Sunday, October 7, 2007

Fantasies of Seinfeld

So, my son has discovered Seinfeld, and turned into a huge fan of the series. Not that there's anything wrong with it, mind you. The series is, after all, the best sitcom ever in the history of broadcasting.

As has so often been repeated, it was the show about nothing, which actually means that it was the show about communication (ever read what Plato had to say about rhetoric in the Phaedrus and the Gorgias?). It was Erving Goffman's The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life turned into twenty-two minutes of comedy a week. And more often than not, it was a show about media--someone needs to compile a key of all of the references to motion pictures, other television shows, comics, and other forms of popular culture that were used in the series. As a show about nothing, it was easy to fill it up with innumerable references, allusions, and quotations.

And so, not surprisingly, Seinfeld has lent itself to further play with its iconography, re-imagining the sitcom along the lines of grand fantasy. In this spirit, I want to share with you an image my son found on the net, entitled Seinfeld Wars:







I thought that was pretty comical, especially George as R2D2, and Newman in the background as Darth Vader. Jerry fits in nicely as Luke Skywalker, Elaine makes sense as Princess Leia (and Elaine is essentially a Jewish-American Princess, even though the character is identified as a shiksa (non-Jewish woman) on the show--George and Kramer are both Jewish character types as well, even though they are presented as gentiles).

Probably the toughest decision was whether to make Kramer into Chewbacca the Wookie (Kramer does have some animalistic traits), or to depict him as C3P0, as was done here. I think this was the right choice, as they share the same quality of awkwardness, although the decision to have him hold a gun strikes me as a mistake--that's not C3P0 at all! Instead, a better correspondence would have been to give Kramer one of his typically confused expressions.

So anyway, I took a further look, and found a Seinfeld Wizard of Oz as well:







This one isn't as good, simply because the correspondence between the characters is less than perfect. Sure, Elaine could be Dorothy, who else? Jerry? Actually, in terms of group dynamics, that would make more sense. So, Jerry as the Tin Man? No heart? Jerry? I don't think so. Kramer as the Scarecrow works in regard to body type and that same awkwardness, although (as my son just pointed out to me), personality-wise the Cowardly Lion might be a better fit. Again, George as the Cowardly Lion seems to be more about body type than personality. So, nice try, but it just doesn't work.

Now, I have not done an exhaustive search, so maybe a Star Trek Seinfeld is out there? Jerry as Captain Kirk, Elaine as Lieutenant Uhura, George as Dr. McCoy, and Kramer as, what else? The alien, Mr. Spock. Well, if it hasn't been done, maybe there's an artist out there willing to take this on?

How about applying McLuhan's laws of media to form a Seinfeld tetrad? Here goes:

Enhance=Jerry
Obsolesce=George
Retrieve=Kramer
Reverse=Elaine

All right, all right, enough already, I admit it. This has been the blog about nothing, and that's no fantasy.

3 comments:

Rasmenia said...

Ha ha...this is so funny. I am a Seinfeld fanatic, so I got a kick out if it.

Jerry as Captain Kirk...hmm...yeah, I can see it. :)

jsalexandra said...

Well you are absolutely right about the show.The seinfeld show is certainly the best.I really like to watch seinfeld episodes,all of them are like gems of a crown.The humor in the show is really one of a kind and makes the show a remarkable one.

Lilly said...

I used to watch Seinfeld a few years ago, i really liked that.
a lot of people did