Seinfeld Episodes That Wouldn’t Work Today

 

I love Seinfeld. I’m not a super fan or obsessive about it (especially since the show ran while I was ages 2-11) but I’m always up for it, because it always makes me laugh. There’s a Seinfeld episode for every random life situation. That’s what’s so great about it. The show ended 15 years ago, but somehow it still resonates with people. Except for one minor thing: most episodes of Seinfeld would be impossible today.

Think about it. Think of all those really great episodes, and all those moments that leave George, Elaine, Kramer and Jerry baffled, where you and I would just pull out a cell phone. Technology has sky-rocketed in the past 20 years, and a lot of their sticky situations could easily be averted with an iPhone. There are countless incidents where they needed to get a hold of one another in a pinch, or look up a movie time, or find some random factoid on the internet, and they could do that in a snap if they had smart phones. But with that addition, those episodes would also be shortened to 5 minutes, and no one would watch them. But that would suck, so let’s just watch them and find some enjoyment the technology gap, shall we?

Here are (a few) of my favorite episodes that wouldn’t be kosher in a more modern-day sit-com:

1. “The Chinese Restaurant” aka the episode where they’re waiting for a table at the Chinese restaurant.

First off, George wouldn’t need to guard the pay phone, because that woman would simply call his cell. And as for waiting forever for the table, they could either Yelp/Urban Spoon a different restaurant within 3 blocks, or use one of the zillions of movie apps to find a different theater or movie time. Meanwhile, they can give the Chinese restaurant a bad review on Yelp. Bam.

2. “The Bubble Boy” aka the episode where they go to visit the Bubble Boy and Jerry loses sight of George on the highway.

All this needs is one cell phone call and a Google Map adjustment. Two minutes and they’re back on the route (and George doesn’t almost murder the Bubble Boy). Kramer could’ve also called to say he was on his way, though I don’t think that would’ve averted him burning down Susan’s father’s cabin.

3. “The Burning” aka the episode where Jerry’s girlfriend’s use of “it’s me” on the phone causes issues.

Two words: Caller ID. 

4. “The Boyfriend” aka the episode where George gives the unemployment office Jerry’s number and address as “Vandelay Industries.”

Text on the way out of the office. Easy as pie. Also, don’t let Kramer near the phone, but that’s more of a general always rule.

5. “The Junior Mint” aka the episode where Jerry can’t remember the woman’s name, but knows it “rhymes with a part of the female anatomy.”

First of all, he would have her number in his phone, and I think Jerry would be the kind of person to use names. And second, I’m sure Siri could have been helpful here. I’m not exactly sure what I would ask her, but I bet she’d get it eventually.

6. “The Parking Garage” aka the episode where they are lost in the parking garage.

First, to find the car they could have systematically gone around the levels using the clicker to make it beep and find it faster. They also could have made a note on their iPhone as to where they had parked the car. Kramer could have done the same for where he hid the air conditioner, and they all could have called each other when they were separated instead of wandering around like idiots. George might have even made it to meet his parents, and they probably wouldn’t have been arrested for public urination.

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295 thoughts on “Seinfeld Episodes That Wouldn’t Work Today

  1. Ugh, hate Seinfeld too much to Like this post, but I totally agree with everything else. I think because I didn’t see Seinfeld during its original run, even just a couple years later when my friends tried to get me to watch it in syndication I just couldn’t enjoy it. Perhaps for the reasons you list above? Perhaps I am just a snob…

  2. That makes me feel even older than I felt a minute before reading this. Also, like I’m about to get into a lot of sticky situations because I don’t carry a cell phone. (Not that there’s a chance of finding a clock anywhere around anymore, let alone a payphone in a Chinese restaurant!)

  3. I watch old TV shows and now a lot of answers to problems on the show could be solved simply by Googling something. It must confuse the hell out of younger viewers who don’t remember a time before smart phones and the Internet.

    • or cd’s or dvd’s; what’s a fax????; what’s a phone book? why does that phone have that goofy circle thing with the holes in it?; how come this car doesn’t have a dvd player?; what do you mean I have to wait????

  4. Interesting how all these are affected by cellphones and google. I sometimes think that Google has destroyed the art of an interesting conversation – the ones where people try and recall things,debate a subject etc. Now someone just pulls out their phone and googles the answer – conversation over. For a modern day pitch TV show – check out my latest post? What you think? How could the cellphone or google work in the show?

    • I completely agree, conversations aren’t always as fun anymore because the answers are just a touch screen away. Plus Google uses targeted searches and websites are able to pay their way to make it to the top of the search page. I think people often believe everything they find through Google and we have to remember to still question the source. Oh and how much crap would Trivia night be now! : )

    • oh I think people kick it around before they pull out the iPhone….at least my generation does (’60’s). Also, I wonder if this is generational – maybe not – but mobile apps be damned, I’d rather access from a real keyboard than from my smartphone…..

      • I disagree here. A lot of my debates would be along the lines of “I’m pretty sure you’re mistaken, but first I have to go to the library and confirm. I’ll Call you next week,” Fun! It’s much better now that we can confirm things on the run.

