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: I am going to go with Kramer this time around. His physical comedy continues to deliver and the scene where he strolls out of the fumigated apartment followed by him explaining the story to Elaine are some of my favorite Kramer moments. The end was good too with him sending the dog after Newman after he taunted him about the peaches.
Aaron: THE MACKINAW PEACHES!!!!! They dominated this whole thing. It’s such a short fucking window so you have to pounce when the peach is sweet! Every single person in the whole godless world is touched by these damn peaches, so forgive me if I say that if any of the others didn’t vote for the peaches I’m going to cycle to their homes and demand an explanation, before doing “something” to their yard.
Andrew: None of the main cast ran away with it, so I’m going with Newman. He had the best laugh to screentime ratio, anyway. His struggle not to scratch while talking to Jerry always gets me. And the devious joy on his face when he realizes he can take advantage of a friend’s ailment to get some peaches? That’s amazing. Newman is always a dependable source of laughs, and I think he earned some special recognition this time.
Jordan: I’m picking Elaine. I thought she was more fun than funny in the episode, but that’s OK, it was still enjoyable. I liked her asking if Paula liked George or LIKED LIKED him, and getting caught chewing gum. She also tried out her physical comedy act with the rummaging through Jerry’s apartment while it was being fumigated. I also liked her repeating everything Kramer told her about the book.
Jason: No one had a dominating performance, but I’ll go with George here. He finally found a woman that didn’t care about his looks and went all out with it. Him strolling into Monk’s with the velvet outfit on sealed the deal.
JT: Jerry’s fleas. It set the tone for the episode and established the center point for the other stories to spin off from. Elaine darting around while holding her breath and Kramer sucking in the toxic poison were the cherries on top.
Aaron: Elaine slipped into “High School” Elaine with all the ease of a stalky bald man slipping into velvet. I loved the going between George and his judgment free girlfriend and all the childish vernacular that accompanied it. Sure the art school teacher was an insufferable prick for demeaning adults for chewing gum, but it all created a terrific atmosphere for immaturity, which is really saying something considering the show.
Andrew: I think I’ll go with Elaine’s Viking Press storyline. Seeing her fumble around the fumigated apartment is solid, and I enjoy both Kramer’s “cockeyed optimist” description of the manuscript, and the way Elaine nervously repeats it in her interview. But the real draw here is Jerry’s relatives’ rapid descent into hotel amenity decadence. I’ll never not love seeing Nana throw a filled champagne flute over her shoulder with a “Let the chambermaid it clean up”.
Jordan: Again, I enjoy the Elaine book story, mostly because it also gives us all the old folks chilling in a hotel, getting drunk and watching porno after porno. Meanwhile, poor Elaine is trembling her way through a summary of a manuscript she’s never read. Uncle Leo’s unbridled enthusiasm for Asian women was probably his downfall.
Jason: Everything really tied in well with Jerry’s apartment getting fumigated. Elaine leaving the manuscript in there. Kramer losing his taste buds from hanging out in there for an hour and a half. All topped off with Newman being the reason why Jerry had fleas in his place.
Ethical Dilemma of the Week
JT: Did Elaine get what she deserved for trying to swindle Viking out of a free Plaza stay? Yep. This is a dream job for her! Is it worth risking it for a couple of nights at a hotel? Did she not think they would do some sort of background check if they did hire her? Odd decision, Laney.
Aaron: If you were going to kill your parents would the best way be to trick them into staying in a fumigated apartment? I guess for deniability’s sake it’s not the worst idea and that fumigator was clearly speaking from experience. I think what you really want to examine though is WHY do you want to kill your parents? I mean if you’re going to kill the people who brought you into this world it probably means they’ve done something heinous to you. That kind of motivation, in my experience, requires a more personal touch. You probably want to feel the bones crushing beneath your blows, or watch them slowly plummet from the hot air balloon as you guild it steadily above the Arctic Circle. I guess what I’m saying is, really think about how important it is for you to watch your parents die before you act out this Shakespearean fantasy. If it’s not a priority I guess fumigation is as good a method as any.
Andrew: Was it wrong of the Seinfelds to go hog wild in a comped hotel room? I’m OK with it. I get the sense Jerry had to really push the “it’s all taken care of” aspect to get them to stay there. Frankly, I’d be more upset if they didn’t take full advantage of an offer like that.
Jordan: Should George be outraged that the woman he is dating does not care about what he looks like? No, look at him. If she cared even a little bit, she would be nowhere near him. Take what you can get, Costanza!
Jason: Is someone putting discarded food in their mouth really that gross? In most cases, yes. But, If you’re sleeping with that person, it’s not the worst thing in the world.
