Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The "Show About Nothing" Isn't Really About Nothing

So the show Seinfeld was supposed to be "the show about nothing", but as I was watching a re-run last night, it occurred to me that this is not, in fact, the case.

Although the show seems to be, at first glance, a series of random comedy sketches, there is an over-arching theme that connects them all.

What the show is really about is the awkwardness and nuances of social interaction. This theme runs through every episode (even that weird final episode about the Good Samaritan law). In the grand comedic tradition, the show offers no solutions or guidance.

It is not heavy-handed, in the way that tragedies can sometimes be (think of the message against household disputes given in Romeo & Juliet).

But then, that is in keeping with the purpose & traditions of comedy.

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