        Also, I’m pretty sure they had caller id 15 years ago. Didn’t they? OK. I checked. it was invented in 1986. I’m sure I had it in the 90s.

    • I agree, people look at me because I don’t carry a phone to have an actual conversation and haven’t carried one around for the last year! I don’t want to proclaim our generation lazy but sometime engaging people in an intellectual conversation where it involves picking ones brains just drives me crazy. Give me a break!
      Although, proving to me something isn’t accurate or checking a sports score is ok… I’ll accept that sometimes. :)

  5. Loved Seinfeld! Great post. And if you want more relevant scenarios to today’s situations, you need to see him in person. He is still just as funny and it’s still about random stuff.

  6. Great post, and so true! These thoughts come to me when I watch a lot of the old TV shows, but it doesn’t make them any less funny. Besides, if they would have had the Internet in Seinfeld, Kramer would find a way to accidentally destroy it and they’d all be back to square one.

  7. Same issue comes up in American Pie: The Reunion – Stifler even says ‘give me a break, last time I did this cell phones didn’t exist!’ at one point.

    Nice post, dude.

  8. Seinfeld could totally take place today. It would just have to take place in an area where no one got any data reception. Might I suggest San Francisco? PROBLEM SOLVED!

  9. Land lines, yeah. What a throwback!
    A comparable situation to “The Chinese Restaurant” probably would involve waiting in a loooong line that moves ever so incrementally. And as Jerry and company interact with their queue-mates, hilarity would ensue.

  10. Oh, Seinfeld. I also think this show wouldn’t work nowadays because of those bright white sneakers and pleated jeans. Yowza! Love that show.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  11. i loved that even when seinfeld was around in the late 90s, they purposefully ignored the existence of the internet. it wouldn’t have made some situations work even then.

    to quote jerry: “what the hell is email?!!”

  12. I love Sienfeld and watch the reruns every night. I find myself always thinking about how those episodes would be totally different if they were made today- well, they probably wouldn’t exist. I guess technology has sort of killed off any chances at having a little adventure through life’s most mundane (and some times aggravating) moments.

    Great post.

  13. Hmm, true. I wonder if mondern day technology has made tv and movie writing harder. I mean, it’s a lot harder for people to get in awkward/funny/dangerous situations when the audience is thinking “why don’t they just use their cell?” Good point indeed.

  14. Thank you for bringing back such beautiful memories,l have seen all those shows,It was the golden era of comody.Wishin you happeniss and success. Jalal Michael Sabbagh

  15. LOVE this post! Not only do I find Seinfeld to be hilarious–and I was about 12 when it ended, I believe–but this post reveals how much life has changed with technology. Of course, I should point out that not everyone carries a cellphone (ahem, my dad) or a smartphone (ahem, my mom) so the possibility for adventure still exists. I often find myself, whenwatching old(er) movies, thinking, it’s so quaint! When they use things like a payphone. I actually wish, despite technology’s usefulness, for that sort of simple time when sometimes things just weren’t in your control, but it was okay.

  16. I saw some Seinfeld hate-o-rade further up. Personally, I am a colossal fan of the show. It’s one of those parts of my childhood that I will never let go of and one of the few loves that my parents and I have in common.

    Very clever stuff. Technology really is quite crazy nowadays.

    • Next time you’re at a truly enormous parking deck, take a picture of the space or row sign with your camera phone. Then you can just look at it later when you can’t remember where you parked.

  17. One of the greatest sitcoms ever made. But you know what, I don’t care. I don’t care if they work, that’s what makes those episodes so funny is because of the inconveniences they experience. Sitcoms today are just stale.

  18. Ha, I was just thinking about writing the exact same blog post two days ago! So true, technology would destroy these situations now. But . . . technology creates all kinds of new issues. If Seinfeld were today, I’d bet that they’d have an episode about how predictive text on text messages would create some sort of awkwardness . . .

  19. You’re soooo right on with this! Can hardly believe it was 15 years ago when it end. One of my favorite shows on Seinfield was when Elaine was tested and they thought she was an Opiate user because she had eated the poppy seeds. Great writing here. Keep up the good work. You Matter! Smiles, Nancy

      • OMG, I just remembered sponges as another thing dating back to the ’90s. If Seinfeld were filmed today, Elaine would try to finagle that self-aggrandizing alpha male J. Peterman into including contraception in her health benefits. Or else scheme to procure birth control bulks under the watchful eye of Rush Limbaugh!

  20. You are spot on about this but i like these kind of episodes since it was based on a more simpler time. Its reminder of how far we come and how fast life has become now that small complications like these are easily resolved. No different then looking for someone back in the eighties instead of just texting them. But my favorite episode is when George thought he seen Saddam Hussein jump in car that pinned kramer’s car in cause they were double parked. I was crying when i saw that, lol -,o

    http://wp.me/2aAA8

  21. Another reason “Seinfeld” wouldn’t work today is that it’s not politically correct. I like “Seinfeld”, though I especially like “Cheers”. And neither series is politically correct. They could get away with making fun of everybody, and every group of people, in those days. Now, comedy is so censored for political correctness that it’s no longer worth watching. There seems to be almost as much censorship on television in the U.S. these days as you’d expect in a totalitarian state, like North Korea. It’s just a different kind of censorship–not enforced by the government, but by the court of public opinion.

