13th Jan2012

The Gang Goes Seinfeld All Over Their Asses

by Will

Unless you’re new here, you know that I know next to nothing about sports. As a result, I tend to relate even less to sports fans. And don’t get me started on fantasy teams! Nope, not a sports guy. What I do know, however, is TV. Sometimes, when I really get into a show, I start thinking about how things could’ve gone differently. This morning, I had quite the revelation about the darling of Must See TV, Seinfeld.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve surely caught an episode of Seinfeld in syndication. You’ve probably seen all the watercooler episodes, like Soup Nazi, Man Hands, and Mulva. If you’re like me, you’ve seen them all. As it was marketed, Seinfeld was a “show about nothing”. Or so they claimed. You see, in the finale, they decide to pull the finale macguffin that “everything wasn’t as it seemed.” Sure, it wasn’t anything as daring as the Roseanne finale, but the thesis was that the Seinfeld crew were, and always had been, assholes. To sum it up, the gang are on the way to LA, but the plane has to make an emergency landing in a small town. While there, they notice a fat guy being mugged, but instead of helping him, they just kinda laugh. Since this was a violation of a newly-instated “bystander law”, which required citizens to intervene in such cases, the four are arrested. At this point, several guest stars from the past are paraded into the courtroom to support the idea that, yes, the four are horrible, horrible assholes. Episode ends with them being sentenced for a year, and our last image is of them on their cell.

I HATED that finale. It served to give the show a retroactive thesis that didn’t exist. Sure, they were all selfish characters, but they never did anything malicious. Their biggest crime was probably that they were always looking out for themselves, which, at times, *may* have been at the expense of others. The parade of cameos was almost necessary to build this case against them, but it really came off as “Larry David doesn’t know how to end this show.”
That finale bothered me so much that I couldn’t watch syndicated episodes for over a DECADE. Seriously, the show ended in 98, and I just started watching again last year. What brought me back? I got into syndicated eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and one season’s plot concerned a “Seinfeld Reunion”. From a TV fan perspective, it’s so unique to a see reunion take place within the story of another show. The only other example that comes to mind is the Night Court reunion on 30 Rock. I also enjoyed the idea because the ideas being thrown around actually sounded like Seinfeld ideas, and not something from left field like that finale.

So, how’d we get here? Well, this morning, it dawned on me that the Seinfeld finale was PERFECT…for another series. That show: It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. I’ve often felt it to be the show that “out-Seinfelded” Seinfeld. Sure, they own a bar, but that’s just a setting. At the end of the day, it’s another show about nothing. That said, the characters will go to malicious lengths to get what they want. They been addicted to crack, conned a priest into becoming a crackwhore, opened the bar to minors, tricked pro-lifers into unprotected sex, bought a boat to seduce women on international waters, etc. And that’s just the first few seasons. There’s no other way for the show to end BUT for them to all be in a jail cell. So, the Sunny gang has Larry David to thank, as he’s already done the heavy lifting on what will be the beat sendoff for their show. As the show is currently in its 7th season, they reportedly have 2 more to go. Charlie Day’s been popping up in real movies, while Rob McElhenney’s starting up 2 new shows. So, it’s only a matter of time before they have to pull that trigger. Seeing as how they’ve done amazing parodies of Million Dollar Baby and Catfish, I’d love to see them go out with a parody of the Seinfeld finale. It would finally put that story to good use.

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