Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch – “The Yada Yada” (S8, E19)

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 am going with a tie this week as I thought both Jerry and George were great. Jerry was on fire with his one liners and how indignant he was with Tim Whatley. I also loved how dismissive he was of Arnie when Beth came crying to him. George was a lot of fun too trying to crack the yada, yada code and the two scenes where he stalked Jerry were so well done on a meta level.

Aaron: For the longest time I was leaning Elaine; her sheer disdain for Jerry and his problems was a sight to behold. Then Kramer nailed the Anti-Dentite rant which coupled with his tremendous physical performance at the restaurant snuck the victory out here.

Andrew: I’ll go with Kramer. He and Mickey together are always a delight. I especially enjoyed his back-to-back “I thought it was a nice gesture” and “I don’t even know their names!” And he does a great job selling the anti-dentite stuff.

Jordan: I’m giving this one to Kramer. He coins the term anti-dentite and has some great scenes with Mickey, who I really like. “I LIVE for Merlot” is a really lame line that Kramer delivers in a way that makes it hilarious. The two of them fighting over a seat at the double date follow up is absurdly fun. I also love the slur, “HEY! DENTY!”

Jason: Tim Whatley was excellent here, but I have to go with Jerry. So many sharp one-liners and his scene with Father Curtis is one of my favorite series moments. I lose it every time Jerry sits in the confession booth.

Best Storyline

JT: The yada, yada is infamous but I thought the Whatley stuff was the best. The premise was really unique and executed so well, in big part thanks to the genius of Bryan Cranston. The church scene was a lot of fun too and it all tied in to the final scene and paid off so well with Beth, Jerry’s dream girl, exposing herself as a wicked racist.

Aaron: Jerry versus Walter White is the feud that will not die.

Andrew: I like The Yada Yada. Even on a show that does a great job of trying storylines together, this one stands out as an exceptional example. I just love the way it starts out with one character, then slowly spreads until it’s in every part of the episode. Plus, Elaine’s “I’ve yada yada’d sex” bit is an all-timer.

Jordan: Jerry’s fury over Whatley’s joke telling is really fun. The scene with him going to confessional is really good, and also gives me time to mention my 2nd place storyline: George always knowing where Jerry is. He barges into a dentists office, he walks right into confessional. Is George a psychic? Anyway, Whatley immediately hitting Jerry with Jewish jokes and using terms like a shtickle of fluoride is really unique and what makes the show so much better than other comedies.

Jason: The yada yada is so iconic and and didn’t disappoint. Everyone delivered their lines perfectly, including Father Curtis jumping in on the action at the end.

Ethical Dilemma of the Week

JT: Just because your parents are little people, do you have to marry one? No, be your own woman Karen/Julie! If you wanna bang the K-Man, go for it!

Aaron: Kramer looked better in the shirt. Period. Mickey was swimming in that thing and if he got laid that night it was surely some form of pity fuck.

Andrew: Is it OK to “yada yada” sex? I’m very much in favor of it in Elaine’s case: using the dismissiveness to make a joke at her date’s expense. But I’m not on board with Marcy’s example. Even if she’s right to assume George will work out that she slept with her ex, she could stand to be less cavalier about the whole thing. Verdict: sometimes OK!

Jordan: Should you sleep with someone to help your friends adopt a child? Normally I would say no, unless you are Elaine. Also in unrelated news, I am changing careers to become an adoption agent.

Jason: What’s the grace period between converting to a religion and rolling out joke about it? I say, jump right in. As a fellow Jew, I didn’t mind Tim telling the jokes. Mazel Tov, Dr. Whatley. Welcome aboard.

Relationship Scale (Scale 1-10)

JT: I think that adoption agent would have treated Elaine like the queen she is. Forget the looks, Elaine, marry for happiness. It worked for Charlotte in Sex in the CityRelationship Grade: Yada/10

Aaron: Sure Beth may be a horrible racist but she’s the only one sane enough to put these fucking dentists in their place. Relationship Grade: 10/10

Andrew: Debra Messing ain’t hard to look at, but I’m more into Marcy. There’s something about “yada yada”-ing a petty crime spree that really works for me. Relationship Grade: See you in six to eight months/10

Jordan: Jerry and Beth finally get together. She is a racist, but she also goes on to become a quirky detective in The Mysteries of Laura, so I think it all works out in the end. More than that, who is this man that slept with Elaine whose sexual prowess is weaker than a strong lobster bisque? And can he give me any tips? Relationship Grade: NO BISQUE FOR YOU/10

Jason: Brian is so gross, but I do appreciate Elaine taking one for the team. Relationship Grade: 100% cotton and some wool/10

What Worked:

JT: I really liked the George and Jerry desert island discussion while pissing; Yada yada; Always great to see The Mick in the house and his “we’ll look like idiots” line was great, as is he and Kramer picking up women at The Gap; 100% cotton… and some wool; George stalking Jerry at his dentist appointment is great meta stuff; Tim’s Jewish joke gusto is tremendous; I always pop when Jerry trolls telemarketers; Kramer and Mickey not knowing their dates names was funny and their near brawl was really great; Kramer and Mickey fighting over the seats at the restaurant gets me every time, especially when Kramer leans with his elbow on the table; George and Kramer’s back to back “I gotta do something” was well executed; Jerry calling the nun “mother” and his whole performance in the confessional; Funny twist having Karen’s parents be little people; George popping in the confessional was amazing; Jerry and Kramer’s talk about little people was good and that was topped by the anti-dentite stuff; Mickey’s dad snubbing Kramer can calling out Jerry was fantastic; Beth slays that final line; Nice payoff at the end with both women ending up with the wrong guy

Aaron: The phrase Yada Yada permeated the entire episode and it was wonderful. Everyone found cause to use it and it never once felt forced which is the sign of some pretty succinct writing. Jerry actively waiting out a marriage is a situation we’ve clearly all been in before. I mentioned Elaine’s disdain for all things Jerry earlier but her screaming at Mickey to settle down was filled with venom and hatred. I love how she ruins a couple’s chance to have a child by openly demanding where Arnie gets off front of the evaluator. She’s so self-involved she can’t get passed it for five minutes. I know I mention it every time but she laughs right in Jerry’s face when she hears the Raquel Welch joke and it ALWAYS works for me. “I mentioned the bisque,” is one of the greatest punch lines in sitcom history. Fuck it Elaine is my winner. There’s so much to love in this one but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention George absurdly popping up wherever Jerry is and Marcy’s casual theft. Oh and of course how comfortable Beth is with her racism.

Andrew: Everyone is really good in this one. Some of my favorite moments: Elaine laughing at the “buoys” joke, George barging into the confessional, Kramer fighting with Mickey. And the list of guest stars is incredible, including Robert Wagner for some reason (and his cameo is great). And the storylines are all top-notch. There’s not much not to like here.

Jordan: We’ve got Mickey and Whatley, yada yada yada, Elaine mentioned the bisque! OK, I suppose I can talk more about it. First, I love when George demands that Marcy stop yada yada’ing and she immediately reveals herself to be a thief. Elaine using every alternate form of it to avoid taking blame to Arnie was great too. I mentioned this earlier too, but I love George just sauntering into the dentist office where Jerry has an appointment, then walking into the confessional booth. Let’s also not forget that George’s teeth MAKE SOUNDS and he won’t even get his own appointment, instead he asks Jerry to find out for him if that’s normal. It’s not, George. Jerry not knowing how to use a kneeler was funny, as was the priest laughing at the Raquel Welch joke. Kramer and Mickey are fantastic together and I wish we would get more of Mr. Abbott.

