Seinfeld, Season 4 (1992 – 1993)

by | Jun 3, 2005 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

 Seinfeld, Season 4 (1992 – 1993)

Starring:  Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander
Studio: Castle Rock/Sony Pictures
Video: Dolby Digital Stereo
Audio: 4:3 full screen
Extras: The Breakthrough Season, Notes about Nothing, Inside Looks, In
the Vault (deleted scenes), Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That
(bloopers), Yada Yada Yada (audio commentaries), Master of his Domain
(Seinfeld comedy footage), Sponsored by Vandelay Industries
(promotional ads & trailers)
Length: Approx. 552 minutes (4 discs)
Rating: ****

The comedy Seinfeld, about the lives of four self absorbed, single New
Yorkers, had a strong cult following, but it was during Season 4 that
the series became hugely successful. The show follows the day to day
antics and misadventures of Jerry Seinfeld, a comedian and his friends
Elaine Benes, George Costanza and the unforgettable Kramer. It was
during Season 4 that people began to remark “This is such a Seinfeld
moment!” as the show became more universally discussed at the water
cooler. One of the best remembered lines is from The Outing-the episode
when Jerry and George are mistakenly outed publicly by a college
newspaper reporter. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that” was
repeated over and over during that episode and has been in the
vernacular ever since.

Each episode has more than one plot line and somehow they manage to
connect with each other in various unlikely ways by the end of the
episodes. A few memorable moments: In The Implant Jerry enlists
Elaine’s help to find out if  his new girlfriend’s breasts are
real. Terry Hatcher (pre-Desperate Housewives fame) gets the great exit
line when she learns of the scheme “They’re real and they’re
spectacular!” And George ruins everything for himself with a girlfriend
when he double dips at a wake. In The Bubble Boy Susan and George visit
the title character while on a holiday and George ends up in a fight
with him over Trivial Pursuit. (The writers were able to make the
bubble boy unsympathetic by giving him a harsh adult voice and
obnoxious lines and showing only his hands with which he tries to
strangle George.) In The Old Man, Jerry, Elaine and George actually
volunteer to work with senior citizens. Given their level of self
centeredness, misadventures abound. George cannot understand his guy’s
love of life, asking how can he be so happy when he’s “so close to the
end?” The old man promptly dismisses him. And then there’s the subplot
of The Pick with Elaine’s angst over her nipple showing Christmas card.
In The Junior Mint Jerry cannot remember the name of his girlfriend
though he knows it rhymes with a female body part. In The Airport
Jerry’s in First Class and Elaine’s in Coach. What a contrasting set of
experiences!  The above is a tiny sampling of the hilarity that
abounds. The great thing about Seinfeld is that this show is infinitely
re-watchable.  

The Cheever Letters, The Implant, The Outing and The Contest with their
hot button issues and plot elements made Seinfeld the breakthrough
season. The writers were even able to make unfunny concepts funny such
as in The Trip when Kramer is a suspected serial killer. Throughout the
season, the envelop was being pushed further. Elaine, as one of the
boys, would go along with all of their outrageous schemes, one of the
great things about her character.

Probably one of the best remembered episodes of the season, maybe of
any of the seasons, is The Contest, a show about masturbation where the
word was never used. George is caught by his mother doing “you know . .
.I was alone. . .” and swears never again, a declaration that prompts
the four of them to put up money to see who can hold out the longest.
If the word had been used, even once, the show would not have been
nearly as hilarious. The episode was totally inoffensive. The Contest
won rave reviews and an Emmy.

This 24 episode set is loaded with special features which further
enhance the fun. There’s a wealth of interesting interview material
with the writers, producers and actors on various aspects of the show.
In addition to the principle actors and writers, there are more
engaging thoughts from actors such as Heidi Swedberg (Susan, George’s
girlfriend), Wayne Knight (Newman), Estelle Harris (George’s mother)
and others.

The Breakthrough Season is a 20 minute behind the scenes documentary
exploring how Season 4 was developed. There’s an amusing 5 minute
parody of Regis and Kathy Lee. Ten of the episodes include optional
audio commentaries. Especially good is the one with “The Cheever
Letters” with Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Jason Alexander and Michael
Richards narrating. The famous panty remark at the conclusion was an
example of “how no one ever got ahead of our stories. It got one of the
biggest laughs ever.” A scene with Susan’s parents at dinner was “like
working in a Fellini film.” These kind of spontaneous conversations are
a big plus.

Many of the deleted scenes were funny enough to have been included in
the episodes. Another treat are 10 Inside Looks (mini features) which
provide all kinds of interesting information and observations. There
are about  70 bloopers in the 20 minute Blooper feature.

The Notes about Nothing is my least favorite feature as reading them
onscreen is sometimes distracting. Some of the notes are too trivial to
be of any interest. Of course the best way to experience the episodes
is to watch them without commentary or notes.You can always watch again
with either the commentary narratives or the notes feature on the
screen. Other features are listed in the heading above.

I enjoyed immensely every single episode of the 24. Not one mediocre
one in the collection. These are so jam packed with hilarity, the plot
lines so intricate and clever, that a few sentences cannot convey how
unforgettably funny Season 4 is.

This newly remastered DVD transfer looks great, crisp and clean with
natural and vivid colors. The Dolby stereo soundtrack is pleasing with
clear dialogue.

This is a treasure worth owning!

-Donna Dorsett

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