Seinfeld Season 8
Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, Michael Richards
Originally aired NBC 1996-97
22 Episodes 4 DVDs
Lots of Extras
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2007

Seinfeld was an NBC powerhouse situation comedy for nine years. The final episode of Seinfeld was third most watched series finale after MASH and Cheers. Seinfeld Season Eight marks the departure of producer Larry David and, according to many fans, is when the characters became characters and not real people thus allowing the stories to be a lot more over the top. The 4 DVD 22 episode box set for Seinfeld Season 8 features well-known episodes such as The Bizarro Jerry and The Yada Yada. There are lots and lots of extra feature goodies too including the Notes About Nothing subtitles.

My favorite show in Seinfeld Season 8 has to be The Bizarro Jerry: Elaine’s current boyfriend and his two pals are complete opposites of Jerry, George, and Kramer; George gets in with the beautiful people, and Kramer gets a job. This could be because it portrays an anti-Seinfeld world. The Yada-Yada is also good and the expression made it in the OED; this episode was originally longer than the usual 23 or so minutes the networks allow so forget about seeing the complete version in syndication.

Season seven of Seinfeld is when this situation comedy dropped the opening monologue for an unrelated short conversation bit. I must admit I prefer those weird little what if conversations to not enough pseudo observational comedy by Jerry Seinfeld. The Seinfeld Season Eight Abstinence episode opens with a favorite: who would eat whom if a plane crashed in the Andes.

Not every show in this Seinfeld Season 8 4 DVD 22 episode box set really works.  The Fatigues, where Frank Constanza almost overcomes his Korean War trauma and Elaine promotes a psychotic vet kind of just sits there although it does have a couple of really original situation comedy moments (Jerry Stiller got an Emmy nomination for that episode). The Chicken Roaster did not make me want seconds. The Money is also slow though it features Sarah Silverman.

Seinfeld Season Eight includes shows where Elaine is writing Peterman’s biography using Kramer’s stories, Kramer gets a job without actually getting the job, Elaine admits not liking The English Patient -she’s not the only one, George gets a catnap compartment built under his desk, Elaine invents muffin tops, sort of, and George schemes to get fired by the Yankees. I liked Kramer’s speculations about the future in The Millenium.

Seinfeld was not “a show about nothing” more than a show about some very petty and small people who care nothing about others. It did have some very original story lines such as The Little Jerry where George finds the perfect woman is a woman behind bars, Elaine’s boyfriend turns out to be balding, and Kramer buys a rooster to get fresh eggs and gets a great cockfighter instead. The scene where Jerry trains Little Jerry is certainly original.

Something that is to be commended about Seinfeld Season Eight is the quantity of goodies. Inside Look features giving a bit about the background of the episode and so on. DVD 4 of Seinfeld Eight includes a 23 minute long blooper reel. The outtakes are often funnier than the original scenes. Other extra features include In The Vault, where some episodes feature a deleted scene or two, Yada Yada Yada, a cast and crew commentary track on some episodes, Notes About Nothing subtitles where fans of the show get background information and so on, a couple of rather ordinary Sein-imation cartoons based on some dialogue, and Jerry Seinfeld: Submarine Captain about Seinfeld’s dual role as star and show runner during season 8 of the show. There are, in fact, so many special and extra features on this 4 DVD 22 episodes box set that I have probably forgotten a few. You only wish other television situation comedy DVDs had as many goodies.


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