Seinfeld Trial 2007?

December 2, 2007

Almost 10 years after the cast of Seinfeld was sentenced to jailtime for criminal indifference, in an undeniably disappointing final episode, I think back on that double episode with a bit of curiosity. I caught a little bit of the final episode recently… the judge tells Kramer, Jerry, Elaine, and George, “I do not know how, or under what circumstances the four of you found each other, but your callous indifference and utter disregard for everything that is good and decent has rocked the very foundation upon which our society is built. I can think of nothing more fitting than for the four of youto spend a year removed from society so that you can contemplate the manner in which you have conducted yourselves.”

And frankly, I didn’t buy it. I kinda bought it back in 1998. But today, in 2007, I don’t. I think I’ve become numb to the bullshit crimes against humanity Jerry and George committed. Sure. They were shallow and douchey… but how do they compare to the TV characters of today?

I mean, a lot has changed in 10 years. 9/11. Bush in the office for almost 8 years. And TV has definitely changed. Even the characters on South Park have become crazier. Look at the progression of Stan’s dad and Mr. Garrison. They’ve definitely become 50 times worse than a Seinfeld character. Family Guy and American Dad are front-runners too… taking immorality to great, animated lengths. (I’m not complaining. I love these shows.)

In terms of live-action comedies, look at Arrested Development. Or Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Even a couple of characters on 30 Rock. These characters are considerably more morally bankrupt than the main characters of Seinfeld.

Like… when Dennis becomes a man-whore.

Or when the gang finds a dumpster baby and tries to turn a buck on it…

Or many other moments… the guys try to fuck each others’ moms, Dee and Dennis become crack addicts to mooch off the government, etc.

The parents in Arrested Development aren’t exactly stellar examples of good parents…constantly lying, playing favorites, etc. Gob and Lindsay are particularly soulless… I couldn’t find any good clips on YouTube. Fox pulled all the good ones. Bastards. Consider that two young cousins basically want to do each other, the patriarch framed his twin brother on multiple occasions to avoid prison, and the family’s company built model homes (forts) in Iraq. A little worse than George eating an éclair out of the trash…

I could go on and on… Californication, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Lucky Louie, Weeds, Samantha Who, etc etc etc. All these shows feature soulless assholes…and we laugh at them. It’s become the latest trend. The worse, the better. And I tend to wonder when we became so numb to it all.

Personally, I love it. And that’s why more and more of it is coming our way. It’s taking that much more to shock us.

Watching the finale of Seinfeld in reruns was even more disappointing today than it was in 1998. Who cares if these losers go to jail? Now, if they’d become crack addicts, ruined people’s lives more severely, or run from their illegitimate children… okay. I might buy it.

I’ll give credit where it’s due. There was a certain shock-value to what the cast of Seinfeld did in its run. It set the stage for shows like Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Arrested Development.

However, if that same trial happened today, comparing Seinfeld‘s infamous four to the other characters in TVLand… I’d say they’d only get a mere slap on the wrist. If that. A warning. Maybe a fine. But not prison.

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