Top 5 Underrated Episodes of Seinfeld
It's not a far stretch to say that Seinfeld is indisputably the least underrated show in sitcom history, having created classic episodes that changed the format of comedy. Episodes like “The restaurant”, “The Parking garage”, and “The Soup Nazi” come to mind. However, while many episodes are lauded for their story lines and one line zingers, there are several episodes that are forgotten and don’t get the praise they deserve (or at least I don’t think so). In any case, here is the list for your liking, or as I already anticipate, your disliking. Feel free to leave your own list on the comments section!
5. The Jacket: Season 2- Ep. 3
We never get to learn too much about Elaine’s family or background before moving to New York City. In this episode we meet her stoic, distant war veteran father who is also a prominent author. It begins with Jerry buying an expensive suede jacket and wears it in the middle of winter, (big no no). He decides to wear the jacket for a dinner with Elaine, her father, and George. Most of the episode takes place in the hotel lobby where George and Jerry are getting the third degree burn from Mr. Benes. The discomfort seethes out of the screen and I always cringe a bit when I watch it. That’s what makes it great. When I can feel the characters’ pain it makes it a better experience when I watch a show. While it might not be considered the best episode of the long running show, it still is commendable.
4. The Subway: Season 3 – Ep. 13
Watching Elaine slowly loose her sanity while her train is stuck in train “traffic” continues to be one of my favorite scenes in Seinfeld history. I think I enjoy it so much because I’ve been caught in that same situation plenty of times. Seinfeld had the ability of expressing the craziness of NYC unlike any other show. Whether it was being stuck in a dingy train like a can of sardines, looking for parking in the city, trying to get to JFK airport in 15 minutes, or preferring uptown over downtown, it really did a great job of creating a realistic setting for its characters. At least for prime time network television.
3. The Pen: Season 3- Ep. 3
Getting stuck in a senior citizen community for a whole weekend with your ex-boyfriend’s parents is certainly not the way anyone would want to spend their vacation. But it does make for great comedy. In this underrated episode, Jerry and Elaine go down to Florida to celebrate Morty's award ceremony, and plan on going scuba diving. Their plans go awry and both Jerry and Elaine are miserable. By the time the award ceremony comes along, Jerry has to wear glasses to conceal his two black eyes and Elaine is so drugged up on pain killers that she reenacts the ending scene of A streetcar named Desire. This episode had everything in it save George and Kramer. Nonetheless, it holds nothing back.
2. The Kiss Hello Season 6- Ep. 16
“Nobody wants you here! Nobody!”
In this episode, Kramer wants to recreate a utopian society where everyone knows everyone... Yea, I don’t know whose idea of a utopian society that is, but it’s certainly not Jerry’s cup of tea and I don’t blame him. Not only does everyone in the building now know each other, he is forced to the kiss hello. However, his contempt for the kiss hello leads him to become an outcast from the rest of “Mr. Roger’s” neighbors. There is also a great storyline with Elaine and her friend the physical therapist with the 50’s hairdo. It’s a great episode packed with punch lines.
And drumroll! My pick for the best underrated episode goes to the Crazy Joe Davola-centric episode.
1. The Opera: Season 4-Ep. 9
“I like to invite intruders”
Crazy Joe Davola is perhaps my favorite minor recurring character in Seinfeld world. I don’t know why he stopped showing up in later seasons, and was totally forgotten by the last season. In “The Opera” his character crossed boundaries of creepy psychotic stalker that Facebook stalkers of today couldn’t compare to. The whole episode had an uneasiness about it that was very different from the carefree nonsensical storylines that the show was used to and eventually became notorious for as seasons progressed. I absolutely love the scene with Elaine and Davola in his apartment, as it was able to deliver hilarity and fear very well. Whenever I feel cornered by someone, I have the tendency to randomly say "I'm a dayyyyy person" and spray pepper spray in their face before running away. Love this episode or I’ll have Crazy Joe Davola put the kibosh on you!
There you have it! My list for the top 5 underrated episodes of Seinfeld. Do you have your own list? Do you think these episodes are actually overrated? Let me know!