Monday 25 May 2020

Book ~ "Seinfeld: A Cultural History" (2020) Paul Arras

From Goodreads ~ Since coming to an end at the pinnacle of its popularity, Seinfeld's story continues. The show's enduring appeal has helped earn its creators billions of dollars and counting. Many of the most popular and acclaimed comedy series of the twenty-first century are direct descendants of Seinfeld's style, and the show's ideas are now woven into the ways people think and behave. 

The greatest sitcom of the final years of the broadcast era, "Seinfeld" broke the rules, changed both television and America forever, and remains a living part of American culture. 

"Seinfeld: A Cultural History" explores the show's history with a look at the show's legendary co-creators, its supporters (and skeptics) at NBC, and its award-winning cast. By all the traditional rules of television, "Seinfeld" never should have made it to the air. 

Paul Arras pays close attention to the writers and writing of the show, offering a fresh look at the episodes themselves and assessing its broader cultural impact. Throughout he also dissects the show's main quartet and the other memorable characters that foursome interacted with over the show's eight seasons. This book considers what the adventures of Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine reveal about the nineties and what messages they pass along to twenty-first century viewers. 

"Seinfeld: A Cultural History" will lead any fan of the show back to the series to re-watch old episodes with new insights and observations. Readable and illuminating, the book's well-researched discussion of the show's background and legacy is an essential guide for Seinfeld viewers and scholars alike. Most of all, "Seinfeld: A Cultural History" is an enjoyable way to engage, or reengage, with one of the funniest shows of all time! 

This book is about Seinfeld, the show about four self-centered friends and what happens in their lives.

The chapters are:
  1. Jerry and Larry
  2. A Guy Walks into NBC ...
  3. Who (Almost) Killed the Pilot?
  4. Ensemble Alchemy
  5. The Four
  6. The People in their Neighbourhood
  7. Faith, Race and Place in Seinfeld's New York
  8. Jerry and Company in the World and in the Bedroom
  9. The Spectacle, the Disappointment and the Brilliance of the Finale
  10. Television Legacy
  11. Critics and Missteps
  12. Seinfeld Today
  13. The Rankings:  Every Episode from Best to Worst

The book provides the details about how the show came to be ... Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld coming up with a show that the network didn't really believe in and David and Seinfeld themselves didn't think would go anywhere (David hoped it wouldn't).  It lasted nine seasons until Seinfeld decided to quit while they were on top.   It was interesting to learn more about the writing and how the stories came about.

There is information about the backgrounds of Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards along with what they have been doing post-Seinfeld.

If you are/were a fan of Seinfeld, you'll find this book interesting.

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