Welcome to Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch! On a regular basis, JT Rozzero, Aaron George, Andrew Flanagan, Jordan Duncan and Jason Greenhouse will watch an episode of TV’s greatest sitcom and provide notes and grades across a number of categories. The goal is to rewatch the entire series chronologically to see what truly worked, what still holds up today, what feels just a bit dated and yada, yada, yada it will be a great time. So settle into your couch with the cushions flipped over, grab a Snapple and enjoy the ride!
JT: Everyone, they all rocked it, nobody lagged behind. Jerry was crisp, George was scheming, Kramer was all over the place, Elaine was at a loss for words, Aaron was gracious and standing too close, Morty was trying to make scrilla, Helen was annoyed, Frank was out of his mind, Estelle was angry, Newman was sneaky, Rudy was pissed, Klompus is incompetant, Mrs. Klompus is a witch, Rachel was horny, Rachel’s dad was a douche and Alec… back off man! Excellence.
Aaron: Poor Frank Costanza. Not only does he have to deal with the rejection of all that he is by the Seinfelds but his home is also about to be overrun by an INFESTATION that we all know he can’t tolerate. The least I could do is award him this category.
Andrew: There’s a lot of greatness in this one, but I’ll go with Jerry. He does an excellent job of balancing playing the straight man to everyone else’s nonsense, and selling the pain of the sexually stymied. Plus, he has some of the best lines (“It is a tad askew”).
Jordan: Very tough choice here. Frank and Morty are both prominent, Kramer is nailing it with the physical stuff, George is up to no good, even Jerry is pretty excellent. But I am going with a dark horse here and picking Elaine. Loved her being totally stumped as to why Aaron would like the Seinfelds, and why he would do nice things just to be a nice person. I feel like that mindset perfectly summarizes the main four characters throughout the entire series.
Jason: Lots of good choices here. Aaron the close talker was fabulous. Kramer killed it with his business partnership with Morty. Jerry’s frustration from being “backed up” was very funny. However, I’m gonna go with a tie this week. Helen & Morty get my votes. Their dislike for the Costanzas and outings with Aaron topped off great performances from Jerry’s parents.
JT: I will go with raincoats since it touched so many other parts of the episode. Morty going into the lore of the birth of the Executive set the tone that was capped by Frank screwing him over thanks to his “moth ridden cabana wear”. A storyline 35 years in the making.
Aaron: All Frank and Estelle wanted was to have their beloved friends over for a nice meal of paella and mouse killing. Their slow descent and realization that they are reviled was as chilling as it was hilarious. George pumping their tires and getting them all fired up was the perfect set up for the inevitable showdown on the cruise.
Andrew: I wouldn’t have predicted this before the rewatch, but I’m going with the Schindler’s List storyline. The sexual frustration angle really spoke to me when I was 14, and is even funnier now: they are grown adults who have to sneak away from their parents to make out! That’s good stuff. Plus, Newman once again packs so much greatness into a brief appearance. His inexplicable need to destroy Jerry gives the episode a nice dramatic tinge. And I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for the movie pastiche: “I could have done so much more.”
Jordan: The raincoats. It gave us Morty and Kramer cooking up deals, some KLOMPUS, and also tied in with George stealing his dad’s clothes. My favorite scene of the episode was probably Morty and Kramer both being upset with the 25% deal, haggling with each other, then being totally satisfied with their new deal of 25%.
Jason: Kramer and Morty’s partnership had it’s laughs. Jerry trying to get alone time with Rachel had its moments and Elaine’s frustration with the Seinfelds for tagging along with Aaron was enjoyable. George selling Frank’s clothes was fun to watch unfold. But come on, the clear winner here is the feud between the Seinfelds and Costanzas. WE CAN’T STAND THEM!
Ethical Dilemma of the Week
JT: What is George’s obligation to Alec? We don’t know how close of friends they are. Can’t George just be honest: he would be a really shitty Big Brother. Alec clearly doesn’t know him that well or else he wouldn’t bother asking. So if they aren’t that close, why get into that deep of a lie? Come on, Costanza!
