that in an effort to encapsulate it, the writers accidentally deleted it.
      • I think Larry David was very aware that his characters are jerks, sometimes even criminals. The finale was meant to show viewers that, holy crap, they'd been watching and relating to a bunch of real, honest-to-God assholes for 9 seasons of TV.
      • A bit of Scapegoat Creator here. Larry David left the show as a writer/director years before the finale, though he still provided the occasional voice-over cameo.
      • There's no doubt that was the point of the finale, but it actually flies in the face of the preceding 9 years. The behavior in the finale was wildly out of character. They're selfish (although Kramer and occasionally Elaine are sometimes very well-meaning), but they're not sociopaths, not even George, and most of the stuff provided as evidence of their horrible behaviour in the court case were blatant accidents or misunderstandings.
      • The part about "the Contest" might have been particularly overblown. When Marla "the Virgin" enters the courtroom, she slowly walks up to the stand, looking around nervously and suspiciously. Then when she told the attorney about the contest, she burst into tears and said "It was horrible! Horrible!", and then the people in the courtroom gasped with horror and sympathy. Now I definitely agree that a contest of that nature is a little out there, but did they really have to act like World War III broke out because of it? Or maybe the audience was shocked because they thought the main characters took the song from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life too literally.
      • The only thing about the finale that I found grating was that the evidence brought against Kramer was imbalanced with the others (maybe because they ran out of time in an episode already nudging the limits of how long the network would allow it to be in its original broadcast length) consisted of about two or three things, and one of them was when he was falsely arrested for being a pimp. Not that he did a lot to avoid this, but being a Hipster Doofus is not a crime, and the theme expressed above does not fit with a false accusation brought to light that way. But I consider that more of an It Just Bugs Me! than a Wall Banger.
      • Boy, I have to disagree that they were never as unlikeable as when they made fun of the mugging victim. I'm also kind of surprised that I'm the first to bring this up since I can remember it being kind of a big deal with critics and fans when it happened: Susan's death! Poisonous envelopes! The gang callously walking away to have coffee minutes after being told that she died! George calling up and attempting to wrangle a date out of Marisa Tomei in the credits-gag!!! The entire Susan Ross Foundation plot almost seemed to be a kind of "apology" and punishment (for George anyway) deriving from the fallout after that episode. They also had George brea his legs (or something) and have learn to walk again as another punishment for the character. In any event, the gang had some karmic jail-time coming for a long time before they ever set foot in Massachusetts, but it was done very badly.
      • Yeah, that was pretty bad. But I don't think "not caring when someone dies" (which is totally in character for most of them) is the same as "laughing at someone being mugged and refusing to help him even though it's incredibly easy to do so" (which is out of character for them).
    • My problem with the finale was that bringing in character witnesses like that is incredibly illegal. I mean, O.J. Simpson goes to trial for the second time, and they have to go through a Herculean labor to find 12 jurors who don't know about or are indifferent to his previous trial. Yet when the Seinfeld gang goes to trial, biasing the jury by bringing up every single unsavory thing the defendants have ever done is suddenly OK.
      • In some cases, a defendant's prior bad acts can be brought up, but it's more like "this guy accused of robbery has multiple previous convictions for robbery" and even it can't be "more prejudicial than probative." Further, it also has to be actual crimes, not just "mean stuff they once did" as happened here.
      • Bear in mind the finale is (among other things) a spoof of tv law, which tends to be wildly inaccurate, and of the real-life tendency for trials to revolve inappropriately around irrelevant character assassination and guilt by association.
  • So, George is under the impression that the board of directors of the Susan Ross Foundation believes that he killed Susan. Jerry gives him the idea to leave a tape recorder in his briefcase for about five minutes, go back for it, and see what they say about him while he was gone, only to hear, "A low rumple, a metallic squink, a loud galonk, and someone crying out, 'Dear God!'" George then spends the rest of the episode trying to figure out what exactly happened without coming right out and asking them, till he finally reveals what he did in the end, and it was explained to him that one of the directors was moving a chair and dropped it on his briefcase. So, after George leaves again, then we get...
    Wink: Does anyone else besides me think George might have murdered Susan?
    Director 1: Oh yeah. I just assumed he did.
    Director 2: Well of course he killed her.
    Wink: Good, so it's not just me then.
  • Okay, I know that the George Steinbrenner on Seinfeld is known for making bad decisions, but there's one scene in The Nap that really bugs me. It's not that he decided to hide under George Costanza's desk with Brian Steinbrenner and the other grandchildren instead of leaving when he heard there was a bomb in the building. It's not that he told the bomb squad people to make the robot saw George's desk in half to find the bomb when there was more compartments underneath. It's that when he heard George's alarm clock ticking from inside the desk (the same one that he hid under earlier) he just naturally assumed that it was a bomb. So when he first hears that there's a bomb in the building, he hides under the desk because he assumes it's not there, but when he hears ticking, now he just assumes it is there? This isn't just making a bad decision. Believing that a bomb isn't somewhere and then believing that it is there just because you hear ticking when that ticking could really be something else is just incredibly stupid.
    • That's not stupid, it's genre savvy: in fiction, ticking alarm clock = bomb. And as somebody who once discovered an abandoned suspicious package which was ticking like an alarm clock, I can tell you that is the association you will actually make in such a situation in real life.
Head desk party anyone?
  • Here's some problems I have with Al Yegenev, the inspiration for The Soup Nazi. In a CNN interview he said he thinks Jerry Seinfeld is a horrible person because he makes jokes about Nazis. Um... Jerry Seinfeld is Jewish! I think Jerry is allowed some leeway there. Also, Al has admitted to turning customers away for mentioning Seinfeld, not hiring people for mentioning Seinfeld, and firing people for mentioning Seinfeld. Yet, if you look at his packages he practically brags about his association with Seinfeld! So, let me get this straight. It's OK for him to mention Seinfeld, but the rest of the world can't? To quote Elaine Benes: "He is a Soup Nazi!"