    • really?
      I don’t remember many shows referencing masturbation, contraception, or homosexuality prior to Seinfeld.
      Maybe L.A. Law?
      Seinfeld is one of the shows we can thank for opening up more topics for broadcast TV. What do you wish people would still say on TV that they used to?
      By the way, the court of public opinion has always been the arbiter of what should or shouldn’t be presented. That is the nature of our capitalist society. Sometimes it moves slower than we wish it to, but it moves nonetheless. People have always enforced certain standards for polite public discourse, but the term “Political Correctness” got coined in the early 90s around the same time that Seinfeld was on the air and just as public standards were changing. This led to outcry against this “new” ” political correctness.” It’s all a bunch of hooey. You want to talk censorship? Try the Hays code or the Comics Code Authority.
      So sorry it’s not all under your control anymore.

  22. Haha I’ve totally thought about this before too! Especially the episode where they go see a movie with Susan and George calls “movie phone” which is actually Kramer to get the show times and misses the fact that there’s another showtime and goes to the wrong theatre. Oh, life before cell phones…

  23. Love this post, well done! I can totally picture how the episodes would have adapted to modern technology like Jerry breaking up with someone because they over use emoticons in texting.

  24. But you know, George would possibly be too ridiculously cheap with a cell phone – too few minutes and always off. As for Kramer….he’d probably never get one, or would always be bumming some random person’s, or losing his!

  25. I immediately clicked on this when I saw it on Freshly Pressed- I love Seinfeld. But then I realized I already was subscribed to this blog! Congrats on a second fresh pressing.

  26. You make excellent points, but the writers of Seinfeld were very creative and would have come up with new problems that cell phones give us now…like losing it with all your info on it, for one. Technology is great, but we have solved old problems and created new ones.

  27. It doesn’t bother me a bit if the technology in the show is obsolete. It’s still funny and, in my opinion, beyond time. Every episode transports me to their strange world.

  28. Very true. They also could have used the Open Table app to get a reservation at another Chinese Restaurant close to the theater. Ah, technology. What did we ever do without it?

  29. I recall watching an episode (“The Suicide”) that seemed inappropriate as a teenager. I watched it again recently and, like the episode about the soup kitchen (which I recall only from when I was younger), I still find it to be [too] derogatory.

  30. Great idea for a post! I’m a lot older than you so I was an obsessive fan of the show. You’re right: the shows would not have made any sense in today’s tech-dependent world! Congratulations on Freshly Pressed!

  31. You make some interesting points here! I often rewatch those “must-see TV” classics from the 90s and wonder exactly what would happen if they’d only had a decent cell phone. Really, it’s going to get to the point where TV shows like Seinfeld are going to have to be annotated because future generations will just not understand why the hell George is waiting for that phone! Nice post.

  32. Great post! Seinfeld’s one of my favourite TV shows and, while many of its situations are now “dated,” I still feel like it’s one of the few shows where many things ring true – then and sometimes now. Not everything, but certain human behaviour, and so on and so forth. Obviously times have changed and the episodes you’ve pointed out certainly indicate that. The long and short of it: I enjoyed this!

  33. I love Seinfeld too. Maybe there is something to not having a cell phone if you think about. We laugh because they make life interesting….just maybe cell phones have taken some away. Great post and some of my favorite episodes too

  34. Very true. But thats what makes it so funny, everyone has been in those situations either now or back when not everyone had a phone. Speaking for myself I still dont have a cool phone I just txt and call. Im not into all these gadgets everywhere. I love Seinfeld though, cant believe its been off for 15 yrs! I quote it every day of my life!

  35. Hahaha I looooove this. I still watch the reruns in the evenings. Just finished watching “the pilot” and ” vandelay industries” haha.
    Can’t believe it’s been 15 years already. Still love IT. Great post.
    Jey.

  36. Well maybe they would have smart phones, but something would still get messed up with that group of misfits. I still LOVE the show and watch the reruns…. not that there is anything wrong with that ;)

  37. Hmmmmmm, Seems to me the writers would have had a field day writing scripts for Jerry et al. Can’t you see George so absorbed by his cell phone call he forgets to wear pants? Or the soup Nazi writing note on his blog not to serve Jerry in any NY eatery? It would be endless.
    Sandy
    http://www.sandysays1.wordpress.com

  38. Great post. I can always refer to a Seinfeld episode in a funny moment…and I did it this morning ;) But, yes agree a lot of the episodes wouldn’t have worked nowadays. Same thing happened when I watched a first season episode of The X Files last week…I grew up in the 90’s, but it’s wild how much things have changed in such a short period of time.

  39. “There are countless incidents where they needed to get a hold of one another in a pinch, or look up a movie time, or find some random factoid on the internet, and they could do that in a snap if they had smart phones”

    They could have done it even back then with cellphones. But not everyone uses technology that much. I still have a flip phone and don’t plan to ever get a smartphone.

