Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stupid Summer Project: The Chinese Restaurant

George: For fifty buck? I'd put my face in their soup and blow.

George: You know we're living in a society! We're supposed to act in a civilized way!

Comment: what more can be said about this classic, real time episode that is the closest the show got to being about nothing? It has so much of the show's heart: the attention to minute detail, the anxiety, the social obligations, misunderstandings, awkwardnesses, formalities, the bathroom and sex humor, the focus on the mundane.

George has a wonderful moment of cheapness (He thinks $20 is too much to bribe, and then says they can split it 7-7-6).

This episode really does miss Kramer: he brings a chaotic zaniness to show that really helps balance the attention to the tedious that Elaine, Jerry, and George bring to the early episodes. This may even work as a case lesson for aspiring writers. What does Kramer add to the show, but more importantly, what is missing when he's not there? What does his presence bring attention to? How does his presence change the tone of a scene, the perception of a character? He is a necessary character to make the show work consistent.

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