Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch – “The Summer of George” (S8, E22)

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!

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Best Character

JT: I thought this was a strong showing for everyone but Kramer nudged out the rest for me. I still lose it when he snaps the beef jerky into the back of that dude’s head and him riding the back of the accidental Tony to a life of excitement was perfect for him. Jerry, George and Elaine all deserve praise here too.

Aaron: I guess Kramer. He does have a pretty solid hungover/high from winning monologue which would normally be a solid middle moment of the show, unfortunately it’s the highlight.

Andrew: I think I’ll go with Kramer. I enjoyed them all, but I don’t think anyone ran away with this one. I have a suspicion that when no one stands out, Kramer’s wackiness breaks the tie in my head. Anyway, I really enjoyed Kramer living it up as a Tony winner, and his panicked lament about Raquel Welch was great (“A story like that’s gotta be true!”).

Jordan: I’m picking Kramer. I enjoyed his run as a Tony award winner and the fear of Raquel Welch. Also his verbal response that was just a clicking sound of sorts to the thought of a catfight with Elaine and Raquel was pretty much what my response would be.

Jason: I’ll give honorable mentions to the entire core four, but they all take a back seat to Lyle. His grizzly presence, the swank mustache, slamming a beer while rocking the towel. I see why he was able to land Lanette. In addition, “Hey Jer, what’s up!” was so well delivered as he swung around the corner in the towel.

Best Storyline

JT: I liked the Jerry & Lanette stuff the best. George spending his summer as a dating intern was funny stuff and I love that they still failed in the end. Plus Lyle was awesome and Lanette is a smokeshow. “HEY JER! WHAT’S UP!”

Aaron: The Tonys.

Andrew: The Summer of George wins it for me. Just the phrase itself is impressively memorable. I really enjoy the parallels to Susan’s demise here, and that George has so much free time that he wants to become Jerry’s intern.

Jordan: Elaine constantly getting women who walk like gorillas carrying luggage is the best one for me. It gave us some decent Molly Shannon material, Elaine getting mauled by Raquel Welch, and honestly, my favorite part of the episode, Peterman saying WOOF at the thought of a catfight.

Jason: Kramer and the Tony takes it for me. He was like Owen Hart with the Slammy Award the way her carried that Tony around. The huge pay off at the end with Raquel Welch roughing him up sealed the deal. Let me give a shout out to the Jerry and Lanette stuff. Jerry and George teaming up to keep up with Lanette’s busy lifestyle was pretty great.

Ethical Dilemma of the Week

JT: Should you tell a coworker that you barely know about their deficiencies as a normal human being? Probably not. Just let them vent and move along… not worth the potential cat fighting, Laney.

Aaron: Would The LIFE of a Salesman be a better play than the Arthur Miller classic? Only if you cast Biff Tannen.

Andrew: Elaine could have sued Peterman for allowing a hostile work environment, right? Prurient interest in a catfight aside, you’ve got to take care of your employees better than that.

Jordan: If you’re dating a man, should you brazenly walk around in your apartment in a towel with another man, suggesting you have just bathed together? I know Jerry’s MO is to nitpick, but he’s in the right here. She should set boundaries of some sort with her male friends she isn’t dating. I’m not saying go full Pence, but maybe 20% Pence?

Jason: If you’re a cop, should you get a kick out of a catfight? If you are anyone you should get a kick out of a catfight!

Relationship Scale (Scale 1-10)

JT: Lanette was worth dealing with Lyle too. Good work keeping up that pursuit Jerry. Hache mache! Relationship Grade: 10 Towels/10

Aaron: Amanda Peet is waaaaaaaaaaaaay too hot in this to be dating any of them. Even Lyle. Relationship Grade: 10/10

Andrew: I’ve always liked Amanda Peet, but she is off the charts in this one. Lyle’s not bad, either. I could see getting onboard for a throuple. Relationship Grade: A half man/10

Jordan: All these schmucks drooling over Amanda Peet missed the biggest relationship. Elaine is now the submissive in a hot lesbian dominatrix relationship with Raquel Welch! Giddy up! Relationship Grade: Kramer Noise/10

Jason: So Lanette and Lyle were swingers, right? Let’s towel it up! Grade: Turkey Jerky/10

What Worked:

JT: I really liked the opening scene, it set up the episode in a funny and organic way and George getting chased by the bee as he celebrated was a nice touch; Elaine’s war against cat fighting is a worthy one; Jerry’s comment about his suit being a breakaway; Lyle; Kramer as a seat filler was quite inspired; Kramer snapping the beef jerky into the back of the guy’s head is an all time scene for me; Jerry asking George if he is still decomposing always gets me; Lyle excitedly saying “What’s up” to “Jer” while walking around in his towel was tremendous; George asking if they make swaddling clothes for adults; Lanette congratulating Kramer; Peterman getting excited about the catfight but fucking up the sounds; George as Jerry’s relationship intern is another great idea and I liked Jerry thinking he meant a threesome at first; Kramer’s uncontrollable excitement over a catfight is good stuff; the invitations callback is tremendous; George stumbling into a frolf game was well done; Jerry’s hairless chest is a nice callback too; The cops watching Raquel and Elaine brawl on the street was a fine payoff; I love the last scene and its parallels to the finale of season seven, especially since invitations caused the issues again

Aaron: I liked Elaine saying that the woman’s arms hang like salamis and I thought the theater conversation amongst the theater people was waaaay too real for me. You could taste the pretentiousness and self importance flowing from the mouths of artists whose art is slowly dying. Peterman punctuating his cat fight speech with a “woof” always gets a chuckle out of me. Finally the Raquel Welsh interactions were solid as was the writing that brought them all together.

Andrew: I have to say, I enjoy seeing Jerry thrown off by the non-traditional sex lives of others. For so much of the show, he’s the cool one having remarkable success with women, and it’s fun to see him so uncomfortable. That said, he still gets in some great lines (“Are you still decomposing?” is one of my favorites). Molly Shannon is great as “that crazy, straight-armed woman”. I didn’t love the “catfight” angle early on, but Kramer and Peterman being so goofy about it got me onboard with the storyline. Also, “Scarsdale Surprise” is a great fake name for a Broadway show.

Jordan: Molly Shannon did a really good job here, and I liked her becoming Elaine’s personal bully. The voice mails were a nice touch. Kramer yucking it up with the Tony Award winners was a lot of fun, as is his shouting the story of LIFE of a Salesman. I liked George wanting to play FROLF too, and the guy he bumps into who plays it is even less cool looking than George is. Jerry asking George if he’s decomposing got a good chuckle out of me. Peterman saying “woof” is the best line in the episode. The end scene with a callback to Susan’s death was a nice touch.

Jason: I loved the dialogue between Jerry and George during the cold open; FROLF; invisible suitcases; George’s fridge recliner; Kramer drinking too much shower water; Micky being a member of “the academy”; Jerry and George’s “dude” high-five; LIZA; Sam trashing Elaine’s desk; the Tony taking Kramer to Sardi’s; Kramer’s mini acceptance speech to Lanette; Peterman approving the catfight; Jerry’s exhaustion from Lanette’s busy lifestyle; Raquel Welch having the same arm issues as Sam was brilliant; Jerry’s shaved chest callback; George’s, :Keep your towel on” line; invitations landing the gang at the hospital to close out the season again was the perfect tough; George and Sam in physical therapy together

What Didn’t Work

JT: Why would a guy who worked on Scarsdale Surprise get up and leave when his play was nominated in an upcoming category?; The Raquel Welch not moving her arms story felt a bit force fed; Who is sending out mailed invitations the week of a party? Jerry’s date outfit is terrible, the color of his sweater is the least of his problems

Aaron: Honestly everything else. The Summer Of George storyline felt like it was created for a sound bite. There was nothing to the actual story. A complete lazy waste of a character. Too many out of character moments hurt this one as well. Elaine doesn’t work as the “why me” victim, she thrives as the aggressor/curt monster. Jerry dumps women if they don’t eat their peas to his liking, no way he becomes Lynette’s slave. Even Kramer’s physical stuff felt phoned in on an evening where they had Raquel Welsh seemingly reading off cue cards.

Andrew: What is going on with this waitress that she owns formal gloves and sends out invitations to a 35 person party? Is she independently wealthy, and just waitresses to keep busy?

Jordan: George was really a let down here. When you start an episode hyping SUMMER OF GEORGE, you deliver. They didn’t. I feel like George would have been better suited trying to become a Lyle rather than being Jerry’s errand boy.

Jason: The way Jerry says “fellers” always sounds horrible. Speaking of horrible, his date outfit was the drizzling shits.

Key Character Debuts

– Sam

– Lanette

– Raquel Welch

Iconic Moments, Running Themes & Memorable Quotes

– “Severance package…The Yankees are giving me three months full pay for doing nothing.” – George “They did it for three years. What’s another few months.” – Jerry “I’m really going to do something with these three months.” – George “Like what?” – Jerry “I’m gonna read a book. From beginning to end. In that order.” – George “I’ve always wanted to do that…” – Jerry

– “What’s with her arms? They just hang like salamis.” – Walter “She walks like orangutan.” – Dugan “Better call the zoo.” – Elaine

– “How did you get that job?” – Elaine “Mickey, Mickey he hooked me up. He’s a member of the academy.” – Kramer “What academy?” – Jerry “Well, he didn’t say…” – Kramer

– “How do you know it was her dude?” – George “What do you think it could’ve been just some dude?” – Jerry “Sure, dudes in this town are dime a dozen.” – George “I reckon.” – Jerry

– “Aah, Jerry I’m not gonna let you bring me down from this high. I’ve been partying all night. I saw the sunrise at Liza’s!” – Kramer “What, Minelli’s!?!” – George “No.” – Kramer

– “Do they make swaddling clothes for adults?” – George

– “…so I said to him: Arthur, Artie come on, why does the salesman have to die? Change the title; The life of a salesman. That’s what people want to see.” – Kramer

– “Well, I see what’s going on in here. I am smack dab in the middle of a good old fashioned cat fight.” – Peterman “Mr. Petermen, this is not a cat fight. This is violent psychotic behavior directed at me all because are told her to swing her arms.” – Elaine “Woof!” – Peterman “Do you mean “reer?”” – Elaine “Yes, that’s the one! Good day Elaine.” – Peterman

– “We don’t have it. But maybe the two of us, working together at full capacity, could do the job of one normal man.” – Kramer “Then each of us would only have be like a half man. That sounds about right!” – Jerry

– “Because they’re terrified of her. I heard from someone that when they cut one of her lines, she climbed up the rope on side of the stage and started dropping lights on peoples heads. Story like that has got to be true.” – Kramer “She seems very nice.” – Jerry “Jerry, you’re not in show business. You don’t know what these people are like.” – Kramer “I’m in show business.” – Jerry “Oh, come on!” – Kramer

– “Well, it seems that due to the vagaries of the production parameters of this fragmenting of the audience to the cable television, carnivals, water parks…” – Kramer “Out with it!” – Raquel “Well, you’re fired because you don’t move your arms when you tap dance, you’re like a gorilla out there I’ve gotta go…” – Kramer

– “I slipped on the invitations…how’s the towels?” – George “Back on the rack.” – Jerry “With the two of us?” – George “I think we’re still a man short.” – Jerry

Oddities & Fun Facts

Saturday Night Live actress Molly Shannon portrays Sam

– Actress Amanda Peet portrays Lanette

– George shopping for invitations is a call back to The Invitations (S7, E24)

– Raquel Welch portrays herself

Overall Grade (Scale 1-10)

JT: Another season is officially in the books and i think this was a worthy finale to all of the chaos that unfolded here in season eight. Everyone turned in strong performances and all of the guest stars were on point as well. I really liked all of the callbacks peppered in here and all of the ideas were very inspired too. “Summer of George” is a great tagline and the episode also had a few legit laugh out loud moments for me with the beef jerky, Lyle greeting Jerry and Kramer’s Liza anecdote. The closing scene was really framed well too, mirroring the exact scene from a year ago. And with that… just one season remains! Final Grade: 8/10

Aaron: This might be my least favorite episode of season 8. A whimper of a finale that reeked of laziness and stories scraped of the writer’s floor. Yes I fell in love with Amanda Peet and Lyle, but the Summer of George should have been something…ANYTHING. Maybe the worst finale of the series so far. Final Grade: 2/10

Andrew: I thought this one started out slow: I didn’t love the catfight stuff at the start, and George’s “decompressing” didn’t do all that much for me. But the episode picks up when Molly Shannon starts going off the deep end, and the Raquel Welch stuff takes it up a notch as well. It’s not a perfect episode, but it definitely makes up for the stumbles out of the gate. Final Grade: 8/10

Jordan: In the ultimate nitpicking moment, I think the episode title hurts the episode for me. Again, you hear SUMMER OF GEORGE and you brace yourself for a cavalcade of Costanza. In actual delivery, he’s playing 4th here. Nothing is beyond terrible, but I don’t really like a whole lot of it either. Still, some good chuckles and nothing that outright bores or angers me. If this was Season 2, I’d be singing it’s praises, but due to where we are in the run, I’ve got go lower than I would if this one happened some other time. Final Grade: 6/10

Jason: This was a lot of fun. The core four all delivered well, as did the guest stars. Molly Shannon was the perfect person to cast as Sam. I like to think that the mini Three Musketeers in George’s recliner fridge were leftovers from the Peterman Reality Tour. Lyle is a man’s man and will always be one of my favorite one-off series characters. Overall, the episode delivered nicely and a great way to end the season. See everyone in the final season! Final Grade: 8/10

Author: Place to Be Nation Staff

Place to Be Nation Staff pieces feature any number of our contributors who are multifaceted when it comes to Pop Culture expertise.