Saturday, January 10, 2009

Seinfeld Series 2 Episode 4: "Why can't I meet a Kennedy?"

The Baby Shower
Standup: Some stereotyping from Jerry on how men and women use the remote control. This returns in a later episode( 'men hunt and women nest") when Jerry gets heckled during a gig.

Anyway, this episode written by Larry Charles includes more of the darker overtones of some of these early episodes
In the diner with Jerry, George and Elaine. George's disastrous date with a performance artist a few years ago is the topic of discussion. The date with Leslie was a set up from Elaine. It wasn't a success.
Jerry is remembering: "And she's on stage cooking dinner for some celebrity'
George: "God, she's cooking dinner for God".
What most peeves George is that his shirt was ruined when she Leslie threw chocolate on it, supposedly as part of the performance. Significant.

George has a few nice lines here regarding his ruined shirt: "I still have it, the collar's okay, I wear it under sweaters"...and his grudge against the performance artist is clearly on show: "Let Maria Shriver give her a baby shower". Cute, how this is still topical after so many years, not always the case with TV pop culture references.

For Leslie has asked Elaine to throw her a baby shower. The story is that Elaine needs Jerry's apartment for the shower because her roomate has lyme disease.
George (still wallowing in his rejection from Leslie) ; Some day before I die, I'm going to tell that woman what I think of her. I'll never be able to forgive myself until I do"
Jerry: And if you do?
George: Well I still won't be able to forgive myself, but at least it won't be about this"

The apartment: Kramer is berating Jerry for his bad TV reception, encouraging him to get illegal cable. Kramer is most disparaging, berating and shouting at Jerry for his principles which are denying him a wonderful world of television viewing.
Jerry: What you're suggesting is illegal
Kramer:It's not illegal
Jerry: It's against the law
Kramer: well yeah...

Kramer has a Russian emigrant ready and waiting in his own apartment to hook up the cable. His final, wildly convincing argument is "It's the 90s's Hammer time!". Yes indeed, the 90s were hammer time with those big baggy pants. Kramer does a cute little hammer dance as he exits to get the Russians.
Jerry is finally convinced. Tomorrow the cable is going to be installed. Surely, no problems here. But what about the baby shower?

The apartment: Jerry returns from out of town. The FBI are waiting for him. And here is the best scene in the episode where we transition to fantasy as Jerry tries to run away from the agents who have hunted him down for his illegal cable and they shoot him in a hail of gunfire. Suddenly it's a scene from Die Hard. As the bullets cease, Kramer runs across the apartment to cradle the dying Jerry in his arms. "Cable boy, cable boy, what have you done to my little cable boy". Jerry wakes from his nightmare on the plane flying to his gig out of town. They're turning the plane around due to a blizzard.

In the car: George is giving Jerry a lift home from the airport. Notice the red shirt under the sweater everyone. Jerry is on to the ulterior motive pretty quickly. Jerry suggests going back to George's, George wants to drop off jerry's bag at his place first, where Elaine is having the shower.
Jerry: Red shirt, red shirt!
George: It's payback time!

The apartment: In a complete turnaround, Elaine is fawning over Leslie and her connection to the Kennedys. And then disaster, Kramer arrives with his Russian cable guys.
Elaine: Who is this guy
Kramer: oh, they're Soviet cable guys....

Like it's the most natural thing in the world to bring some Russians into a party to hook up some illegal cable.

In the car: Jerry and George are rehearsaing George's payback speech. By the end of it George is wild with rage and vitriol and ready for a fight.

Back upstairs: Kramer has installed himself in the party and his chatting up one of the guests: 'I eat the whole apple, core, stem, seeds...ever eat the bark off of a pineapple?"

The cable guys are causing a mild ruckus in the midst of the party. George is psyching himself up for his big moment. Elaine tells him off. He feigns innocence. The red shirt is revealed, chocolate stains galore. And then George approaches Leslie and dissolves into a meek and mild suck up. Meanwhile Jerry is stood up in front of everyone by an old date in a lovely display of public vengeance. Everyone is either bemused or amused. And George ends up with more mess on his shirt when Leslie accidently drops her cake on him.

By now, Jerry has decided against the illegal cable. that's going to cost him 400 dollars to get it uninstalled.
The shower has been a failure. George leaves, following Leslie,now carrying all her baby shower presents.

The apartment: The Soviets have broken the TV because Jerry refused to pay. Elaine is despondent; "Why can't I meet a Kennedy?". The mention of JFKjunior dates the episode rather here. It's been a bad night all round for everyone except Kramer.

He's going to watch Dr Zhivago on cable and make popcorn.


Dan Barrett said...

"Jerry's gonna be a cable boy!"

The George sub-plot for the episode almost destroys it for me, but Jerry and Kramers foray into illegal cable television is a humdinger.

Wendy said...

"a cable boy, a cable boy"

it certainly is...the shootout scene is one of my all time favourites (although when I say all time favourites that means one of hundreds)

i just like George's interaction with bosco which comes back later in the Susan-password dilemma :)