Daily Archives: December 18, 2021

BQB Watches Seinfeld – The Invitations – Season 7, Episode 22

Seinfeld often poked fun at the futility of life, how we all try so hard only to eventually end up in the pine box sooner or later anyway.

Here, George’s fiance Susan dies. The cause? Toxic glue on cheap wedding invitations. George is to blame because he skimped on the invites, though isn’t the company to blame to? I mean, who sells invites with poisonous glue?

The perverse and creepily understated joke is that Susan’s death is a horrible tragedy, yet George is cool with it. For an entire season, George felt trapped. He didn’t want to marry Susan. He suffered from the delusion that if he just gave it more time, he might do better. (Briefly, he almost does as he meets a friend and mutual acquaintance of actress Marisa Tomei, who as we learn according to the show, has the hots for short, stocky, bald men.)

Susan is beautiful, charming and has a great head on his shoulders. George is a self-admitted loser. Not very bright, ambitious or successful and he knows in his heart he should be happy to have her but can’t help but feel stuck. Her death releases him from an unwanted marriage yet as the show goes on, he never does better. He’s doomed to be alone and unhappy.

There’s a secondary lesson here about how death is awful yet life has a strange way of going on. I’ve experienced it myself. I’ve lost people near and dear to me, losing them was like losing a limb and after the cries and sadness, you still keep living and it’s like, “Um, this is weird that I’m eating this sandwich while my loved one is dead. It’s weird that I’m watching a movie while my loved one is dead. It’s weird that…”

At any rate, George surely should have appreciated Susan more, though humor of the show came from George being an impression of Seinfeld writer Larry David, who has stated publicly often that his brand of comedy comes from the fact that he is aware he is a physically unattractive dum-dum and yet he longs for perfection in everyone else. He knows he can never provide it himself, but he suffers from the delusion that he can do better.

Bottomline – cherish your loved ones. If you meet a special someone, and you two love one another, do your best to make a go of it and stop worrying about what could be if you wait a little longer. Losers give up something good to wait for something that may or may not come. Winners realize they have someone great right in front of them and hold on.

A bird in the hand, 3.5 readers. A bird in the hand.

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BQB Watches Seinfeld – The Sponge – Season 7, Episode 9

It’s funny how shows that were controversial years ago seem tame by today’s standards. Does that mean it’s good to break taboos or is it bad in that we, as a society, just keep sliding further and further into the abyss?

I don’t know.

At any rate, this episode is all about a contraceptive device called “The Today Sponge.” It’s Elaine’s favorite method for preventing an unwanted pregnancy, but it went off the market. After scouring New York, she finds a pharmacy with one case left and scoops it up.

This leads to her being very discriminating in her choice of men. Apparently before, when sponges were plentiful, she went wild, but today, she really has to be picky. She now interrogates potential boyfriends in the manner of a boss trying to weed out the riff raff in a job interview. A judgmental person might say Elaine should have been this picky all along because let’s face it, sex has consequences and before you invite a person into your bedroom, you might ask yourself is this really the kind of person you want to invite in your life. You never know what might happen that would cause an unwanted individual to stay.

Sideplots: Kramer volunteers to walk in an AIDS walk. He does so diligently, but he doesn’t want to wear the ribbon, which causes turmoil amongst his fellow walkers. The underlying message is that it’s not enough to say you support something, be it a cause or a movement or in this case, finding the cure to a deadly virus. Society literally requires you to wear your support on your sleeve. How sad we don’t trust each other to the point where we demand that people jump through hoops to prove their loyalty.

Meanwhile, George tells Susan a secret about Jerry, bringing up the old conundrum of how, when your BFF finds love, you have to be careful about what you say, because you have to realize if you tell one half of a couple, you are telling both halves.

I recall this episode being somewhat controversial at the time – a woman just flagrantly flouting society’s mores, so concerned about her ability to bang baby free that she hoards contraception and refuses to waste her sponges by banging “not spongeworthy” dudes, which if you take the sponges out of the equation, Elaine should be setting better standards for herself and not banging dudes that she doesn’t see a happy future with anyway. (Men shouldn’t be doing this with men either.) I hate to sound old fashioned, like I’m denouncing people who bang willy nilly, it’s just that I think TV tends to show us the fun side of indiscriminate banging while not showing the negative consequences.

I think my main complaint with the show (everyone’s complaint really) is you do have to suspend disbelief when it comes to the quartet’s dating numbers. They each have a new love interest every week when even the most beautiful and successful among us never rack up those numbers. Meanwhile, few ever rack up those numbers without catching an STD or having an unwanted pregnancy. Few also get out of such a robust dating life without making, well, for lack of a better word, enemies. To the show’s credit, the characters’ lack of concern for the people they are dating often comes back to bite them.

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