Aaron: Should Jerry have raped Mr. Goldstein? Well this asshole seems to think that he has the right to stand in the way of Jerry banging his daughter. This is completely unacceptable and the elderly man is lucky that Jerry has the self control of Jesus around all the adoring women. Perhaps in a more open world Jesus would have plowed his way through the Middle East… Perhaps Jerry should have taken Mr. Goldstein. The joke may have been on the comedian in the end… Mr. Goldstein screamed power bottom.
Andrew: Is it OK to lie to get out of working with a charity? In some ways, it’s kinder than being honest and saying you just don’t care enough. Plus, George is so committed to his lie that he ends up doing something good, anyway. I feel like this might be George’s most ethically upright performance to date.
Jordan: Did George really have to take the whole trip to Paris with that little demon? Couldn’t he have gotten him on the plane, said he needed to use the restroom, then bolt? Or better yet, fly to Paris, then ditch the kid? Who would ever know? His dad lives in France and his mom is clearly not in the picture. You may think that’s awful to leave a kid alone like that, but Home Alone 1 and 2 has taught us that children are fit for surviving on their own.
Jason: Is it wrong to try to get some action during a movie? Yes, it’s Schindler’s List, but I’m sure Oskar would understand and give Jerry and Rachel his blessing. And yes, it’s a little over the top, but me and my fellow Jews like to do things over the top. I mean come on, look at all the sexual activity Schindler engaged in throughout the film. I rest my case.
Relationship Scale (Scale 1-10)
JT: Jerry and Rachel just want to bang and they can’t. I respect that. Relationship Grade: Necking/10
Aaron: Elaine should have stayed with Aaron forever. He’s kind, loving and writes for a great website. Aaron would love her until the end of time. Especially if she kept wearing that lovely red nighty. Aaron loves Elaine and would do anything. ANYTHING FOR YOU JULIA. Relationship Grade: My heart sexing yours/10
Andrew: Rachel barely speaks in these episodes, but she certainly makes an impression (particularly on 14-year-old-me). Aaron is a nice guy, but it’s not clear that he has any sexual interest in Elaine, which seems like it could be a problem. Relationship Grade: It’s been so long/10
Jordan: Rachel is pretty good looking, and her and Jerry just want to go at it, but do they really? In the scene where they are getting hot and heavy on the couch, they are both in jeans, with shirts tucked in (she’s wearing a bodysuit I think). I’m sorry, but if shirts are tucked in, maybe you subconsciously don’t want to sleep with each other. Jerry should have met her at the door with his pants around his ankles and she should have reciprocated within seconds. I think they were fooling themselves. Relationship Grade: TUCK RULE/10
Jason: The Seinfelds and Costanzas rivalry was top shelf entertaining. Kramer’s partnership with Morty was an accident waiting to happen, but very well written. Aaron, my man! His instant clinging to the Seinfelds was very well done The bickering between the Costanzas never gets old. I really like Rachel for Jerry and their quest to be alone to get some lovin’ was great. Relationship Grade: BLUE BALLS/10
JT: George’s enthusiasm about living with your parents catching on was so soul crushing because you knew how hard he wanted to believe it; the Jeopardy line always cracks me up as does the Saks dig; George is at his scheming best in this one between the France plot and the vintage clothes jig; Kramer’s bump off the door knob; The feud between the Seinfelds and the Costanzas fires up here; The Close Talker; I love how absurdly over-the-top nice Aaron is in contrast to his close talking issues; Poor Frank with his head in the sand over their friendship with the Seinfelds; Paella!: And also, the Costanzas continue to dominate; Tippi Tippi Dayday always makes me laugh; The Executive!; The Paris plan backfiring is classic George; Aaron in bed reminiscing over the Seinfelds with Elaine; Jack Klompus!; I will not tolerate infestation!; George dishing Frank’s cruise wear to Rudy was well done and I love how George found out about the Seinfelds dinner plan lies; George being forced to defend his parents was a nice twist; The My Fair Lady montage was great; Rachel certainly has it going on; I love Jerry’s disdain for Klompus and Jack bringing up the pen was a nice callback; The Costanzas freaking out over the Seinfeld diss right into the cruise conversation was tremendous; Newman catching Jerry & Rachel getting at it during the movie was perfect booking; George driving the wedge between Kramer and Morty was good and their subsequent discussion was perfect; I loved Helen busting out a “Hello Newman”; Frank attacking Kramer is glorious; I love the underlying mouse storyline in the Costanza home; I also love how Klompus can’t get anything right; The poor Seinfelds; Aaron’s final Schindler like monologue was gold and a great way to tie things up; The final payoffs were all fantastic too, with the break-in at the Seinfelds, Jerry chasing Newman and the final meet-up on the cruise ship
Aaron: Kramer was great throughout, especially with the greased up hands, tumbling to the ground while trying to open the door. The elderly are always a welcome addition to the sitcom and they crush every episode they’re on. Morty and Helen’s outright rejection of the Costanzas is great but Frank and Estelle’s reactions and rage are sublime. The sad story of Jack Klompus attempting to open a garage and cutting the shit out of his hand is priceless. Jerry was sharp and cutting with all of his trademark “douche” lines. The writing was GREAT in this one too. For the first time in a while I felt like it was all one big story with a bunch of branches as opposed to a pile of great branches picked up off the cutting room floor and tossed in a pile. It was seamless and hilarious.
