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Shut Up About Seinfeld!

July 7, 2017

I might not have ever watched Seinfeld if I had seen this cover first. (image via wikimedia)

My daughter told me to shut up about Seinfeld.  Those were her exact words:

“Shut up about Seinfeld!

My daughter and a bunch of her friends had been binge-watching the television show Friends on Netflix and were talking about it within my ear range.  I thought, FriendsFriends? People are still talking about Friends?  After my daughter’s own friends had left, I went on a rant about Seinfeld and how Seinfeld deserved to be watched instead of Friends.   Just so you know, it didn’t start off as a rant.

It just irked me that these teenagers had watched Friends instead of Seinfeld.  Twenty years ago, the two shows had been broadcast on Thursday nights, and Friends had kind of piggybacked on Seinfeld’s success.  Friends was okay.  It did really well after Seinfeld was done, but it was no Seinfeld.

And I wasn’t trying to disparage Friends with my rant by any means.  But the more I tried to explain how awesome Seinfeld was, the less attention my daughter gave me.  She nodded and said “uh huh” occasionally, but she stared at her phone the whole time.

And then she told me to shut up about Seinfeld.

I didn’t care that she said “Shut up” to me.  So much of “Shut up” is context and there was nobody else around when she said it.  She’s never said shut up to me with other people around.  But she had told me to shut up… about Seinfeld!

My daughter is a lot like me.  When somebody tells me how great a book is and that I MUST READ IT, I automatically won’t want to read it and I will try to find reasons to not like it if I do read it.  It’s a character flaw that my daughter inherited, but with television shows and movies instead of books.  As soon as I started praising Seinfeld, she didn’t want to watch it.

This was my fault.  I should have just strategically begun watching Seinfeld when she just happened to be around.  She would have noticed Seinfeld on her own, but she wouldn’t have been forced to watch it.  It would have happened naturally. She would have eventually gotten into it.   Instead, I have ruined Seinfeld for her.  I should have known better.  I’m old enough to know better.

Maybe in a few years, she will forget my enthusiasm and discover Seinfeld on her own.  That’s what it takes sometimes.  A couple decades ago, I praised Buffy, The Vampire Slayer to some friends during Season One, and they laughed at me for watching what they thought had to be a stupid show.  A year or two later, they were raving about it to me after they had discovered Buffy for themselves.  Neither of them had any memory of me telling them about the show.  The important thing was that they had discovered it.

I don’t understand why I’d care if anybody watches Seinfeld.  I wasn’t in it.  I didn’t write any of the episodes.  I had nothing to do with the show except watch it.  I didn’t even know about it for a season or two.  I can’t even brag that I was one of the early viewers who “discovered” Seinfeld before it became popular.  I was just an average schmuck who liked the show.

“Alright,” I said to my daughter.  “I won’t talk about Seinfeld anymore.”

“Thank you,” she said.

“You probably shouldn’t tell me to shut up,” I said.

“I know.  I’m sorry.”

“I know what you meant, but don’t do that around other people.  They might not understand.”

“I know.”

“Definitely don’t tell your mom to shut up.  It doesn’t matter what the context is.”

Of course, that’s when my wife walked into the living room.  “What are you talking about?” she asked.

Both my daughter and I spoke at the same time: “Nothing.”

Yeah, I’m pretty sure my daughter will like Seinfeld if she ever watches it.

From → Pop culture

  1. I took a lot of shit for liking Buffy back in the day and now everyone rants and raves about the writing and how great the show was. I was there first, dude. There should be some sort of “I told you so” time traveling app for those moments.

  2. Of course, she unwittingly pronounced a Seinfeld catch phrase in doing so. Win!
    My kids have watched Friends so many times I make fun of them. But they don’t care.

  3. This is funny, I recently had a cousin post on Facebook. Asking what did Jerry Seinfield ever do that was so great? My brothers and I were floored.

  4. I’m not sure I can blame your daughter and her friends for binge-watching Friends and not Seinfeld. After all, Friends are on Netflix, and Seinfeld is not.

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