    If you want to watch a show where everything is done by phone, watch Gossip Girl. Of course, even there, they just text each other “Hey, we need to talk.” And then they get together to talk. Like, hello, they could have done the conversation on the phone but since they’s boring TV lets just make them set up a meeting on the phone. Pointless, they might as well not even setup the meeting on the phone either. Its just a shameless plug for smartphones.

    If we were to make a show where people behave like the young brats of today then the whole show would be a bunch of doofuses texting each other, even while sitting at the same table. I’d throw an old-school computer monitor at my TV to make sure it was dead and that would be that.

  40. A good example of a show where they never use a cellphone despite their having obviously existed then is Buffy. It ran from 1998 to 2002. And Buffy never uses a cellphone nor does anyone else on the show. Buffy doesn’t even use a hardline phone much…just runs all the way across town to tell Giles something. Its not realistic but its much more entertaining.

  41. I always think the exact same thing while watching old tv shows and movies! lol…in my head I am always thinking how easily I would’ve been able to maneuver myself out of these kinds of situations just by using my cell phone. The funny thing is, the other day my phone died while I was out and I really needed to make a phone call. It took me half an hour to find a payphone in the city…I didn’t realize they were becoming extinct. It makes me feel so old thinking about it lol.

  42. I love your post and Seinfeld too. I’ve probably seen every episode 4 times and they still make me laugh. But you know, I think they’d find themselves in the same predicaments with smartphones and would work the Iphone into the episodes. George would lose his or be the first victim of a Iphone virus. Kramer would borrow Jerry’s and lose it. Elaine would try to teach Mr. Pitts how to use one Jerry’s parents would refuse to call his smartphone and they’d forever be without reception.

  43. I love seinfeld, but I understand where youre coming from. Nonetheless Ill always be a huge fan, and can watch any episode anyday of the week.

  44. Caller ID’s been around a long, long time, though–I’m pretty sure that Jerry could have made use of it when that episode was shot.

    And actually, the lack of cellphones is visible in a lot of current shows. I’ve read a fair amount of criticism over the past several years that the group on How I Met Your Mother is too unplugged for their ages.

  45. For “the burning” an interesting episode could feature the girl still saying “its me” even though they have caller ID…I think that would actually be more entertaining

  46. A lot of older shows are rendered pretty pointless due to the invention of cell phones.

    If you gave Mulder and Scully cell phones, 90% of the episodes of The X-Files would have ended after 15 minutes…

  47. My wife and I were just talking about this very same topic a couple of months ago! Those episodes wouldn’t work, but I’m sure Jerry and Larry David wouldn’t found a way to make the show funny even if they were writing the same show today.

  48. I am inspired by this post and you will see a Seinfeld post coming out of my blog soon too. (But nothing like this one, I promise!) I have thought about this a lot while watching the Seinfeld episodes.The whole home-phone/payphone thing really dates the show. Oh, here’s another hilarious episode that totally wouldn’t work: The one where Kramer gets lost in another part of New York when he goes to visit his “long distance” girlfriend. He’s calling Jerry to tell him he’s lost from a payphone and says he see’s a pizza joint but they don’t know for sure if they’re talking about the same one. Jerry has to drive around looking for him… “I will find you!”

  49. True, some of the stuff is dated, but the social awkwardness of it lives on.

    Still, I think Always Sunny carries it on in a much more sociopathic way.

  50. Except that not everyone has Apple’s Siri or a smart phone. ^_^ Given the four main characters of Seinfeld, I’m sure someone would always forget to do such-and-such with their phone or not have the ability to do so. Can you imagine Kramer or George getting smart with a smart phone? XD

  51. wrong. so many things wrong.

    The Chinese Restaurant; the movie they wanted to see was a one night only event in only one theater. and giving the restaurant a bad review wouldn’t help get them seated any faster. Plus they suggested going to a burger place at one point but that idea was rejected. They wanted to eat at THAT restaurant.

    The Burning; caller ID was invented then too. jerry just didn’t have it and you were too young to know it was around already.

    The Boyfriend; texting jerry would have helped but that’s not why the episode wouldn’t work now. Googling Vandelay Industries would show the potential employer that it didn’t exist.

    The Junior Mint; you are assuming jerry would have her number AND name in his phone. he didn’t get her name before why would having a cell phone matter? and jerry is the kind of person to use names? that doesn’t even make sense. pure supposition.
    Siri would have been helpful? also supposition.

    The Parking Garage; They could have made a note on their iPhones where they parked? yeah, they also could have just written it down on a piece of paper. which they didn’t do. simply having an iPhone wouldn’t automatically mean that they would have kept track of where they parked. Also most cell phones don’t work in parking garage so they couldn’t have called each other when one of them found the car. this episode would still work today. Keyless remotes to cars were also around but if you notice, Kramer’s car, which they were in, was clearly from the 70’s or 80’s and wouldn’t have had keyless entry anyway.

  52. “Googling Vandelay Industries would show the potential employer that it didn’t exist.”

    Not if George opened a dummy site, which would have been just as funny. Like a site that said “Vandelay Industries, we’re the leader in blah blah blah. Call us at xxx-xxx-xxxx.”

