My friend has never watched Seinfeld: What should we start with?

Today I was talking to one of my closest friends, when I made a reference to George Costanza. She gave me a blank look and asked me who he was. To my disbelief, I discovered that she has never actually watched an episode of Seinfeld.

OK, OK, I get that most people aren’t as obsessed with that show as I am, but still. After getting over the preliminary shock, I immediately invited her over for a massive Seinfeld marathon, as was the only proper thing to do. My local library is well-stocked, so we can watch pretty much whatever episodes we want.

Now, at first I started thinking of all the “classics” - which ones count as classics could be the subject of a whole thread - but then I paused. Would coming in completely cold to the show around, say, Season 6 be confusing? There were never many long plot arcs, but the audience was expected to know all the characters. Should we just start with Season 1? Maybe watch the first episode and then, knowing the basics, skip ahead? Come on, people - a fellow human being is Kramer-less!

Start with season 2. Then do 3, 4, 1, 5, 6, 7.

(1 is a bit weak in comparison with 2, 3, and 4.)

Think she’ll like it, or ‘get it’? Some people sit there stone faced, Seinfeld humor going right over their heads. “Is this supposed to be funny? These people are awful.”

Don’t stare, peek. Like looking at the sun
Jimmy holds grudges

Either of those would be fine! But - it’s kind of funny - at first I thought you were giving him advice about expectations of the show for the friend.

Don’t stare at your friend analyzing every reaction, just peek over every now and then at see the reaction.

Seinfeld was an incredible show. I’d show one with Peterman!

“The Contest”
“The Bubble Boy”
“The Soup Nazi”
“The Marble Rye”
“The Yada Yada”
“The Sponge”
“The Chinese Restaurant”
“The Puffy Shirt”
“The Bottle Deposit”
“The Nap”

I would agree with starting with Season 2. Season one is shorter and not as polished. Worth seeing after you already like the show.

First episode I ever saw was The Opera which is still one of my favorites but you miss a bit starting with that one because it is part of a bigger story with Joe Devola.

Wonder what you’d have thought if I’d gone with;

They’re real. And they’re spectacular!
It really was a great show.

If you haven’t already done so, I’d explain that this was not mainstream humor, and that these people are not necessarily supposed to be likable: it’s Larry David, after all. Also, the characters get more mean-spirited as the series progresses. My favorite character ended up being Puddy by the time it was all over.


Mrs. FtG and I have just started watching it as out bedtime-start drifting off series.

Started with Season 1, of course. It is weak but the 2nd episode (The Stakeout) is pretty good. Morty 1.0. What’s wrong with Loni Anderson?

There’s only 5 episodes so it’s not a big time sink, plus you get to see the set up for later things. E.g., the origin of Art Vandelay.

So watch in order. Stop when you get to the later seasons if you want.

Otherwise watch a few select episodes. Honey’s list illustrates the problem with that, though. E.g., you cannot watch The Contest without watching The Virgin first. The Marble Rye ties into a lot of other episodes. The last 2 on that last aren’t that great. How can anybody leave off The Parking Garage? Etc.

If you want to confine yourself to just one season, Season 4 is the best, IMHO. Fairly well integrated story arc for this show.

I saw start with The Chinese Restaurant or The Parking Garage. They aren’t the absolute best episodes, but the encapsulate Seinfeld pretty darn well. If they don’t even crack a smile with those, just give up.

Side note: I never understand why people always recommend what they think is the best episode to new viewers (I’m looking at you Doctor Who-Blink). You see that first and it’s all downhill from there.

Honestly, I’d start with the one where Jerry and Elaine try to fix up George with Elaine’s friend (I can’t remember her name). We just watched it the other night, and although I had seen it several times before, I was struck by how well that episode captures the “show about nothing” mentality. I mean, they have a 4-minute conversation about eyebrows, for God’s sake. And it’s hilarious.

It’s also a good episode for your friend to get a sense of the characters’ sensibilities, since their personalities are described in detail when they’re “selling” their friends to each other. Just a thought!

I would start with Kenny Rogers chicken, it’s a great stand-alone episode and it’s also a great Kramer and Newman 1 or maybe pinky toe

I always think the episode where George becomes a marine biologist is the one where they really nailed what they wanted to do with the show’s structure from that point onwards. The moment when George whips that golf ball out of his pocket tied the episode’s two strands together so perfectly. Watching them achieve similarly ingenious resolutions became one of the show’s real pleasures right the way through to end of its run.

If I were you, though, I’d leave your friend be. Having a show forced on you always puts you in an impossible position: you don’t want to look ungrateful or dumb, so you know you HAVE to laugh whatever happens, you’re going to be self-conscious about whether you’re laughing or not and you’ve got your friend watching your every reaction like a hawk. You’d rather be anywhere but stuck in front of that damn screen in such uncomfortable circumstances, and how can anyone relax and watch a comedy show with any kind of natural enjoyment in a situation like that?

Leave her be: she’ll either discover the show for herself or she won’t. No big tragedy.

You left off The Outing–Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I agree with some other responders: You may be planning a “massive Seinfeld marathon,” but she could decide after one or two episodes that the show just isn’t her cup of tea. Or, she could be up for watching whole seasons with you. But I’d suggest opening strong, with an episode or two that demonstrate why people who like the show and its characters like them, and that doesn’t require prior experience to appreciate.

Right now I can’t think which one(s) would be best for that, though.

Oooh, I’d have to say Chinese restaurant, Marble Rye, or (one of my favorites) the one about chocolate vs. cinnamon Babka. Followed soon by the one where Kramer has his coffee table book on Regis and Kathy Lee (if that wasn’t already covered). Or the pirate puffy shirt (which I bought myself from the real J. Peterman the year before!). N.B…I haven’t watched the show in a while. Oooh, what about the one where Kramer and Newman are trying to make bank by arbitraging Michigan vs. NY deposit/recycling rates, and Kramer throws JFK’s golf clubs out the mailtruck door. That was pretty good.

E.T.A. I think **Honey **covered all my favorites :slight_smile:


I love the ones with Puddy.

“You stole my Jesus fish, didn’t ya!”

“It’s simple, you’re both going it hell”. “That’s bogus man!”

Not sure if it was the same episode, but one scene opened up on Puddy sitting on Elain’s couch alone. Doing nothing. Just siting with a blank look on his face. To me that was just hilarious.

I agree. I love how his relationship with Elaine is off & on again throughout the episode with Jerry buying a car from Puddy. The fees that are being added to the price of the car while the relationship is off is hilarious… :smiley: