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A Show That's Worth Nothing

Seinfeld is packing it in. And not a moment too soon. I hate that damned show.

Judging from the noisy national rending of cloth, I'm just about the only person in the country who feels that way. Given a front-cover send-off by Time, a decade-long blow-job by Entertainment Weekly and a million separate water-cooler paeans by Friday-morning bores, the American viewing public has inducted Seinfeld into the pantheon of Classic Television Series.

Which just shows how stupid the American viewing public is.

Are you even watching the same show I am? The Seinfeld that comes across my set is simply insufferable, a trial to watch even at its best. It's a constant, painful kidney stone dragging its way through the urinary tract of Thursday night.

The original NBC dismissal of the concept -- "too New York, too Jewish, too neurotic" -- is a dead-on description of everything that is grating, irritating, painfully unpleasant about the show, everything that should have driven it off the national airwaves and onto Staten Island public access long ago.

I live in Los Angeles to avoid New Yorkers. Why in the name of God would I want to invite them into my home? Every week? For seven years?

Do people really like watching George's mother screech her way through half an hour of hell? Do you actually enjoy watching the idiot George Costanza destroy any good that chances to enter his life with meticulous prevision? Is watching professional athletes stumble their way through unfunny locker room scenes your idea of a laugh-riot? Do you cackle madly at Jerry's obsession with minutiae? Does Kramer's tedious wacky-scheme-of-the-moment take you to nirvana? Are you floored by Elaine's--


My teeth are grinding just thinking about it.

The show's "characters" are nothing more than caricatures -- overbroad, obvious, irritating and -- most of all -- stupid, stupid, stupid. Without even a threadbare plot to hold each 24-minute death-march together, Seinfeld is no better than other inexplicably long-running wads of predictable stereotyping like Dear John or Three's Company.

Yes, as lonely and disgruntled (our core demographic) TeeVee readers are fond of pointing out, if I don't like it I can turn it off.

Which I do. Often with a brick.

But the problem with Seinfeld is that you can't escape it. It's infiltrated the culture like some horrible, sucking fungus. You can't use simple concepts such as "Thursday," "New York" or even "television" without some simpleton grinning his foolish little grin and jabbering on about how, garsh, he just loves that thar Seinfeld show.

Gay? Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Nazis? No soup for you!

Littlefield? It's a show about nothing!

And the phrase "gay Nazi Littlefield" will send a Seinfeld viewer into confused spasms of catch-phrase overload. Yadda, yadda, fucking yadda.

So the sooner Seinfeld exits the airwaves and his legion of mindless followers just shut the hell up, the better. You've got your Kramer t-shirt and your complete collection of the legendary fourth season on tape and your sloppy emotionalisms about how a piece of Americana is dismounting the national hearth and I just don't want to hear about it any more.

It's a TV show. A bad TV show. Occasionally it managed to eke out a laugh in between the wincing and grimaces. But that's it. Get over it. Get on with your lives. Get lives in the first place.

And good riddance.


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