  53. Wow, after reading this I was thoroughly amused yet saddened at the same time! I’m only 35, but I remember watching this show religiously and still do in syndication. It never gets old! But like you, I’ve noticed things they go through wouldn’t happen nowadays!! Great post!

  54. Yeah, too much technology now and not enough interpersonal relationships that require actual BRAINpower instead of a “smaftPHONE” developed some human in a vacuum laboratory! I guess is a “good thing”. You cannot take sitcoms of yesteryear out of context. Why not go back and re-analyse why “I Love Lucy” ‘wouldn’t work’ today? Just enjoy the nostalga, please.

    • I do enjoy the nostalgia! This wasn’t meant as a critique at all, just a thought I had about how technology would’ve changed the show

  55. Great post! I love Seinfeld and I don’t carry my phone around with me. It’s not a smart phone so anything I’d want it for I wouldn’t be able to do anyway.

  56. I was not even a thought in my parent’s mind when Seinfeld started. But I love the show. Even if you can’t connect with the episodes today, you can sit and laugh at it whenever you feel stressed out. Nice post btw. Noticed all this when I watched it the first time but still … Nice compilation :)

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  58. Great post! There were definitely so many more comedy-of-errors in the “olden days” pre-technology. I vividly remember having to walk 3 miles home from school in the pouring rain when I was about 10 years old. I’d gone to the bathroom and missed the school bus. Sadly, the school doors were locked from the outside. I had used my last dime, and hadn’t replaced a new one in my pocket, so I couldn’t use the pay phone down the street. So, I walked all the way miserable and cold.

    How often do we say or hear: “what did we ever DO without cell phones? How did we ever survive?!”
    Well, you know, for the most part we survived just fine! Everyone was simply more connected to each other. For example, If a car pulled off the road with their emergency lights on, at least 2 or 3 strangers would automatically pull over and offered to help. Today, no one pulls over. We all go driving by assuming they have a cell phone and we don’t have to get involved.That’s the down-side of technology. Our digital independence has replaced opportunities for human connections. Another irony of Seinfeld is that in today’s world none of those characters probably would have ever even talked to each other or become friends. They lived in a world where the only people you could ever really meet and get to know were the people in your own neighborhood or real-world social groups. Today, the “world’s the limit” to who we meet, hang out with and have “conversations” with….like, right here, for instance.
    Congrats on being Fresh Pressed! :)

    • I remember when my wife (ex) and I both had our first cell phones, and on a trip to Key West with her family, us men went to the Shipwreck Museum while the women went shopping. In the past we would ahve had to try and arrange to meet-up at a given place and time, and if the other party wasn’t there, you wouldn’t have any way in which to contact them.

      Having our new technology however, we were able to call each other and the problem was solved. That was in the late 1990’s, and now it’s just taken for granted, whether at home or away on vacation. Cell phones have really changed our lives in so many ways.

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  60. Love it… even more cos you’ve put into words some of the things i think too while watching Seinfeld. Like you, i’m also not a die- hard fan of the sitcom but i do enjoy watching if i have nothing better to do. And some of the things the characters do seem so crazy becuase… well its just not possible to end up in those situations in today’s world!!
    Great post :)

  61. I totally object to the fact that Siri would actually get something that vague..but anyway. I do like considering life without that much technology, but then I would probably not be here reading your post because I would have had no internet. :P

  62. I used to love Seinfeld and think I have seen most if not all episodes.

    Many were just classics, and you could often relate to those “Seinfeld Moments” or “Seinfeld Situations”.

    The characters were so well defined, and so predictable yet unpredictable, if you know what I mean.

    I loved the way how some episodes started out with 2 or 3 separate story lines, and at the end they all intersected. An absolutely brilliant show, and a great article too.

  63. It’s an interesting perspective that you have made. Technology has changed our life. No fun in getting lost anymore…there is always Google to get you back! Good post and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  64. And that happends in most tv series. As a curiosity we still can watch Seinfield in Spain. Well, they just fill a time gap.

  65. technology killed the sitcom star!
    I was watching an episode of FRIENDS the other day, where the boys got locked on the roof… the humor of the situation had me in stitches! However, I couldn’t help but think how that would never happen nowadays because someone is almost always bound to have their phone on them!

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  67. I love the show! Followed it from day one… because these are all things we THINK we should have covered and that modern technology would prevent them from occurring but because LIFE does it’s own thing… you could find yourself in each of these situations. Cell phones die, cell phones don’t always have a signal, map quest is wrong on many occasions in Atlanta, and I have been told- mid drive “GPS Inaccurate- signal lost” LOL.
    Let’s not even mention the anonymous caller who can also not only leave a message but text you- who has time to call the phone companies and pull records..
    Lastly I have had the Chinese restaurant experience..but I did have a cell- just could not use in the restaurant and did NOT want to lose my place in line to sign up for the waiting list! *CRAZY*
    I can still relate to all episodes…I think today, the drama would be a bit more complicated and leaving us to understand that technology really did not alleviate those darn “chance” or “Life” circumstances that add the spice!