Relationship Scale (Scale 1-10)
JT: George getting grossed out about Paula sucking on his peach remains seemed a bit out of character. He once ate food out of the trash! He found an attractive woman that didn’t give a shit about his body mass index or male pattern baldness and still DTF and he ditches her over this? He should be honored that she would put anything related to him in her mouth. Relationship Grade: Mackinaw/10
Aaron: Look we can all bullshit you the reader by talking about Jerry and George’s girlfriends but let’s step back and face reality here: all we all care about is Uncle Leo ordering Asian hookers to his room. It’s the most glorious capper to an episode of anything encompassing all media. It’s the stuff that dreams are made on. Relationship Grade: 10/10
Andrew: Shelley was no great loss; if the pecan incident turned into a multi-day argument that early in the relationship, imagine how bad things could get later on. On the other hand, I’m disgusted with George giving up on Paula so easily. It was the perfect situation for him, and I think I could get past a peach-pit-sucking habit for Christa Miller. Relationship Grade: There’s a lot of nuts out there/10
Jordan: Theirs was a love that was forbidden. She, a working girl trying to put food on the table. He, a rich New Yorker living it up on booze and revelry. Somehow, they came together and had an unbreakable, unquenchable love for each other. They knew they could never truly be together, so their moments alone, while fleeting, were passionate and satisfying enough to last a thousand lifetimes. At least, I guess that’s why Leo kept doing that Asian. Relationship Grade: MISS SAIGON/10
Jason: George should hold onto Paula like velvet on his body. She’s everything he’s ever want… and not too bad looking either. Shelly should have left Jerry for good after his overreaction to the nut incident. Drama Jerome was in full force here. Relationship Grade: Under Siege/10
JT: Jerry accusing George of wanting to see the nude model and then freaking out about the pecan; George’s “There’s a lot of nuts out there” always makes me laugh; Elaine thinking the doodle of George looks like Mr. Magoo; Jerry’s Potsie line is aces; The Mackinaw Peaches!; Kramer asking Jerry if he has the dog; Elaine and Paula talking about George in class, capped with the gum; Jerry’s line about ugly people not knowing they are ugly; Morty exploring the Plaza room, “80 cents a nut”!; Kramer walking out of the apartment was awesome; Chunky’s Chunky; Jerry breaking down Newman about the fleas; Kramer explaining the Billy Muphrey story to Elaine is one of my favorite scenes, followed by her pressing the Viking Press manager with the same points; Poor Kramer and his loss of taste; Velvet is quite the running theme of this season as it has popped up quite a few times
Aaron: Kramer kills it in this one. His enjoyment of the peaches is sublime and his descent into a world without taste is painfully tragic. He also crushes two absurd moments: the first is the puzzled look on his face when he asks Jerry if he has a dog. THE MAN WHO’S IN THE APARTMENT MORE THAN THE LEASEE DOESN’T KNOW IF THERE ARE ANY PETS!!! The other is how casually he saunters out of, what has now become, a poisoned apartment. For all the praise we laud on Kramer for his physicality (and it’s deserved) it’s always awesome when Elaine gets to flex those muscles too. Her fantastic frenzied foray into the toxic apartment is a tremendous ransacking. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is just so good. Almost everything she does lands in this one. She starts off strong by laughing in George’s face and her pained acceptance that she’s going to have to learn about Billy Mumphry from Kramer is flawless. When she finally interviews for the job at Scorpion publishing (I know that’s not it but Scorpion sounds cooler) we get to hear Kramer’s words coming out of her mouth, filled with contempt and a profound understanding of how stupid they are. So much so that she is shocked, SHOCKED when the publisher agrees. If not for the peaches Elaine would be my favorite here. George and Jerry both have their moments from Jerry being vexed and George somehow stumbling into his velvety dream. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the elderly party which included pay per view, nuts, porn before finally causing “damage to the room.” What a bizarre thing to put in a sitcom, but it’s fantastic.
Andrew: Elaine’s laugh at the doodle is a delight. Kramer’s excitement over the peaches (“Like the Aurora Borealis”) is fun. I enjoy the “high school” reminiscent art class scene, although I don’t think that joke totally lands. George’s dismay at the thought of Paula not finding him attractive is pretty good, but his slow realization that this actually works to his advantage is even better. I like the “draped in velvet” callback, and seeing George actually go through with it is a nice payoff. Uncle Leo’s “I thought they were sending an Asian woman” is a great after-credits tag.
Jordan: I haven’t talked about it yet, so let’s discuss Kramer’s great love for Mackinaw peaches. They are delectable, a sweet nectar from the gods, and Cosmo counts down the days until he can get his hands on them. I love that Kramer loves things like this. So of course, hanging out in Jerry’s fumigated apartment for a few hours kills his sense of taste temporarily. Speaking of the fumigation, I love that he just casually discusses hanging out in there to Jerry and Elaine, and mentions he was in the living room, the kitchen and the bathroom, at least! Elaine was awesome as well, as I explained. Jerry was solid throughout this, and I understand his disgust over eating food that was in his date’s mouth (can’t remember her name) – but I have to say, it’s weird he would eat off her plate. That doesn’t seem like a very Jerry thing at all. George getting upset that Jerry was being too funny is a nice callback as well. The actual doodle is kind of funny, and I liked that the art class scene played like it was happening in high school. Uncle Leo ordering, at best an Asian masseuse, and more likely, an Asian hooker is incredible. Nana getting drunk on champagne and really everything about the old folks living it up on Viking’s dime was a lot of fun. I don’t know why, but I think the name Billy Mumphry is kind of funny too.
Jason: George getting pissed that Jerry was stealing his spotlight at dinner. Jerry’s, “If you and Potsie are done scheming” line was terrific. Kramer’s joy over diving into the Mackinaw peach; “It’s like having a circus in your mouth.” Kramer asking Jerry if he had a dog after Jerry says he has fleas. “Mom, Dad… I have fleas” Elaine and Paula killed it talking about George like high school girls. Morty’s excitement when he gets to the room at The Plaza; “You know what these cost, they’re like 80 cents a nut.” Elaine roaming through Jerry’s apartment for the manuscript while it’s being fumigated. Kramer thinking the fumigation sign is to keep his parents out while he has a girl over. Elaine showing Jerry the Chunky wrapper; “I know the chunky that left these Chunkies!” Jerry referring to Newman’s apartment as a snack bar. Newman caving after Jerry tortures him. Jerry’s parents, Leo and Nana trashing the hotel room and ringing up the tab; “Let the chambermaid clean it up.” Kramer describing the manuscript to Elaine; “It’s a story of love, deception, greed, lust and unbridled enthusiasm.” Shelly kicking Jerry to the curb after he won’t use her toothbrush. Elaine’s nervousness as she begins to describe what Kramer told her about the manuscript to Mandel. Jerry’s, “I guess I’m staying with the Velvet Fog” after he tells George that Shelly kicked him out. George’s disgust when Paula starts sucking on the peach pit. Newman teasing Kramer about finishing up the last peach. Kramer unleashing the dog to go after Newman. The huge payoff at the end when Elaine shows up to the hotel room and Leo is still there; “They said they were sending over an Asian woman.”
What Didn’t Work
JT: George fixing his hair in the coffee pot always bothered me; Jerry’s blue sweater is atrocious; How did Elaine find Jerry on the streets of New York City?; Does Shelly live in a museum?; I don’t care what point Shelly wants to prove and how much they make out, brushing with somebody else’s toothbrush is pretty gross; I don’t like the name Hubert for a dog… and how does Kramer know its name?; Uncle Leo has never met Elaine?
Aaron: I’m guessing Kramer’s a pretty smart guy but you don’t send a bulldog of all dogs after a mailman. Those things are lazy as fuck.
Andrew: How could Elaine not know the “looks aren’t important” thing would be a big deal? That’s pretty clearly the kind of thing you don’t repeat.
Jordan: Two big things for me. One, George has eaten straight out of the garbage before, so Paula sucking on a peach pit shouldn’t bother him. Two, Elaine is a close friend of George. She was either sabotaging him or just being a straight up moron to mention the looks things to him.
Jason: Man, Jerry’s family really has some balls trashing the room and ringing up the tab. Especially Nana. Quite a move from someone who’s on a fixed income.
Key Character Debuts
Karl the Exterminator
Iconic Moments, Running Themes & Memorable Quotes
– “You know I went out once with a nude model. Never let me see her naked. Hundreds of people see her naked every week, except me. Needless to say it was quite vexing.” – Jerry
– “Yeah, but this is different , this is like ,you know, semi digested food stuff. You know the next stop is the stomach and you can take it from there.” – Jerry
– “Well, it was very nice meeting you Shelly and Jerry be careful, there’s a lot of nuts out there.” – George
– “I want you to find out is she likes me.” – George “Find out if likes you?. What, are you in High School?…George come on can’t you just talk to her yourself?” – Elaine “But she’s gonna know that I like her more than she likes me.” – George “You know my parents are coming in and I got some clean up to do , so if you and Potsie are done scheming…” – Jerry
– “I am not gonna taste your peach. I ate some one’s pecan last night, I’m not gonna eat your peach.” – Jerry “Jerry, this is a miracle of nature that exists for a brief period. It’s like the Aurora Borealis.” – Kramer
– “Don’t sweat it buddy…I used to have fleas.” – Kramer “What did you do about them?” – Jerry “What do you mean?” – Kramer
– “I don’t get this. How did this happen. I don’t have a dog.” – Jerry “I don’t explain ’em Mr. Seinfeld. I just exterminate them.” – Karl
– “Hey! I found out from Paula; She likes George. I’ll bet he’ll be relieved.” – Elaine “Yeah…When he’s dead he’ll be relieved.” – George
– “She thinks I’m ugly. I knew it.” – George “You see the thing of it is, there’s a lot of ugly people out there walking around, but they don’t know they’re ugly, because nobody actually tells them.” – Jerry
– “Oh!, so what. I’d rather she hate me and thought I was good looking…At least I can get somebody else.” – George
– “Aw! You’ll be fine, you were in there for what , a couple of minutes.” – Jerry “An hour and a half!” – Kramer
– “Wait a minute. Did you say chunky wrappers?” – Jerry “Yeah!” – Elaine “Let me see those. Oh! I know the chunky that left these Chunkies…NEWMAN! I’ve got him.” – Jerry
– “Oh! but I do. There’s probably fleas crawling all over your little snack bar.” – Jerry “So, you have fleas. Maybe you keep your house in a state of disrepair. Maybe you live in squalor.” – Newman
– “Well it’s a story about love, deception, greed, lust and…unbridled enthusiasm.” – Kramer “Unbridled enthusiasm…?” – Elaine “Well, that’s what led to Billy Mumphrey’s downfall.” – Kramer “Oh boy.” – Elaine “You see Elaine, Billy was a simple country boy. You might say a cockeyed optimist, who got himself mixed up in the high stakes game of world diplomacy and international intrigue.” – Kramer
– “That’s right…We just had sex… You know Jerry I’ve been searching for someone a long time. Well the search is over.” – George “And now the search for the right psychiatrist begins.” – Jerry
– “So where are you staying?” – George “Well I guess I’m stuck with the Velvet Fog.” – Jerry
– “Mr Mandel, you don’t understand…my my friend had fleas. I ran into the gas, it could have killed me, and my, my other friend couldn’t taste his peaches, they only good for two weeks.” – Elaine “I think, you’ve read, one too many, Billy Mumphrey stories. Good day Miss Benes.” – Mandel
Oddities & Fun Facts
– Paula is portrayed by Christa Miller, who also portrayed Ms. DeGranmont in “The Sniffing Accountant” (S5, E4)
– Paula and George’s discussion about velvet is a callback to “The Label Maker” (S6, E12) and Jerry calling George “The Velvet Fog” is a callback to “The Jimmy” (S6, E19)
Overall Grade (Scale 1-10)
JT: I really like this one but it definitely suffers from being jammed into the run of all timers we have been privy to lately. I thought it started strong and built a nice wave but finished pretty soft, something we have avoided lately. Kramer was great and Jerry was pretty funny too. George had his moments here but it was one of those episodes where he felt a little out of character. I didn’t care much for the Plaza stuff either as the Seinfelds are better when they are overbearing worriers instead of trashing a hotel room. Overall there is a lot to like here (Billy Mumphrey) but things fell apart towards the end. Tough grading curve, crew. Final Grade: 6/10
Aaron: Top to bottom excellence here. Everyone was on fire, the peaches were ripe and Leo visited the Orient. Best one in a while. Final Grade: 9/10
Andrew: I thought this episode started off pretty slow, but had picked up some steam by the end. It has some quality laughs, but I still felt disappointed overall. The various plots weren’t especially interesting, which makes the exposition feel clunkier, and leaves me feeling vaguely unsatisfied when all is said and done. This grade feels a little unfair, but after the run of episodes we just finished, this one just isn’t up to par. Final Grade: 6/10
Jordan: This was fine, I guess. It’s an episode where I actually wish we got more of other stories. I wanted to see Kramer smoking a pipe in Jerry’s fumigated apartment and bringing a date back there. I wanted to see Morty and Helen feasting on lobster. I wanted to see Nana become a mean, violent drunk. I wanted to see how Newman got the fleas. Basically what we got was perfectly acceptable, but I think they focused on the wrong stuff. Missed opportunity for me. Final Grade: 7/10
Jason: This episode is far from an all timer, but I did like how everything tied together well. It’s a slight decline from the hot roll that we’ve been on in this season. Final Grade: 7/10