Seinfeld Problems

In my third blog I am going to discuss the different plots and problems within a Seinfeld episode. The two episodes that I am going talk about are “The Sniffling Accountant” and “The Bottle Deposit.” These two episodes have very different problems that involve all four of the main characters plus Wayne Knights character of Newman. First I am going to discuss the plots of both episodes starting with the “The Sniffling Accountant”.

The episode opens up with one of Jerry Seinfeld’s stand up comedy routines centering around the government and the IRS. The first scene in the episode is in Monk’s Cafe, where Elaine discusses her new boyfriend, Jake Jarmel (played by Marty Rackham), who is co-worker of hers that she met at her office. She explains who he approached her and felt her gabardine jacket with his thumb and forefinger rather seductively. The conversation then jumps to Jerry’s new sweater, which he found hanging in the back of his closet. Just then Elaine’s friend spots appears through the window of the cafe who is also Jerry’s accountant Barry Prophet. Jerry and Elaine invite him in to the coffee shop, but when he enters they are stunned to find him repeatedly sniffing while he is talking with them. Jerry, Elaine and George then discuss the possibilities that he could be using drugs. Jerry is panic stricken, considering that Barry could write checks out of his account for illegal narcotics. In order to find out once and for all as to whether or not he is on drugs Kramer, Neman, and Jerry organize a sting operation. They wait inside a car in front of Barry’s workplace, and when they see him going into a bar, Kramer who is wearing Jerry’s sweater goes in after him. He finds Barry sniffling in the bar, and manages to get a picture of him in a bathroom stall. At the end of the episode Jerry writes a letter to Barry, stating that their relationship is officially over, and gives the letter to Newman to mail it. with the letter Kramer puts the picture he took of Barry in the bathroom. In an affair involving a pizza delivery man, Jerry and Kramer find out that it was actually Jerry’s mohair sweater that caused Barry to sniff involuntarily. Jerry then rushes out to stop Newman from mailing the letter The episode concludes with Newman who was remarkably confident at the time felt a random woman’s coat between his thumb and forefinger on his way to mail the letter. The woman freaked and called her boyfriend to get Newman. Newman then runs away in a panic dropping the letter in the process. The last scene shows Jerry telling Elaine and George that Barry has filed for bankruptcy, and if he had terminated his relationship with him before filing, he could have gotten all of his money back.

The second episode that I am going to discuss is called “The Bottle Deposit”. This episode is a two part episode with two different problems. I am going to begin with the first problem. Since Elaine’s boss Mr. Peterman is going out of town and wants bid on a set of golf clubs that were owned by John F. Kennedy at an auction he wants Elaine to go and bid for him. He tells her that he is willing to go as high as $10,000 for the clubs. That is the first problem the second problem in the episode is when Jerry thinks he hears a strange clunking noise in his car and asks Kramer and Newman who had previously borrowed the car if they knew anything about it, but they don’t know anything. Newman learns that bottles and cans can be refunded for ten cents in Michigan as opposed to five cents in New York and many other states, but Kramer tells him that its impossible to gain a profit from depositing the bottles in Michigan because of  the gas prices, tollbooth and truck rental fees that they would compile during the trip, because the other time he tried it he failed because he couldn’t crunch the numbers. Upon hearing this Newman becomes obsessed with finding a way to make such a scheme work. The two stories combined when Kramer and Newman are surprised when Kramer suddenly spots Jerry’s stolen car on an Ohio highway and alerts Jerry by using his cell phone that he brought along. Newman and Kramer argue whether to deliver their mail and empty bottle to Michigan or to pursue Jerry’s stolen car before it exits the highway in Ohio, to which Kramer agrees. The way this relates to the problem with the golf clubs is because Elaine tells Jerry that she will get the clubs from Jerry and Jerry leaves the JFK golf clubs in his car and it gets stolen.

The reason that I chose the these two episodes is that both episodes  demonstrate the way that each Seinfeld episodes go through out the nine season history of the show. For example the episode the “Bottle Deposit” begins when Elaine’s boss Mr. Peterman wants her to bid for a set of golf clubs that were owned by John F. Kennedy at an auction. The reason that this episode is important is because it demonstrates how Seinfeld episodes progress from mellow and gradually get crazier at the end where the stories overlap. For example this episode gradually gets crazier because when Elaine gets the clubs she tells Jerry to hold the clubs for her. The way that this leads to the stories overlapping is because Jerry’s car winds up getting stolen by a crazy mechanic The clubs happen to be in the back seat of the car. Kramer and Newman then have to track and find the car. The second episode that I chose was the “Sniffling Accountant” this episode demonstrates the progression of a Seinfeld episode. The episode is crazy from the start because of the fact that Jerry believes that his accountant is using his money to buy drugs.

2 thoughts on “Seinfeld Problems

  1. Seinfeld is a great show and I’m glad someone has talked written about it for their blog. This was a good blog talking about the plot of the show, and how it always is crazy. I personally haven’t seen these 2 episodes but their wild plots are good in talking about the type of show Seinfeld is. No other show, that I can think of, would be able to have these crazy plots and pull it off in the end. This was a good job in displaying how even though it’s a bit insane, it still works.
    -Zack Lander


  2. I really enjoyed reading your blog, I think it had a really detailed overveiw of the plot of both epsiodes which helped to illustrate how the show’s narrative structure lends itself to the chaos that is seen on screen. My brother would always watch seinfeild and so that was how i first saw the show, and i’ll admit i didnt understand the appeal but habing watched the show i found your take on the problems interesting. I like how you talk about the overlap between the different stories and how when they do that it makes the plot even crazier but gives veiwers a resolution. its something i never really thought of until you brought it up but i do think it is something that marks the show and makes seinfeild what it is. with the detailed explination of the plot it provided two really in depth concrete examples that illustrated the structure of using insane plots well.
    -Sarah Seero


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