  68. While I agree with what you’re saying-the charming nature of Seinfeld is very specific to its time. However, the style of humor is timeless. They’d still be able to create awkward scenarios and situations they couldn’t get out of. They’d most likely even play off the idea of technology’s failings and its quirks. For example, when there’s a Seinfeld reunion in Curb Your Enthusiasm, George creates an iPhone app to determine where the location of the closest public toilets…

  69. Awesome post! I think that’s why Seinfeld is so nostalgic for so many people (I too fit in to that 2-11 year old age range) before life got crazy with Facebook and cellphones. I know I sound like I’m 70 right now (I’m 25 I swear!) but even just the coffee shop scenes wouldn’t be as good now. They would just gchat instead. Again, awesome post!

  70. You forget sometimes what life was like without a smartphone. I needed to use a friend’s non-touchscreen phone the other day, and found my fingers leaving the buttons and pressing the screen!

  71. I hate to ruin your post, but I don’t think George would have a cell phone. He is too cheap to get one. Plus, Jerry would always lose or leave his at home. If he had a phone his parents would call him all the time.

  72. Very funny and interesting to look back on some of our favorite shows with this view. I think most shows were better before all the technology was added. (although i love my ipad and smart phone)
    Now we have mostly semi-reality shows taking up the main block of programming.
    Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  73. Modern technology has made life a little more convenient, as well as less personal. But the draw back is it’s becoming harder to write something that would otherwise be creative. I like to write plays. I got this great idea about something that would work if it weren’t for our current technological advances. Since everyone communicates through emails and phones these days, it’s hard to imagine sitting in the audience watching someone read a paper letter received via snail mail. It just woulndn’t be interesting to watch someone in front of their lap top. I’ll just have to be that much more creative I guess. Congrats on being FP.

  74. All true, but true of most shows that were wildly popular. And I agree with one comment that some shows seems to intentionally write out some technology for the sake of the “art” — you’ve got to do some of that because otherwise we’d be watching people watching screens all the time. Even before all this technology, on Cop show and dramas, characters would only use the phone to say, “We need to talk” — it’s because it is much visually appealing and dramatic to have the conversation in person. So there’s just some things we ignore.

    I do like to introduce my kids to these older shows and I simply tell them. There were no cell phones then. It think it’s good for people to see the “alternate” ways of communicating, and still enjoy the story. I think Seinfeld today would just have different plot lines using the smart phones. But I think that Jerry’s character might be the kind of guy that turns his off to watch a good cartoon with interruption. Oh and could you imagine the conversations the gang would have had about “relationship status” ? ha!

  75. I think Mad Men nailed it at the Emmy’s last year when they made fun of the technology of today— “How do I watch tv through my phone.” Sometimes when we upgrade our equipment–we lose a lot of the fun things we could make fun of—but the good news is if we never ever upgraded our technology–all those “lost” “waiting by the pay phone” jokes would be so overdone and cliche that it wouldn’t work today anyway–at least in my opinion.

  76. Oh my goodness, I loved the Parking Garage episode and this just made me so sad to think about our useful (dependency) on technology! Kids these days don’t even know what a landline phone is anymore, haha. You hit this spot on, great post and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  77. Great post – and congrats on FP. The next generation probably won’t be able to appreciate fantastic comedy such as Seinfeld for the very things you point out – teens today obviously have no concept of what it’s like to live without so much hand-held, portable technology. Its great to see someone so young still loving this kind of comedy.

  78. Working as a receptionist in a hostel, I had a hard time with one client as he never checked out on time (10AM) so I had to knock at his door every morning asking him to leave. He finally check out at about 11.30 AM, every day (instead of checking in for 3 days in a row).
    Then he started asking my colegues: THE SOUP NAZI is going to be here tomorrow morining?
    LOL

  79. Congratuations on being Freshly Pressed! Very funny piece, however Seinfeld ran 1989-1998. The first “mobile” phones were available for cars in the 1940’s. Though Google didn’t come online until 1998, the first handheld mobile phones, as they were called, were made available by Motorola in 1973. Besides, if Seinfeld et al. used these modern devices, what would we have to laugh at?

  80. Nice post. I thought the same about a lot of Italian movies, included some by Fellini. Their stories would be impossible today. A simple call would have solved everything.

  81. Well I am a Seinfeld fan, And I love this post. Very nice keep up the great job. “No, no… it’s Vandalay Industries, SAY VANDALAY, SAY VANDALAY!!!!!” LOL

  82. now that’s a blast from the past! I was sixteen when that show ended and it was four years before I got my new cell phone and even I have some hard times remembering the days before cell phones and all the rest of the new technology. awesome post. Great to see someone young writing about the differences in our world instead of someone old.

  83. What a great post. Very funny. But very true. Technology can date aspects of life nowadays much faster than music used to. Could they do new Seinfeld with all these elements of modern day life? Larry David seems to be carrying it on. I loved the scene in Curb Your Enthusiasm when Elaine takes out her phone and starts texting and Jerry says: ‘oh, you’re going to do the Blackberry thing, how would you like it if you were talking to me and I just took out a book and started reading it.’

