Welcome to Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch! On a regular basis, Justin Rozzero, Aaron George, Andrew Flanagan and Jordan Duncan 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!
Justin: Man, this is another close race. George, Jerry and Elaine were all quite good, but I have to go with the K-Man. Kramer was a real fly in the ointment for Jerry and George and I loved his Rushdie stuff and wish we got more of a payoff there. If George had a little more screen time, he probably would have taken it for me. Elaine started hot but cooled off and Jerry’s nonsense about breaking up with Sidra because she was enhanced pissed me off too much to reward him.
Aaron: Elaine is so good at being smugly superior and this is fully on display as she gleefully boasts to Jerry that Sidra’s breasts are fake, leading him down a path of insanity that surely plagues him to this day. Which is so nicely contrasted with the shame/jealousy she feels when she discovers they are real, and are, in fact, the Mount Olympus to her Indianapolis motor speedway. If you thought that comparison was awkward, watch Elaine’s face as she scopes out Sidra nude for the first time. First class stuff here from Lainey.
Andrew: I’ll go with Kramer. His Salman Rushdie storyline didn’t really go anywhere, but he was the most consistently funny character in the episode. I enjoyed his “it’s like a sauna in here” bit, I liked that he insisted on borrowing Jerry’s bathing suit, and I admire his familiarity with the female form.
Jordan: I like Elaine here, and I feel like I’m inclined to give a bump to whoever gets the ball rolling on the episode’s main story arc. That’s Elaine this time, as she plants the seeds of doubt in poor Jerry’s brain, convincing him that Sidra’s got breast implants. Jerry is a fool for letting that bother him, by the way. Back to Elaine, the scene with her and Sidra in the sauna does a nice job of securing her victory this time around.
Justin: As classic as the breast test is, I have to go with George’s quest to make out and save money on flights. It had all the best of George: stuck in an aimless relationship, screwed by a phone call, tries to be cheap and he pulls it off with the doctor and then blows it all because he can’t help himself with Timmy. In the end, he loses the girl and the cash. Perfect Costanza.
Aaron: It’s almost Kramer trying to out Salman Rushdie, but I have to give it to George just trying to get laid. He travels to Detroit, the city of losers, (how ’bout it?) just to get into a woman’s pants. Factor in the car rentals, food on the road (god knows he likes to eat) and all the fights he got into, he probably should have just ordered a prostitute.
Andrew: I wasn’t crazy about any of the storylines in this episode, but I think George’s quest for a bereavement fare was the best of the bunch. I don’t know if airlines really require a death certificate for the discount, but if they do, that practice deserves to be made fun of, and it fits in with the established cheapness of the character. And this plot includes the funniest moment of the episode, the double dip.
Jordan: I feel like the implants is the one everyone remembers because of Teri Hatcher, the line, and boobs. But George trying to score by being the doting boyfriend is better. The best part? He’s not doting at all-he just shows up, eats a ton of food, and starts asking around for a death certificate. Also, Detroit is the heart of America, Aaron! You monster!
Ethical Dilemma of the Week
Justin: Should Jerry have dumped Sidra because he thought her breasts were fake? Hell no, idiot. Look at her! At least test drive them first before you do something so rash. She obviously had the hots for Jerome so he could have closed on the next date. Asinine.
Aaron: Where do we stand on double dipping? I think they deserve a place on the scorn shelf right between Holocaust deniers and Nickelback fans. Timmy’s right. It’s like putting your whole mouth in the goddamned bowl. Honestly though with George his hands go so quickly in and out of his mouth while eating that single dipping probably wouldn’t have saved the room from swapping spit with Mr. Costanza.
Andrew: Is it OK to gossip about breast implants? On the one hand, there’s no need to feel pity for someone who gets cosmetic surgery purely out of vanity. On the other, we, as a society, could probably stand to spend less time obsessing over woman’s bodies, and judging them for the choices they make as a result of that pressure. If you couldn’t tell, this episode is depressing the crap out of me.