Andrew: My God, it’s full of guest stars! Judge Reinhold adds so much to the close talker thing, really committing to it and making me laugh every time. Frank and Estelle are great as usual, and I really enjoy Frank’s fear of mice. Helen blowing off George’s dinner offer is ice cold, and I love her dubious offer to give Jerry and Rachel some alone time (“We could just sit right here and read”). Morty and Jack Klompus have amazing chemistry considering they are never in the same room together (“What boxes?” “I’m gonna explain what boxes.” “Alright how the hell do I know?”). I also love Morty’s tale of how The Executive was invented in a moment of borderline child abuse. Newman is off-the-charts great (“He was moving on her like the storm-troopers into Poland!”). The regular cast is excellent is well. Elaine being disturbed by Aaron’s concern for Jerry’s parents is perfect, with just the right amount of self-awareness of how petty that is. George once again showing uncommon commitment to a lie is great, and I enjoy his little touches, like doing the exasperated arm motions in unison with his mother. Kramer’s chemistry with Morty is almost as good as Jack’s, and I admire his love of paella; it truly is an orgiastic feast for the senses. And as I mentioned before, Jerry was great.
Jordan: Can I just give a weak answer and say nearly everything? Because it’s nearly everything. Every main character is awesome here with distinct stories: Jerry wants some action, Kramer wants some raincoats, George wants some cash and Elaine wants some answers. The recurring characters really nail it with the Costanzas and Seinfelds feud brewing – WHO DOESN’T WANT SOME PAELLA? Frank wanting to move because he may have a mouse is awesome, especially since his clothes are riddled with moths. And not just any clothes, HIS CABANA CLOTHES. Helen and Morty just not liking the Costanzas is not only funny, it’s totally reasonable from watching them. Aaron is a fantastic guest with the close talking and his bizarre love of hanging out with the Seinfelds. I loved Morty offering everyone a bite of his candy bar at the show. Rachel is gorgeous and the making out at Schindler’s List is a pretty fun little twist. For real, everything works.
Jason: Everything with Aaron was a home run. Kramer’s reaction and “I heard a lot about you” after meeting Aaron is a laugh every time. Jerry’s “Wouldn’t you like to pass the ketchup to someone like me?” to George after Joey and Alec leave kills. Frank’s cabana wear having moths. Elaine’s “Sorry pal, wish I can help you out” to Jerry while putting on lipstick. Jack Klompus is one of my favorite recurring characters. Morty turning to Jack to ship the raincoats. “Get the hell outta here with your knob!” Morty’s tale about how he invented the Executive. George working Rudy up to $225 for Frank’s clothes because it was his “high game in bowling”. Kramer buying Frank’s shirts at Rudy’s and then showing up to dinner at the Costanzas with one of the shirts on. Frank smacking George in the head after he tells Frank that he sold his cabana wear. Larry David doing Nazi voice over work during Schindler’s List. Newman being the one who catches Jerry and Rachel making out during Schindler’s List was perfect. Helen’s “Hello, Newman”. Kramer and Morty’s negotiating and ending back at 25%. The showdown between Frank and Morty at Rudy’s. Newman being Rachel’s father’s mailman and ratting Jerry out was perfect. Aaron wishing he could have helped out the Seinfelds more was a BRILLIANT take on Schindler not being able to help more Jews.