    I watched Bladerunner for the first time on DVD recently having seen it originally when it was released in the early 80’s and while I still love it as a film, the futuristic element of it was slightly spoiled by me cynically saying to myself in the back of my mind: ‘well all he needed to do was make a phone call.’ Terrible isn’t it! Keep up the good work.

    • Haha thanks! And I love Larry David, he’s a freakin genius.
      A girl I went to high school with, her fiance somehow got Larry David to write her a Valentine’s Day card. It was epic hilarity.

  84. I think this post speaks to why there is so little good comedy on TV these days. Many of the everyday problems that are funny to watch characters go through are rendered obsolete with new technology.

  85. Fun post. My additions:

    – Moviefone episode: Who dials into the moviefone hotline anymore?

    – Elaine with her staff video recommendations and subsequent “relationship” with Vincent: One word – Netflix

  86. Ok, this was on when I was old enough to appreciate it (ie >11) and I haven’t seen it in years. Now you’ve made me want to go back and watch it (from the kindle fire in bed). :) Thx,
    C.

  87. Nice post! I have to admit I haven’t seen very many episodes of Seinfeld but your list is very fun. I love that one about ‘caller ID’, what would we do without it?!
    This post rings true for so many older TV shows, the entire plot hinges on a technology deficient society. I still like watching them though to remember what is like in the not-so-old, old days!
    God Bless,
    Donna

  88. Are you kidding? I can see an entire Seinfeld episode arc revolving around Kramer getting a Wikipedia account and randomly inserting his view of reality into the pages until the Wikipedia ninjas showed up at his place and smashed his ipad.

  89. Haha that makes a lot of sense, it’s true a lot of the episodes do resonate with today’s world. But they would not find themselves in such situations with the easy use of cellphones, even if they didn’t have smartphones. But I think somehow they would get themselves into sticky situations somehow, smartphones or no smartphones. It seems to be in their nature.

  90. How technology or social media gets woven into a sitcom plot nowadays: good blog post.
    By the way, I never cared for Seinfeld. I realize one of the characters is Jewish which is good. But I was turned off …by it being..so white as a sit-com.

    So I never watched it. No, my life is good and just as rich in experience. :D

  91. It’s not the first time I’ve said this, and I’m saying it on my iPhone which is like a fixture on my arm, but I curse the iPhone revolution!
    Gotta say, you saying Seinfeld finished 15 years ago makes me feel oooooold. Can’t be that long ago???

  92. I love Seinfeld… I do agree with a lot of what you are saying… But keep in mind that comedy largely comes along with Exaggeration. Even our day to day humor talking to people comes with a little bit of exaggeration. Same is the case with Seinfeld… Although most that does not apply in today’s context, you still laugh at that…

  93. Congrats on making it to ‘Freshly Pressed’!

    I am a Seinfeld fan, even though I was aged 5-14 when it originally ran. The re-runs are what introduced me to the show and I was hooked!

    I have never thought about if any of this could happen at any given time (present or past). I just love how the four main characters interact with everyone. Oh and the Vandelay Industries incident from the episode The Boyfriend always cracks me up!

  94. I just LOVE seinfeld… I watched them years ago while I was a teenager, and now have the complete series on disc. I just did a blog post on seinfeld and fave tv shows. Check it out if you like! Thanks for the great blog dude

  95. I love Seinfeld and I never thought abpout it but a lot of their problems could have been solved with a cell phone.
    Even the episode where Jerry is waiting for the reporter for an interview. Elaine realizes that a woman is listening to their conversation behind them at the next table and makes the joke that Jerry and George were gay. Meanwhile the woman was the reporter and winds up writting an article about Jerry and George being a gay couple. If Jerry had a cell phone he could have texted her and maybe her the beep or ring of the phone and realized she was behind them before they made the joke.
    I’m new to blogging, only been blogging for a few months. I noticed this article in freshly pressed and it got my attnention. Looking forward to following your blogs!
    James

  96. I enjoyed this post. I think there are situations in life for some people where baffling situations could happen simply because not everyone in the economy has an iPhone or iPad. They’re trying to penny pinch. When reality sets in, some must make the choice between saving pennies for the utility bill and an iPhone. Now one good thing many people I know have done is get ride of the home phone, and just keep a cell phone. There is one phone bill. I am sorry to take the fun out it. I did enjoy your post. Technology does eliminate so many situations, and yet a good friend of mine still gets lost with a GPS.

  97. Hey, not everyone is to have an iPhone (I have to say you made it sound like it would solve all their problems—They should pay you for this post).

    But you make a great post!

    Again, all the scenarios could probably still work even if they all had phones — circumstance isolated them even from benefiting from their phones back in the day.
    That’s the thing though about the characters of Seinfeld. They can be ungraceful and have complete lack of resourcefulness.

    Plus, they have this unlucky thing going on that gives their plot Irony–which is a great literary device that makes stories appealing by creating tension, trouble, and ultimately humour. It worked appropriately for this show, that’s why the fans love it so much. The writers could always figure a way out to make things impossible for them and still make you laugh.