Jordan: If Salmon Rushdie was working out at your gym, would you want to investigate it further, or would you immediately find another gym out of fear of getting caught in the crossfire of a possible assassination? This is why I don’t work out.
Relationship Scale (Scale 1-10)
Justin: Kramer and Sal Bass really had something brewing. They had instant chemistry and Kramer landed a nice joke to break the ice. I want to see more of this dynamic duo in the future. Relationship Grade: Bass/Salmon
Aaron: Sidra is way too hot for Jerry. Look at that picture up there!!! She’s also way too reasonable. The fact that someone that attractive would go back out with someone who just dumped them to be with their ex is completely implausible. She is the high water mark for Jerry girlfriends though. He’d totally be kicking himself for the rest of his life for not closing that deal. Relationship Grade:8/10
Andrew: Peak Teri Hatcher doesn’t hurt the rating, but neither Jerry nor George had any real chemistry with their respective romantic interests. Kramer taking a steam with Sal Bass was hotter (do you see what I did there). Relationship Grade: 2/10
Jordan: George ruined poor Betsy. Since she had hearing issues, she probably relocated to a quiet place, like….Pawnee, Indiana. And she probably got a job that wouldn’t be difficult with a hearing problem, like……a librarian. Also, to make sure George couldn’t track her down, she probably changed her name to….Tammy. Poor Ron Swanson. Relationship Grade: TAMMY/10
Justin: They are indeed spectacular; Elaine bursting Jerry’s bubbles over Sidra’s talent was great; The left/right fiasco was so George, topped by the awful phone call right when he finally got his way; George’s pantomiming during the call was equally good; Kramer’s sauna joke always makes me crack up; I love Kramer again setting up to screw George on plane tickets; Elaine and Sidra dishing on Jerome in the sauna was funny, ending with the test; Kramer’s fine acting skills were on display with the bereavement ticket purchase and I loved him popping up fine with the frequent flier number; The fucking Rushdie/Sidra conversation between Kramer and Jerry; Sal Bass!; Double dip!; Nice touch and callback with Jerry trying to get on Sidra’s left side; Jerry’s breast conversation was masterful; Kramer’s bathing suit mission blowing up Jerry’s spot was well orchestrated;
Aaron: I love the contrasts in the emergency interruptions; first you get George trying to make a move and getting thwarted by an Aunt dying, then we get Jerry getting thwarted by Kramer needing a bathing suit. Both very, very serious situations, which also nicely contrast Sidra’s understanding and George’s callous mocking of his grieving girlfriend. The discussion about needing to be on a particular side of a woman to make a move hit painfully close to home for me. Kramer’s crying is great and I love that they try to revisit the frequent flyer miles scam. Cause it worked so well last time… The conversation about Kramer’s “boys” is something we hope we never need to have with our neighbors. Kramer saying “I like yours” suggests a familiarity rabbit hole that I’d rather not go down at 11:30PM on a Thursday. Timmy instantly hating George upon first sight is great and shows him to be an excellent judge of character. The double dip conversation that follows could easily go down as one of the most memorable in the series. Lastly the entire ending sequence of Sidra’s departure from the great blocking when she decides to leave to the fantastic closing line is a masterful piece of television.
Andrew: I didn’t realize until this very moment that Megan Mullally played Betsy, but it’s always good to see her. George pantomiming a plane during her tearful phone conversation made me laugh. Kramer explaining his familiarity with breast implants with “I lived in Los Angeles for three months” was pretty good, as was Jerry’s “Real busy down at the office?” line. I thought Timmy was perfect as the unpleasant brother, and the double dip scene still holds up. I had no memory of George’s Polaroid with the casket, but it made me laugh this time around.
Jordan: As it relates to Sidra, I would like to borrow a quote from the wise and sophisticated Justin Rozzero: “Hache mache!” I do like that they cast Teri Hatcher in the role since she was well known as Lois Lane, so poor Jerry unknowingly lets his dream girl leave. Her revelation that “They’re real, and they’re spectacular!” at the end is a classic Seinfeld line. Kramer’s insistence that Sal Bass is Salmon Rushdie is a fun story that suits Kramer. I talked about Elaine already above-but I’ll add I liked her talking about Jerry with Sidra and the clumsy trip into boobs is a move I’m surprised more guys don’t try out. George forcibly moving seats on the couch with Betsy is funny, and his explanation that there are only 3 emergencies in the world was good stuff. Kramer wanting to borrow Jerry’s bathing suit is awesome.
What Didn’t Work
Justin: Jerry is insane wanting to ditch super hot Sidra because her tits are fake; Timmy is a weird looking dude
Aaron: I hate when Jerry tries to pick someone up. It’s so awkward and lame that it boggles the mind as to how this man has ever gotten any trim (sorry I was thinking a lot about Eddie Murphy today).
Andrew: Jerry not wanting to hook up with a girl with fake boobs didn’t work for me. I guess it’s supposed to be part of the shallow, petty aspect of the character, but it doesn’t ring true for me, and often came across as arbitrary and mean. Similarly, I didn’t care for the “consolation guy” discussion. I usually enjoy the show’s unsentimental perspective on dating, but leveraging a death in the family to get in a woman’s pants is pushing it a bit. This stuff would probably bother me less if it had been funnier, and the lack of laughs is probably the real flaw here. Other random questions: Was Elaine wearing a flannel tied around her waist as gym attire? George is willing to ask around for a death certificate at a wake, but not admit that it’s for a discount on the plane ticket? Is only being able to make a move from one side a real thing?
Jordan: George works best when he’s an imbecile or a jerk, not when someone else is. Timmy was a real lunatic here, not George. Sure, double dipping is gross, but starting a giant fight at a wake is ridiculous. Jerry’s a fool for not wanting to date Sidra.
Key Character Debuts
Iconic Moments, Running Themes & Memorable Quotes
– “Hi, Sidra. I usually last about ten minutes on a Stairmaster. Unless of course there’s someone stretching in front of me in a leotard, then I can go an hour.” – Jerry
– “You know, uh…they’re fake.” – Elaine “What? Don’t say that!” – Jerry “Nah! They’re fake!” – Elaine “How do you know?” – Jerry “I can tell. You know how you’re always bragging how you can spot a lesbian?” – Elaine “I’m not bragging, I happen to have a very keen lesbian eye.” – Jerry “Oh, right. C’mon, don’t you think they seem a bit too perfect?” – Elaine “Yes, they do!” – Jerry “I never knew you were so into breasts. I thought you were a leg man.” – Elaine “A leg man? Why would I be a leg man? I don’t need legs. I have legs.” – Jerry
– “Don’t be so sure. Look at George – he’s on his ninth date with Betsy, he still hasn’t gotten anywhere with her.” – Jerry “What’s his problem?” – Elaine “Well, every time he tries to make a move, something screws up. Like on their last date, they were on the couch, but she was sitting on his wrong side.” – Jerry “Wrong side?” – Elaine “Yeah, she was on his right side. He can’t make a move with his left hand. Can’t go left.” – Jerry “He can’t go left.” – Elaine “No! I’m lefty, can’t go right.What about women? Do they go left or right?” – Jerry “Nah, we just play defense.” – Elaine
– “Positive! This chick’s playin’ with confederate money.” – Elaine “Well then, that’s it. That’s the end of that.” – Jerry “What? Just ’cause of that?” – Elaine “Just ’cause of that? It’s like finding out Mickey Mantle corked his bat!” – Jerry
– “You know, sometimes when I think you’re the shallowest man I’ve ever met, you somehow manage to drain a little more out of the pool.” – Elaine
– “Oh man, I wish I could get away.” – Kramer “Real busy now down at the office?” – Jerry
– “You put her on a pedestal.” – Jerry “I put them on a dental chair.” – Kramer
– “Her aunt dying is the best thing that ever happened to you.” – Jerry “It’s like ten dates in one shot.” – Kramer