Jason: George and Jerry’s book/Chamberlain conversation at the urinals: “I’ll tell you what’s up, I’m a Jew”; Jewish workout; Kramer and Mickey modeling their shirts; George yada yadaing his relationship with his parents; “I live for Merlot”; Elaine throwing Beth and Arnie under the buss at the agency; the rabbi and the farmer’s daughter; a schtikle of fluoride; everybody being Mickey’s type; Kramer and Mickey’s scuffle while meeting the girls for dinner; buoys; Marcy confessing shoplifting; being Jewish not being a sin; George tracking down Jerry in the confession booth; Karen’s parents being little people; blah, blah, blah, da, da, da, da, da, bleh, bleh, bleh; Jerry’s small world line; THOSE PEOPLE; anti-dentite; Elaine seducing Brian; Marcy getting pinched for shoplifting; anti-dentite bastard; Beth turning out to be a racist

What Didn’t Work

JT: Why does Jerry ask George if he knows Tim Whatley when we saw a whole fiasco about George getting invited to his Thanksgiving Eve party instead of him; Elaine’s alcoholic joke about her dad felt a bit too serious; The last line is great but how does Beth not know Jerry is Jewish? She didn’t know his last name by this point?

Aaron: The mere thought of anyone on planet Earth obtaining joke immunity in 2017 is perhaps the single most impossible thing in the history of science.

Andrew: I’m not wild about Elaine fucking the adoption agency guy. I mean, I guess she feels really guilty about screwing up the adoption, but that’s a pretty drastic step. I feel like such an iconic character deserves better.

Jordan: How often does Jerry go to the dentist? Also, Elaine saying that Arnie once told her to shut up being a deal breaker on adoption is a huge stretch. Oh yeah, and for a comedian, all of the jokes that Jerry tells are pretty stupid. Newer magazines? LAME, JEROME.

Jason: Arnie isn’t just a dumb name but he’s a shitty human being. Seinfeld is one of the most Jewish names out there. Why does Beth not have a clue that Jerry is Jewish?

Key Character Debuts

– Marcy

Iconic Moments, Running Themes & Memorable Quotes

– “You know, a friend of mine thought she got Legonare’s disease in the hot tub.” – Marcy “Really? What happened?” – George “Oh, yada yada yada, just some bad egg salad. I’ll be right back.” – Marcy

– “No, “yada yada” is good. She’s very succinct.” – Jerry “She is succinct.” – George “Yeah, it’s like you’re dating USA Today.” – Jerry

– “Yada yada yada” becomes an instant pop culture catchphrase

– “I gotta get on that internet. I’m late on everything.” – Jerry

– “Tell me about it. We just picked up two women at the Gap.” – Kramer

– “I like your shirt.” – Karen “Oh, thank you. It’s 100% cotton, and some wool.” – Mickey

– “I like Merlot.” – Mickey “I love Merlot.” – Karen “I’m crazy about Merlot.” – Julie “I live for Merlot.” – Kramer “We’re out of Merlot.” – Waiter

– “All right, it is cavity time. Ah, here we go. Which reminds me, did you here the one about the rabbi and the farmer’s daughter? Huh?” – Tim “Hey.” – Jerry “Those aren’t mahtzah balls.” – Tim

– “Jerry, it’s our sense of humor that sustained us as a people for 3000 years.” – Tim “5000.” – Jerry “5000, even better. Okay, Chrissie. Give me a schtickle of fluoride.” – Tim

– “Speaking of exes, my old boyfriend came over late last night, and, yada yada yada, anyway. I’m really tired today.” – Marcy

– “Don’t you see what Whatley is after? Total joke telling immunity. He’s already got the two big religions covered, if he ever gets Polish citizenship there’ll be no stopping him.” – Jerry

– “Listen to this. Marcy comes up and she tells me her ex-boyfriend was over late last night, and “yada yada yada, I’m really tired today.” You don’t think she yada yada’d sex.” – George “I’ve yada yada’d sex.” – Elaine “Really?” – George “Yeah. I met this lawyer, we went out to dinner, I had the lobster bisque, we went back to my place, yada yada yada, I never heard from him again.” – Elaine “But you yada yada’d over the best part.” – Jerry “No, I mentioned the bisque.” – Elaine

– “Anyway, I wanted to talk to you about Dr. Whatley. I have a suspicion that he’s converted to Judaism just for the jokes.” – Jerry “And this offends you as a Jewish person.” – Father “No, it offends me as a comedian.” – Jerry