    ~Tinkerbell
    .

  98. i think “the parking garage” episode still happens today. i know i still have days when i am in a hurry to get to the mall, i will remind my self with the same tactics that got them lost in the first place lol. im pretty sure the new technology we are using, did not save us from losing our cars in the malls parking garage.

  99. Funny, I worked on quite a few episodes of Seinfeld (primarily as an extra) and I never really cared for the show. After we all spent hours filming outside scenes on ‘New York’ street, they would ask us if we would stay and film the live show in front of the audience. If they ‘really’ didn’t need us, we were gone! The cast was friendly enough though. And you’re right, a lot of those episodes wouldn’t work today. Congrats on getting your blog ‘Freshly Pressed’ :D

  100. Reblogged this on Under an Artichoke and commented:
    Hahaha, this is awesome. And so, so true! In the back of my head I’ve thought the same thing about “The Chinese Restaurant” and “The Bubble Boy” too. And the situation in “The Movie” has always struck me as easily avoidable with a cell phone (of any kind, really).

  101. This is so true. I thought the same thing a few years back watching old episodes of 90210. No wonder TV shows today are so ridiculously dramatic. Technology has solved the simple day to day problems.

  102. Not a bad read.
    I take issue at Points 5 and 6, though. Prior to widespread use of mobile (‘cell) phones, people still asked people for their phone numbers. And Jerry didn’t -so he may well have not asked for the number in the first place -mobile phone or none.
    And as for the carpark incident; often you are in a cement ‘bunker’ and thus can have poor mobile reception. Also, you could ‘note’ on paper where you park or where you hide your air con. But you don’t -whether using a piece of paper or mobile phone: people generally don’t record the details of where they park and thus you can easily forget where you park in such a large carpark. Also, people still drive old cars that don’t have a ‘beeper’.

  103. I love Seinfeld and you are right – there would be a lot less drama with those 4 if they had access to technology. Mind you – George would probably use his to photograph his body parts and send them to people and Kramer would probably think Siri was a real person and would start hitting on her. Great post – thank you!

  104. Pingback: One and Done Sunday #18 | JM Randolph, accidentalstepmom

  105. I am home now watching daytime tv and I agree with you on Seinfeld.I love how the show was really about nothing and everything,kind of like our blogs.Congrats on being Fressly Pressed.

  106. Pingback: The Study of Film through Seinfeld « The Schleicher Spin

  107. Great observations – and despite some of the bizarro naysayers here, I agree with the masses and think you are spot on. Many of these episodes just don’t make any sense in today’s world – but they are still funny, of course, and there are other elements of Seinfeld that are timeless. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed and thanks for inspiring me to FINALLY write up the Seinfeld post I’ve been meaning to write for years –

    http://theschleicherspin.com/2012/06/03/the-study-of-film-through-seinfeld/

  108. Hahaha great article.

    Regarding The Parking Garage, better yet Kramer could just buy it online and have it shipped to his apt.

  109. Great observations! This made me smile. This is random, but since you enjoy random things, I once had a dream where I was walking around downtown and every time I entered a building the Seinfeld theme song would play. lol. :)

  110. So true. A lot of my favorites movies and shows would not be the same in today’s age. Take “The Breakfast Club”…those kids would already know everything about each other because of Facebook…

  111. I got hooked on Seinfeld after watching the last episode. But the cell phone changed everything. Just think, Juliet could have texted Romeo to tell him she wasn’t really dead. Oh and I still lose the car in the parking lot. Why is there no app for that?

  112. I completely agree. Most Seinfeld episodes would be impossible with today’s technology. However, if the show still ran I’m sure their writers could invent crazy situations that even Siri couldn’t avert. (the soup nazi was my favorite)

  113. The episode where George joins a book club, but can’t bring himself to read “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” So he watches the movie instead. Sparknotes.com could have saved him a ton of time and effort.

    • Haha I love that episode. Especially since it has Luke from Gilmore Girls in it. But I don’t see how technology can prevent her favorite birth control from being discontinued. That’s just cruel.

  114. Pingback: Jenny Rauch Interview, Seinfeld Episodes That Wouldn’t Work Today, and Coffee « claytondiggs

  115. I was just talking about this!!! Holy crap!! The parking garage episode for one… And my lil brother heard the song pay phone and asked me what one looked like!!! Holy crap!

  116. And the last episode…. It would’ve been a camera phone getting them in trouble posting to Facebook and ppl just laughing their butts off!

  117. so true! and with that episode where Jerry picked up the phone and got upset because it was a telemarketer, now that we have caller id he wouldn’t have even had to answer it to know who it was. thank God for caller id AND of course cells.

  118. By these rationales, few of the hundreds of episodes could have taken place because of advancements in communications and other technology.

    BTW – The “it’s me” deal wasn’t an issue with him not knowing who it was. It was her presumption that he knew her well enough by voice and to be on those terms. Like Keith Hernandez asking Jerry to help him move.

  119. I have been thinking this for so long! But with the Chinese Restaurant episode, they were going to see a special showing of Plan 9 from Outer Space, so they couldn’t have gone to another theater.

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