– “Ah, look who’s here. Silicon Valley.” – Elaine
– “Anyway, touching two breasts doesn’t make you an expert.” – Jerry “Alright, well anyway, I think they’re real. And if they are, I must say they are…spectacular.” – Elaine “Aw, what are you doin’ to me?” – Jerry
– “Hey, of the two of us, I’m the only one who’s touched ’em.” – Elaine
– “Well, I don’t mind someone with a phony personality, but I gotta draw the line somewhere.” – Jerry
– “If that’s Rushdie, they’re real.” – Jerry “If they’re real, that’s Rushdie.” – Kramer
– “Jerry, are you blind? He’s a writer. He said his name was Sal Bass. Bass, Jerry! Instead of salmon, he went with bass! He just substituted one fish for another!” – Kramer “Look, you idiot, first of all, it’s Salman, not salmon!” – Jerry
– “Why do you need a death certificate?” – Dr. Allenwood “Well, Dr, Allenwood, uh…I was hoping to compile an – admittedly, rudimentary – scrapbook of her life. Something that Betsy could have, and hold onto.” – George
– The faux pas of double dipping a chip enters the public lexicon
– “Double-dipped”? What are you talking about?” – George “You dipped the chip. You took a bite. And you dipped again.” – Timmy “So…?” – George “That’s like putting your whole mouth right in the dip! From now on, when you take a chip – just take one dip and end it!” – Timmy
– “Good, feel good…you know that Jayne Mansfield had some big breasts. Really big, huge…just coming out the top of her dress, they were like, chokin’ her.” – Jerry
– “I don’t know, my bathing suit? That’s a little familiar, I don’t want your…your boys down there.” – Jerry “C’mon, what’s wrong with my boys?” – Kramer “Your boys should stay in their neighborhood.” – Jerry
– “I think you’re both mentally ill. And by the way…they’re real, and they’re spectacular.” – Sidra
– “They’re real, and they’re spectacular” becomes a famous catchphrase
– “Well, you see, what happened was…the doctor – the very same doctor that was attending to my late aunt – suffered an untimely stroke, and lost the use of his right hand, so…obviously I was unable to get the death certificate. However, I do have this.” – George “What’s this?” – Clerk “That’s a picture of me next to the coffin.” – George
Oddities & Fun Facts
– Teri Hatcher plays Sidra
Overall Grade (Scale 1-10)
Justin: Another classic episode in a season stocked with them. This one comes late in the game but has two iconic Seinfeld catchphrases that would penetrate pop culture in double dipping and the spectacular line. Sidra was easily one of Jerry’s best ladies so far as she was very entertaining in her role. George’s issues were pretty much the B plot and was so good it easily could have been the main storyline. Toss in Kramer’s Bass fishing and Elaine’s stumble and we have an easy winner. I can’t say it had that true epic laugh out loud moment so it falls just short of the real classics, but there was a lot here to love. I wouldn’t blame you at all if you double dipped watching this one. Final Grade: 8/10
Aaron: Great, memorable episode with solid writing and a couple of classic moments. What I love about this rewatch is that I start to look forward to The Implant because of the whole “real and spectacular bit” but then it hits me half way through that this is also the “double dip” episode. It’s so easy to forget how much they would cram into every 22 minutes. Final Grade: 8/10
Andrew: I didn’t care for this one at all. It seemed better in my memory, but that may just because “They’re real, and they’re spectacular” became a catchphrase, and the “double dip” became a cultural phenomenon. I didn’t find this episode nearly as funny as recent offerings, and without the distraction of laughs the weaker plot points start offending me more. This was a rare downer in an otherwise excellent season. Final Grade: 4/10
Jordan: This is one that I feel is overhyped. It’s got a classic line, a notable guest star in Hatcher, and a great Seinfeld-ism with the double dipping…..but there’s not a lot else going on. Still, Sidra is the best romantic interest any character has had yet and Kramer’s fascination with Sal Bass is amusing. George’s scenes at the airport are classic Costanza. So while this isn’t as great as I, and many others, remember it being, it’s still a solid outing. Final Grade: 6/10