– “What about all your Jewish jokes?” – Jerry “I’m Jewish, you’re not a dentist. You have no idea what my people have been through.” – Tim “The Jews?” – Jerry “No, the dentists. You know, we have the highest suicide rate of any profession?” – Tim “Is that why it’s so hard to get an appointment?” – Jerry

– “Well, Mickey and her have a lot more in common. you know her parents are little people?” – Kramer “Oh, small world. So little people can have not little people children?” – Jerry “Oh yeah, and vice versa. Mother Nature’s a mad scientist, Jerry.” – Kramer

– “You think that dentists are so different from me and you? They came to this country just like everybody else, in search of a dream.” – Kramer “Kramer, he’s just a dentist.” – Jerry “Yeah, and you’re an anti-dentine.” – Kramer “I am not an anti-dentine!” – Jerry “You’re a rabid anti-dentite! Oh, it starts with a few jokes and some slurs. “Hey, denty!” Next thing you know you’re saying they should have their own schools.” – Kramer “They do have their own schools!” – Jerry “Yeah!” – Kramer

– “Hey, where’s Marcy?” – Jerry “She, uh, went shopping for some shoes for the wedding and, yada yada yada, I’ll see her in six to eight months.” – George

– “That’s Dr. Abbott, D.D.S. Tim Whatley was one of my students. And if this wasn’t my son’s wedding day, I’d knock you teeth out you anti-dentite bastard.” – Dr. Abbott “What was that all about?” – Beth “Oh, I said something about dentists and it got blown all out of proportion.” – Jerry “Hey, what do you call a doctor who fails out of med school?” – Beth “What?” – Jerry “A dentist.” – Beth “That’s a good one. Dentists.” – Jerry “Yeah, who needs ’em? Not to mention the Blacks and the Jews.” – Beth

Oddities & Fun Facts

– Debra Messing returns as Beth Lookner, last seen in The Wait Out (S7, E23)

– Legendary actor Robert Wagner plays Dr. Abbott

– Famous actress Jill St. John plays Mrs. Abbott

Overall Grade (Scale 1-10)

JT: This episode held up much better than I anticipated. There were a few things that keep it from really hitting that upper echelon but I laughed out loud a ton watching it through. The yada yada stuff is legendary in Seinfeld lore but I thought the Whatley storyline really brought the heat. It was filled with a fun cameos and paid off with a tremendous punchline. Mickey and Kramer did a solid job in their story as well as they are always a great physical comedy duo but also had some strong dialogue to support it. Plus I am a big mark for the meta stuff with George tracking down Jerry to talk. I wasn’t expecting to like this one that much but yada yada it ended up being pretty damn great. Final Grade: 9/10

Aaron: Why on Earth are George’s teeth hissing and chirping??? What do you want? I could go on all day with this one. Get out of here! Final Grade: 10/10

Andrew: I was actually feeling a bit let down after the first third or so of this episode, but man does it pick up steam after that. The Yada Yada storyline was a cultural phenomenon, and the anti-dentite stuff might be even funnier. I’m not totally on board with where Elaine’s character ends up, but even so, it feels wrong to give this one less than a perfect score. Final Grade: 10/10

Jordan: Another all timer. I think people remember Elaine’s lobster yada the most, but it’s not even the best one IMO. George giving Susan’s death the Yada Yada treatment is glorious. Whatley is there. Mickey is there. Jerry is on fire. Beth is hot, and apparently racist and stupid. Elaine is ruining lives. What more can you ask for? Final Grade: 10/10

Jason: I really enjoyed this episode. Growing up I heard the phrase Yada Yada from my parents and their friends so this is something that I can appreciate. Brian Cranston knocked it out of the park again with another stellar performance. I love whenever Kramer and Mickey get into fights. Debra Messing was smoking hot at the wedding. Overall, it hits the spot every time I watch it and  yada, yada, yada, holds up as one of the best. Final Grade: 10/10

yada-yada-yada