is a show about everything! It's about the appeal of the posse and coma etiquette. It's about importing and exporting. It's about sneaking a peek, and seeing the baby. It's about this, that, and the other. TV Guide
the best TV series of all time. It has become the master of its syndication domain. Its most devoted fans can quote each episode chapter and verse; their absorption of each scene's minutiae anything but a trivial pursuit. With such fervent devotion to the show, and demand for its DVD release, series creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David could have easily just OK'd a bare-bones set containing nothing but the episodes. Not that there would have been anything wrong with that, but instead, the creative team came together to create extensive and encyclopedic features that make this four-disc set buy-worthy. The candid and revealing audio commentaries and interviews, deleted scenes and original episode promos, and optional "Notes About Nothing" pop-ups are as irresistible as a Drake's coffee cake.
It's always fun and instructive to return to the humble beginnings of a series that became a pop culture benchmark. Here are Kramer's first not-so-grand entrance, Jerry's first contemptuous "Hello, Newman," and Elaine's first "Get Out!" shove. But what is most revelatory about the episodes from the first two seasons is what Jason Alexander, during his commentary for the episode "The Revenge," calls a "sweet quality" that somehow redeems these characters' more base instincts. The third season's--for want of a better word--the charm. The show has found its misanthropic voice (by season's end, a fed-up Elaine tells herself, "I gotta get some new friends"), the ensemble has a firmer grasp of their characters, and the writers rise to the occasion with episodes that have entered the Seinfeld pantheon, including the Seinfeld equivalent of a Very Special Episode, "The Boyfriend," with Keith Hernandez and the J.F.K. parody, "The Library," featuring Philip Baker Hall channeling Jack Webb as library bookhound Bookman, "The Pez Dispenser," and "The Keys," with an L.A.-bound Kramer winding up on Murphy Brown. Michael Richards, especially, comes into his own this season as Kramer. The first two seasons built up the mystique of this "man-child"/"parasite." So while he was absent in season 2's now-classic "The Chinese Restaurant" (in which Jerry, George, and Elaine wait in vain for a table), he is now out and about with the close-knit, albeit dysfunctional, trio. Julia Louis-Dreyfus has some of her giddiest golden moments, zonked on painkillers in "The Pen," or, as a bored party guest in "The Stranded," telling an obnoxious bride-to-be that "Maybe the dingo ate your baby." And don't get us started on Jason Alexander as George, series co-creator Larry David's neurotic and angst-ridden alter-ego. To paraphrase what Julia Roberts said of Denzel Washington, we don't want to live in a world where Alexander doesn't have an Emmy.
The "Inside Look" episode intros offer fascinating insights into this singular show that subverted sitcom convention. We learn that even the most outrageous episodes, such as "The Pez Dispenser," were inspired by real-life events. Especially telling is Alexander's observation that Jerry never really socialized with the other ensemble members. This has extended to the commentaries: Seinfeld pairs with David on some episodes, while Alexander, Richards, and Dreyfus team up on others. They are gracious to the guest stars and extras, and mostly mum on Jer. All of this, of course, is yadda yadda yadda to Seinfeld fans, whose patience for the show's DVD debut has been amply rewarded. As Elaine screams in the third-season episode, "The Subway," "It's not nothing, it's something!" --Donald Liebenson
Exclusive to the gift set:
Limited-edition original script with handwritten notes from Larry David
Exclusive "Monk's Diner" salt & pepper shakers
Collectible playing cards
41 episodes from the first three seasons on eight discs: Good News Bad News (pilot), The Stakeout, The Robbery, Male Unbonding, The Stock Tip, The Ex-Girlfriend, The Pony Remark, The Jacket, The Phone Message, The Apartment, The Statue, The Revenge, The Heart Attack, The Deal, The Baby Shower, The Chinese Restaurant, The Busboy, The Note, The Truth, The Pen, The Dog, The Library, The Parking Garage, The Cafe, The Tape, The Nose Job, The Stranded, The Alternate Side, The Red Dot, The Subway, The Pez Dispenser, The Suicide, The Fix-Up, The Boyfriend (1), The Boyfriend (2), The Limo, The Good Samaritan, The Letter, The Parking Space, The Keys
Featuring the original (1-2 minutes longer) NBC network versions of each episode
Two versions of the pilot episode
Remastered in high definition
Inside Looks: Interviews with the cast and creators about what was happening behind the scenes as the episodes were created and filmed
In the Vault: Saved from the cutting room floor... deleted scenes - never seen!
Not That There's Anything Wrong with That: Never-before-seen-outtakes and bloopers
Master of His Domain: See Jerry in exclusive stand-up comedy footage, shot for the show but never used
Sponsored by Vandelay Industries: Original NBC promotional ads and trailers
Notes About Nothing: Behind-the-scenes scoop and production notes
How It Began: An hour-long look at how Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David first came up with the idea for the show, how it almost didn't get made and how they emerged with the show that changed the face of television forever Tonight Show
Kramer vs. Kramer: Kenny to Cosmo: meet the real Kramer... Kenny Kramer!