Here’s a detailed book about one of the most successful television sitcoms in American history, Seinfeld. TV fans will enjoy learning more about the show’s creators, Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, their writers and everything behind the scenes. Loyal Seinfeld fans will love reliving the funniest and most memorable episodes and of course, hearing more about the cast, Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer.
Many of the early episodes were based on Larry David’s own experiences and were written for both George and Jerry. Later, new writers were expected to draw on their own pasts for show ideas. I enjoyed learning about the writing staff and how competitive it was. Writers worked independently and had to pitch their ideas to David or Seinfeld. Getting approval to develop one show did not guarantee future success either. In fact, to keep the show fresh, writers were cleared every year.
Seinfeld’s success meant more than a nine-season run. The show was a huge money-maker for NBC during a super competitive time period. Shows airing before and after the Seinfeld time slot also benefitted. Thursday night “Must See TV” on NBC was a winner. I found this part of the book very interesting.
The author discusses many of the funniest and most memorable episodes and how the ideas came about. Who doesn’t laugh at the mention of the marble rye, Junior Mint, or the master of your domain episodes? Even the final episode, which was considered a dud, brought back memories and learning the backstories was fun.
Final chapters cover the cast after Seinfeld. David left before the eighth season and created Curb Your Enthusiasm. Seinfeld returned to stand-up and has been involved in several successful projects, including Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been very successful, with The New Adventures of Old Christine and Veep. Whether it was the Seinfeld “curse” or what Jason Alexander simply calls “curse of success,” not everyone had an easy time. Alexander had a failed show and so did Michael Richards. And Richards very likely killed his career in 2006 when he went on a racist rant at the Laugh Factory.
Seinfeld episodes continue to air, twenty years later. It is the most successful show ever in syndication, which has kept its fandom alive. Seinfeldia’s angle is the show’s loyal and still-active fan base, a group that prides itself on knowing everything about the show, the cast, the details and dialogue, and strives to perpetuate everything Seinfeld.
Listeners will either like or dislike the audiobook’s narrator, who takes on the characters’ personas as she reads. Being new to audiobooks, I’m still getting used to this technique. Hearing someone impersonate Jerry Seinfeld and the gang is a little strange, but she does a pretty good job with the voices and in the end, I think it enhances the listening experience.
The Seinfeldia audiobook is a very enjoyable ten-hour listen. I may not have read it in print form, so I’m glad I took the chance on the audio version. I recommend it to anyone who likes behind the scenes stories.
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