I am very particular when it comes to watching TV shows. To me, television is enjoyable if the show makes me emotionally invested without abusing their characters. Watching any kind of physical or emotional abuse is uncomfortable and it takes some of the fun out of the program. I prefer comedies of all the genres, both classic and modern.
Photo: Will Porada on Unsplash
This show was written so well that not many episodes that could be considered poor. Some were funnier than others, but every episode introduced a new concept. Jerry Seinfeld performing stand-up comedy at the beginning of each episode in the show’s formative seasons was a creative way of showing the audience that he is a comedian outside of the show’s storylines.
I also like how each episode portrayed a different social norm and explained how the characters viewed those norms. This can be seen in the two-part episode from season 5 called “The Raincoats,” when the main character, Elaine Benes, had a boyfriend named Aaron. Aaron had a bad habit of being a “close talker,” meaning that he did not comprehend social boundaries and would walk up to the other characters too closely while talking to them. He invaded other characters’ personal space with this behavior, which was definitely uncomfortable.
My favorite characters from Seinfeld are George, Costanza, and Kramer. These three characters are quirky in different ways, which makes the show even more fun to watch. George tends to get irritated at very petty things. This can be seen in an episode from season 6 called “The Big Salad,” when George gets annoyed with his girlfriend for handing Elaine a bag containing a salad from a restaurant that he had paid for. His explanation for his irritation is that he did not understand how someone can take responsibility for a salad and accept a thank you under false pretenses. The girlfriend’s response? She just handed someone a bag. That scenario made George look very irrational and unreasonable, which is evident throughout the series.
Kramer is a classic sitcom character, memorable for his facial expressions, body language, and way of speaking. Whether he is exclaiming “OH YEAHHHH,” entering Jerry’s apartment by rapidly opening the door or just being different overall, Kramer is entertaining and a big part of the appeal of Seinfeld.
“The Big Bang Theory”
This show is in its final season right now, and to me, it has cemented its status as a sitcom classic. My favorite character is the unusual Dr. Sheldon Cooper. Sheldon’s quirks are hilarious and not in a mocking type of way. He is noticeably bizarre and eccentric, yet there is a likeability and a charisma that he brings to the show.
However, he makes it work for himself without realizing it because he shows a complete lack of awareness of how his personality affects those around him. He can be extremely condescending and very blunt, but it is one of the funniest aspects of the character. He is very nonchalant and unfiltered, which can be inappropriate and hysterical at the same time. Through all of his strengths and flaws, he manages to find a girlfriend who becomes his wife, which is one of the most heartwarming storylines of the series. Amy Farrah Fowler notices Sheldon’s differences and accepts him for who he is, which conveys a very positive message in a culture that asserts that being different means a person has to be excluded from the social world.
Seinfeld and the Big Bang Theory are two comedies from different eras in television with one notable similarity; they feature quirky characters and episodes with storylines centered around social norms and expectations. Kramer and Sheldon are eccentric and maintain friendships regardless. Their differences are highlighted, and at times mocked, but they still have appeal to audiences because of those very quirks. Seinfeld would not be the same without Kramer and Big Bang Theory would not be the same without Sheldon.
Michael Westwood is a 25 year old college graduate from Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Independent of being a contributor to Step Up, he is looking to pursue a career in professional writing of some type. His hobbies include watching professional wrestling (e.g. WWE and other promotions) and watching select TV sitcoms from today's television (e.g. Big Bang Theory, The Goldbergs) and classic programs as well (e.g. Seinfeld, Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond). He also has an ongoing online forum designed to inform people about the autism spectrum called "Ask Mike," which is part of an autism awareness group called All 4 Autism, which is based in Florence, South Carolina.