One of the most popular sitcoms of all time, "Seinfeld" probably would not have lasted had it aired today. However, NBC was able to see a small cult audience gathering around the show when the pilot first aired in 1989, and although the first couple of seasons didn't exactly light up the ratings, or were they the best moments of the series, the sitcom eventually began to gather some serious steam.
Of course, as we all know, "Seinfeld" became one of the most influential series ever beamed over the airwaves. Running nine seasons, it pushed all the boundaries, from how the stories were told to testing the strength of accepted taboos. Before "Seinfeld", would anyone have dared talk about masturbation or feminine hygiene products on a network sitcom ? Was anyone ever killed off for comic effect on "Three's Company" or "Too Close for Comfort" ? Not bloody likely!
In the characters of George, Jerry, Elaine, and even Kramer, we were able to let fly with all the things that weren't necessarily acceptable in everyday life. They were our avatars, the ones who were "just saying what we're all thinking." Granted, they took it farther than any of us ever would, even if given the space to cut loose, but that's what made it so funny. Like a fun-house mirror, it took all of our private anxieties and blew them up to a gargantuan public spectacle.
Basically the show centers on neurotic New York stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld, his old girlfriend who he is still friends with Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), his eccentric neighbour with outlandish ideas and wacky appearance with his upright hair and loud clothing "Cosmo" Kramer (Michael Richards), and his loyal best friend the balding, self-loathing, miserly, dishonest, petty and insecure George Constanza (Jason Alexander). Most of the episodes center around Jerry's apartment as well as many other places out and about New York City.
Many minor characters appear throughout the series including but not limited to Kramer's best friend and Jerry's worst enemy Newman (Wayne Knight), Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller), Estelle Costanza (Estelle Harris), Uncle Leo (Len Lesser), David Puddy (Patrick Warburton), "J" Peterman (John O'Hurley), Susan Ross (Heidi Swedberg), Jackie Chiles (Phil Morris), Mr. Kruger (Daniel von Bargen), Morty Seinfeld (Morty Seinfeld), Helen Seinfeld (Liz Sheridan) and The Soup Nazi (Larry David).
"Seinfeld," in most episodes, consists of four stories that are interrelated. The four cast members live their own lives and get themselves in all kinds of messes just like real people. They are so close as friends that they have each other to fall back own when the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune get the best of them. It is quite understandable why none of the four has ever married. Even though in their 30's, Seinfeld and George are still tied to their parents. Both are also bundles of neuroses, particularly George.
At least Seinfeld has his looks and job as a stand up comic to keep his ego fed. George is fat, bald, basically a loser, going from job to job, living with his parents much of the time. Elaine is attractive, has a decent job, yet is somewhat of a floozy, although she won't admit it to herself. She is also so self-centered that she is unable to give much in a relationship. Kramer, well, who could live with him ? The only friend who can tolerate him for long is Newman, that nobody likes besides Kramer.
The humour throughout the series is cleverly done. It is not over the top nor is it outrageous, yet it relates to everyday events and the writers even incorporated their own experiences and brought it to life in the show. There will never be another show like "Seinfeld" and all four actors will always be remembered for "Seinfeld" no matter what happens throughout their careers. For a show about nothing, it certainly has reaped its benefits for everyone.