Seinfeld Now Streaming On Netflix 2021
For a “show about nothing” it really became something. Seinfeld not only encapsulated the zeitgeist of the decade in which it aired, but its colourful characters and witty dialogue wormed their way into our lexicon and changed the landscape of television for decades to come.
Revolving around a fictionalized version of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, the sitcom showcased the minutiae of life in the ‘90s as he, his best friend George, next door neighbour Kramer, and on-again/off-again girlfriend Elaine navigated work, love, and the search for non-fat frozen yogurt in New York City.
With Seinfeld now streaming on Netflix in 2021, it seems as good a time as any to revisit the best episodes to start your binge-watching marathon:
THE CHINESE RESTAURANT (Season 2, Episode 11)
Most of the first two seasons of Seinfeld are somewhat forgettable, but the series arguably came into its own with this episode. Using a trope that would become a hallmark of the show - an everyday social situation we all find ourselves trapped in - this episode lampooned the huge waiting times people suffer through before being seated at a restaurant. From waiting-line dares to catching up on phone calls, the episode was a side-splitting commentary on an all-too-familiar experience.
THE LIBRARY (Season 3, Episode 5)
As if the principle characters weren’t zany enough, Seinfeld was renowned for its litany of kooky and memorable secondary characters like Frank and Estelle Costanza, the Maestro, and the Bubble Boy, to name a few.
The first of these colourful eccentrics to appear in the series was Lt. Bookman, a hard-nosed library cop Jerry runs afoul of in this episode. The performance by actor Philip Baker Hall in this role is hilarious!
THE CONTEST (Season 4, Episode 11)
It routinely tops the list of the best and most influential Seinfeld episodes of all time, and with good reason. “The Contest” not only introduced the taboo topic of self-gratification to a prime-time audience, it did so in an ingenious and hilarious way: a wager amongst the four principle characters to see who can hold out the longest without playing a little “pocket-hockey.” Surprising to the end, the episode introduced the phrase, “Master of Your Domain,” as a euphemism for conquering the urge to masturbate to the English lexicon.
THE IMPLANT (Season 4, Episode 19)
In many ways, Terry Hatcher was the “it-girl” of the ‘90s, sending hearts aflutter with her stunningly beautiful good looks and turns as a Bond girl and Superman’s true love, Lois Lane.
But before she starred as those characters, she was Sidra, a girlfriend of Jerry’s who became the subject of an elaborate sting operation involving a health club, Elaine, and a steam room. By this episode’s end the question on everybody’s mind is answered with the now-famous line: “they’re real, and they’re spectacular!”
THE PILOT (Season 4, Episodes 23-24)
Most of Season 4 engaged in a truly “meta” plotline, as Jerry and George vied to film a pilot for NBC that revolved around Jerry’s life and stand-up comedy routine. The season-long plotline culminated in this two parter, which not only saw the completion of the pilot, but the conclusion of the “Crazy Joe Davola” saga and the final fate of Russell Dalrymple, the Elaine-obsessed NBC executive who greenlit the pilot in the first place.
THE MARINE BIOLOGIST (Season 5, Episode 14)
One of the series’ running gags was George’s comfortability and adeptness at stretching the truth, living by the motto, “it’s not a lie if you believe it.” Over the course of the series, George has lied about everything from his relationship status to his job. In this episode, lying to his love interest about being a marine biologist backfires spectacularly when he has to rescue a beached whale. Although the “sea was angry that day my friends,” you’ll be left in stitches!
THE OPPOSITE (Season 5, Episode 22)
Life never really worked out for George. Despite his penchant for lying his way out of situations, his ineptitude, anger, and neuroticism always kept him on the loosing end of things. Finally fed up with being a loser, George decides to do the opposite of every decision or impulse he has, and things start going well for him!
THE FACE PAINTER (Season 6, Episode 23)
Like the airport pick-up, the “thank you phone call” is a binding social contract, especially if you’ve been given free hockey tickets. That’s a lesson Kramer impressed on Jerry when he scored tickets to a New Jersey Devils game from causal acquaintance Alec Berg.
Beyond that, this episode featured the irrepressible and always hilarious Patrick Warburton as Elaine’s dim-witted boyfriend David Puddy, an unabashedly proud sports team face-painter.
THE SOUP NAZI (Season 7, Episode 6)
If there was ever an award for the most quoted Seinfeld line ever, “NO SOUP FOR YOU,” would definitely top the list. Played by Larry Thomas, the “Soup Nazi” was the owner and chef of a favoured soup restaurant Jerry and George frequented. However, his stringent rules regarding conduct and ordering in his restaurant earned him that unenviable nickname.
Fun Fact: the character was based on a real-life person whose restaurant the actors used to frequent!
THE YADA YADA (Season 8, Episode 19)
It’s a testament to the writers of Seinfeld that they could take a common idiom and make it a pop culture phenomenon. In “The Yada Yada,” Jerry and company introduce the phrase as a way to gloss over unimportant details, with Elaine going so far as to “yada yada” a romantic encounter she had the night before. The episode also features a pre-Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston as a recurring character, dentist Tim Whatley.
THE SERENITY NOW (Season 9, Episode 3)
With parents like Frank and Estelle Costanza, it’s not hard to see why George is such a stewpot of neuroticism. Constantly erupting into loud arguments, ridiculous diatribes, and scathing critiques of their son, the Costanzas were simultaneously hilarious and cringeworthy.
In this episode, George tries to show up his childhood rival by selling more computers out of his father’s garage. Frank, for his part, has started to listen to some self-help tapes to attain “SERENITY NOW!”
THE FINALE (Season 9, Episodes 23-24)
You couldn’t avoid the inevitable water cooler discussions after the finale of Seinfeld aired on May 14, 1998. After years of exhibiting themselves as the shallowest and most hilariously amoral people inhabiting the television landscape, Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine were sent to prison for violating a Good Samaritan law. Better yet, they were indicted by a cavalcade of secondary characters that appeared throughout the series. Although some thought it too preachy, there’s no doubt “The Finale” was a funny trip down memory lane.
These are just some of the episodes that prove Seinfeld to be the landmark sitcom it was and still is. Groundbreaking, influential, but most of all funny, the “show about nothing” definitely delivers on laughs. With all nine seasons currently on Netflix, there’s no need to take our word for it- explore every season on your own and see for yourself!