What Didn’t Work
JT: Alec is really pushy and using his little brother to lay it on is a bit much; Doris Klompus is a bitch; Helen using “necking” annoys me; Jerry is way too nice letting George take the tickets without any sort of payment
Aaron: The kid actor was pretty weak and the George “big brother” storyline had potential but really wasn’t mined to its fullest. I really dug the close talker bit but his impassioned plea at the Seinfelds as they leave for Miami stretches the believability with the overdramatics. Kramer makes over the top real; this guy fell a bit short in that moment.
Andrew: Part 1 isn’t as good as Part 2, but I’m really just nitpicking.
Jordan: Two things: The zoom over to Newman in the movie theater stayed on him for way too long giving a stupid evil look. Also, I feel like they missed a huge opportunity not having George wear a beret in France.
Jason: Alec sucks. He’d made a great sleazy car saleman. I don’t blame Joey for being a bitter kid, especially following Alec around all day. George should have told him to take a hike.
Key Character Debuts
Aaron the Close Talker
Iconic Moments, Running Themes & Memorable Quotes
“You don’t understand, I haven’t been together with Rachel for like three weeks. First I was on the road, then my parents show up, I’m getting a little uh backed up.” – Jerry
– “Maybe this will become like a cool thing, living with your parents.” – George “Ya, then maybe baldness will catch on. This will all be turning your way.” – Jerry
– “Hey did you notice they moved where they do the interview on Jeopardy now?” – Jerry “Ya it used to be right in the middle of single Jeopardy and now they do it right after single Jeopardy.” – George “Ya, it’s much better isn’t it?” – Jerry “Oh, no comparison.” – George
– “He wants this guy to think he’s in Paris.” – Jerry “Why?” – Helen “Because George is a deeply disturbed individual.” – Jerry
“It’s from the Sachs Fifth Avenue in Miami.” – Helen “Mmm, I’m gonna remember that if I’m ever in Florida.” – Kramer “Ya, or if you’re ever on Fifth Avenue here in New York City, you could get some there.” – Jerry
– “Well uh that doesn’t surprise me, ya i bought these at Rudy’s. It’s a used clothing store. See when people like you die, the widows they bring in their wardrobes, they make a bundle.” – Kramer
– “Well they’re so loud, they’re always fighting it’s uncomfortable, you never notice?” – Helen “No I notice but they’re from your age group I didn’t know you could detect abnormal behavior among your own kind.” – Jerry
– The Close Talker reaches pop culture
– “Again with the pepper? What do you gotta use all the pepper for?” – Frank “Ah keep quiet.” – Estelle “What are you trying to set my mouth on fire?” – Frank
– “Well he’s from the impressionist school, you know like Monet, Manet, Tippi Tippi Dayday.” – Jerry
– “I sure did. Raincoats were my business. The Executive was a classic, these haven’t been made in twenty years.” – Morty “Why would they? Nobody bought them then.” – Helen
– “Where will you stay?” – Alec “An apartment complex, the uh the Eiffel Towers.” – George
– “You had fun with Mr. and Mrs. Seinfeld.” – Elaine “Yea, they bought me a coke.” – Aaron
– “He also came up with an idea for a brimless rain-hat but that never materialized.” – Jerry
– “No it was a spur of the moment. Well you know Morty likes to fly by the seat of his vintage pants.” – Kramer
– “Ok, fine. It’s going to be very interesting, very interesting if they don’t show up tonight. You know my mother made all this Paella.” – George “What is that anyway?” – Jerry “It’s a Spanish dish. It’s a mlange of fish, an meat with rice. Very tasty.” – George
– “This is some office. What’s the square footage?” – Morty
– “There is something wrong with the key. The key doesn’t work.” – Jack “You gotta jiggle it a little bit. I jiggled it. I jiggled it for fifteen minutes. ” – Morty “Tell him to come down here and get his own packages. You have nothing better to do then worry about his boxes.” – Doris “You gotta pull on the knob as you turn it.” – Morty “Get the hell outta here with your knob.” – Jack
– “What about the end, with the list?” – Morty “Ya that was some list.” – Jerry
– “Paella? I’ll be there!” – Kramer
– “What leg work?” – Morty “Oh, there’s leg work.” – Kramer
