Book Report: The Seinfeld Universe by Greg Gattuso (1998)

I don’t mean to make you feel old, but Seinfeld has been off the air for 13 years now. I didn’t watch a lot of television in the 1990s, so I missed a lot of the viewing events of my generation, such as E.R. and Seinfeld. Given that it was a thirty minute sitcom, I must have seen a full episode of it sometime, although I cannot remember when or what it would have been. I don’t think I saw a complete episode of E.R., either.

This book, written by a fan newsletter (back in the day when newsletters were mostly mailed) editor, discusses the development of the sitcom, the post Larry David years, the cast, the memorable locations, and so on. It heaps approval on the show, of course, and made me interested in maybe seeing some of the show.

The cast biographies talk about how the individuals playing the roles, scrappy good-hearted souls all of them, are dealing with their success and being on top of the world. Strangely, from here in the future, we can see that after the show ends, Jason Alexander voices a cartoon, Julie Louis-Dreyfus cannot carry a realtime sitcom, Michael Richards gets Corrected for a response to hecklers, and Jerry Seinfeld marries that little girl. The wheel of fortune, she turns in a decade and change.

If nothing else, the book would be an interesting time capsule into the 1990s, although the program did begin in 1989, so it ran contemporaneously with my youthful golden age between high school, college, and almost up to my engagement.

Ah, the 1990s. It seems like American history follows a certain cyclical pattern, doesn’t it? An epic struggle followed by a party. The 1920s followed the War to End All Wars, the 1950s and early 1960s followed the Depression and World War II, the 1990s followed the Cold War…. It’s a facile generalization, sure, but what do you expect in a derivative book report based on a television program about nothing? Regardless, I suppose I should be optimistic about the future after we get through the current troubles, but I know past performance is not indicative of future performance. Nothin’ but the David in me.

Books mentioned in this review: