The Seinfeld Chronicles

EPISODE 11

THE STATUE

FIRST AIRED 4/11/91 WRITER Larry Charles DIR. Cherones SYNOPSIS Elaine's editing of arrogant Finnish novelist Rava (Nurit Koppel) leads Jerry to a housekeeper: Rava's flakily high-brow beau, Ray (Michael D. Conway). When a family memento (coveted by George) disappears, Kramer plays cop to get it back from Ray. CRITIQUE Even Seinfeld's bit players must have some grounding in reality — you need to love to hate them. Ultimately, there's no redeeming comic payoff to Rava's and Ray's weirdness. C-

EPISODE 12

THE REVENGE

FIRST AIRED 4/18/91 WRITER David Dir. Cherones SYNOPSIS George quits his job at Rick-Bar Properties when he is banned from the executive toilet, then reconsiders. When the boss won't rehire him, George enlists Elaine to ''slip him a Mickey'' at a company party. Jerry and Kramer pursue a vendetta of their own at the Laundromat. INTRODUCES Newman, sort of: He's heard but not seen as he threatens a suicidal leap — from the second floor. CRITIQUE Although neat for its parallel plotting and George's hilariously clueless career chats with Jerry, ''Revenge'' is not so sweet. C

EPISODE 13

THE HEART ATTACK

FIRST AIRED 4/25/91 WRITER Charles DIR. Cherones SYNOPSIS After watching a TV show on heart attacks, suggestible George believes he's having one; when a hospital visit proves it's just tonsillitis, miserly George opts for Kramer's holistic healer, Tor Akman (Stephen Tobolowsky), and finds you get what you pay for. CRITIQUE What Seinfeld excels at is finding the eccentric in the apparently normal. A kooky New Age doctor? That's hitting the broad side of a barn. D

EPISODE 14

THE DEAL

FIRST AIRED 5/2/91 WRITER David DIR. Cherones SYNOPSIS Couch-bound and bored watching the ''naked station,'' Jerry and Elaine decide to have sex — albeit with friendship-protecting ground rules. All is well until Elaine's birthday, when Jerry must come up with a gift appropriate to their now-nebulous connection. CRITIQUE Jerry and Elaine's circuitous verbal dance pondering the relative worth of ''that [sex] versus this [the friendship]'' is sublime. The show's ability to be both explicit and vague will become a hallmark. B+

EPISODE 15

THE BABY SHOWER

FIRST AIRED 5/16/91 WRITER Charles DIR. Cherones SYNOPSIS Two absurdly disparate events — a baby shower and an illegal cable-TV installation (engineered by Kramer) — converge in Jerry's apartment on a fateful Saturday. And George has a bone to pick with the prospective mommy, an egocentric performance artist who once humiliated him with chocolate syrup. CRITIQUE After a promising opening, this baby quickly degenerates into heavy-handed farce. D

EPISODE 16

THE CHINESE RESTAURANT

FIRST AIRED 5/23/91 WRITERS David/Seinfeld DIR. Cherones SYNOPSIS En route to a Plan 9 From Outer Space screening, Jerry, George, and Elaine wait for a table in a Chinese restaurant. CRITIQUE The epitome of the show-about-nothing concept. George is at his pressure-cooker best, but it's Elaine — famished and in high dudgeon — who is the centerpiece. A-

EPISODE 17

THE BUSBOY

FIRST AIRED 6/26/91 WRITERS David/Seinfeld DIR. Cherones SYNOPSIS George inadvertently gets a busboy (David Labiosa) fired, then haplessly tries to make amends. Elaine reluctantly entertains a guest from Seattle ("He's a wonderful guy, but I hate his guts," she says with characteristic irony). HISTORIC MOMENTS First reference to Kramer as the K-Man. We learn that George went to fat camp. CRITIQUE Aside from one physically inspired moment of Elaine mania, there's nary a laugh in this loser. D

Originally posted Apr 07, 2008 Published in issue #381 May 30, 1997 Order article reprints
Advertisement

From Our Partners