I didn't think the Seinfeld finale was that bad

In syndication it’s a two-parter and I haven’t seen part one for quite a while but I do remember it wasn’t very good. On the other hand, part two with the trial and all the returning characters was great.

It gets a lot of criticism but what were they going to do? The concept was actually brilliant and gave a nice closure to 9 seasons of self-absorbed weirdos in their daily routine of pettiness and elaborate schemes to gain advantage over others.

In the final scene before the credits, the four main characters sit in a jail cell and begin a conversation about George’s shirt buttons, using lines from the very first episode of the series (“The second button is the key button. It literally makes or breaks the shirt.”) My cable channel plays the episodes sequentially, so part two of the finale was following by that first episode “Pilot” which opens with the button conversation.

When I watch it on Netflix - which is the whole episode and not with parts cut out on syndication - I think it works better. I think it would have been fun to spend some of the episode with prison (we get the Jerry standup bit, but I would love to have seen some Elaine in prison clips). And maybe a quick “one year later” episode. Maybe Elaine would have been the original “Orange Is The New Black” author. Kramer gives a Reality Tour with a prison segment. Jerry becomes known as “The Convict Comedian” and gets gigs with for-profit prisons. George… well, he becomes one of those white collar prison consultants and gets rich helping stockbrokers ready for the big house. He could even have some tats!

I thought the point of the episode was that the main characters finally received the punishment they deserved for all of their awful behavior. So in that respect, I didn’t mind the ending.

What parts were cut out?

Yes, that makes the most sense. Especially with the preceding scenes. But I also thought it made a statement about the characters. The actors would to on to play other characters, but the Seinfeld characters were “locked away”. They would never have another episode to reveal new things about themselves or be put in new situations.

Until they showed up in the Seinfeld reunion special on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

And how right that is. I can’t tell you how many shirts I have where the second button is a bit too high and it feels better to leave it unbuttoned. And then I look sloppy. Top buttons are out of the question. I never use them.

part of the big thing is nbc ran an hour clip show right before the actual finale and then the finale was a over-hyped clip show itself (with the same clips they just watched) when a lot of people were expecting something original

it wasn’t bad just a big “meh”

I mean, I see where they were going with it, but it wasn’t funny, and didn’t even seem like it was trying to be. You’d hope the series finale of a sitcom would be comedy.

I’ve only seen it once, the night it aired. I remember thinking that for a lot of the time, they were just sitting in the court room listening to previous guest stars complain about how bad they were.

I know that wasn’t the entire episode, but it felt like they weren’t fully in their own finale.

And sitting in the same way they always sat at Monk’s

Are they even supposed to be used unless you’re wearing a tie?

This is brilliant! I would love to see that ending.

I just rewatched it recently and I think it was a matter of editing. I think there was a funny 22 minutes in there but it dragged and was awkwardly timed. It wouldn’t have been great, but it wouldn’t have been a dud.

I’m a firm believer that ANY series finale that’s a glorified clip show is the worst way you can end a show, especially now when modern streaming has made clip shows completely obsolete.

Holmes on Elementary always buttons up, sans tie.

I’ve read a few ‘how I would have ended Seinfeld’ stories. They were all funnier than the actual finale.

In one, Jerry is diagnosed with terminal whining- it is fatal as he is unable to eat anything, even cereal. George kills his parents. He explains why he killed them and becomes a hero to nebbishes everywhere.

In another, the main characters wind up marooned on an island. George is thrilled that he never has to endure his parents or society again. He is overjoyed when they find crates of velvet clothes in the plane wreckage. Elaine finds a lifetime supply of Today sponges. She is unsure though that any of the men is spongeworthy. Kramer thinks he’s seen cannibal natives. Jerry is terrified that he must spend the rest of his life with these people.

I agree with the thought that instead of an ending, it was just a clip show.

So did Adrian Monk.

An ironic clip show. The series was known for good writing and good comedic timing. A clip show was a perfect ending to that because it wasn’t.

I’m either not seeing what you are seeing, or not understanding your argument.

Is the perfect ending to a meal at a restaurant known for great cooking a dessert course made terribly- but served ironically?