– “It is a tad askew.” – Jerry “I mean they’re your parents and you don’t do anything. So why is this stranger doing it?”- Elaine “I’ve hardly been out to dinner with them.” – Jerry “See, See, I can’t even say anything you know because all he’s really doing is being nice but but nobody is this nice, this is like certifiably nice.” – Elaine “You’re right he’s insane.” – Jerry “Yes, he’s insane, that’s what I think.” – Elaine
– “You were making out during Schindler’s List?” – Elaine
– “What, do I have to spell it out for ya? He was moving on her like the storm-troopers into Poland.” – Newman; “Jerry was necking during Schindler’s List?” – Helen “Yes! A more offensive spectacle I cannot recall. Anyway I just really came up to get some detergent.” – Newman
– “Hello Morty, listen that key doesn’t work. It’s no good.” – Jack
– “You know, I was thinking today. I never liked those Seinfelds anyway, he’s an idiot all together.” – Estelle
– “That’s my cabana shirt, you stole my shirt you son of a bitch! George you let your friends go up in my attic and steal my clothes?” – Frank
– “Oh it’s a orgiastic feast for the senses.” – Kramer
– “This watch, this watch could’ve paid for their whole trip. This ring, this ring is one more dinner I could’ve taken them out to. Water, they need some water.” – Aaron
Oddities & Fun Facts
– Actor Judge Reinhold portrays Aaron the Close Talker
– Schindler’s List was very popular at the time and this episode plays off everyone imploring others to see it
– Jack Klompus brings up the astronaut pen to Jerry, a callback to The Pen (S3, E5)
– Aaron’s final monologue is an allusion to Oscar Schindler fretting over not being able to help more Jews during the Holocaust
– Larry David provides the voice over for one of the Nazis in the Schindler’s List viewing scene
– While filming Schindler’s List in Europe, Steven Spielberg often requested episodes of Seinfeld to help him get through some of the difficult parts of filming
Overall Grade (Scale 1-10)
JT: This was really a perfect episode. They filled the hour up easily with great line after great line. The storylines all clicked and wove in and out seamlessly and everyone held up their end of the bargain. Aaron and Rudy were great in their guest roles and having the Costanzas and Seinfelds at war was brilliant. Jerry was really on point here with his one liners and George was at his scheming best. Toss in a flabbergasted Elaine and an aloof K-Man and you got it all. This has always been one of my all time favorite episodes thanks to its memorable moments and quotability from start to end. The only question that remains is: How did everyone not crack up during the close talking scenes? Final Grade: 10/10
AaronIt’s a solid 40 minutes that was a breeze to get through and had me laughing out loud throughout. When you add both sets of parents to great writing the results are always tremendous. Final Grade: 8/10
Andrew: This is a tale of frustrated desires, foiled by forces outside our control. Morty and Kramer put so much effort into overcoming obstacles, only to have their big score denied. Rachel and Jerry are just trying to wait out a visit from his parents, but are cruelly torn apart by the machinations of his nemesis. George simply wants … a free trip to Paris? This theory needs work. The episode was hilarious, though. Final Grade: 10/10
Jordan: I feel like if I go in depth here, I’m just repeating myself, but here we go: Great stories that weave together, solid efforts from all four main cast members, recurring characters nailing it, guest stars doing awesome. This could have been four episodes long and I’d have loved it. Brilliant. Final Grade: 10/10
Jason: There was a lot going on in this two part episode. The Seinfelds, Costanzas, Jack, Rudy, Kramer, Aaron and Jerry were all great. Of all the two part episodes in the series, this ranks at the top. Overall, some very funny moments with awesome Aaron, the returning Jack Klompus and the family feud with the Seinfelds & Costanzas. Everything blended well together and the payoff at the end on the cruise ship was perfect. As a resident PTBN Hebrew person, there was a lot well written edgy Jewish humor to appreciate here. Final Grade: 10/10