Is there actually anything left to say about the show about nothing? It turns out there is.
When The Seinfeld Chronicles debuted in 1989, no one expected it to become the pop culture phenomenon that it ended up as. By the end of its run, millions of people were recounting the antics of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer at the water cooler the next day. "Master of my domain", "yada yada yada", and "no soup for you" became catchphrases that are still in use more than 15 years after the show went off the air (my eight year old daughter uses yada yada yada.) Seinfeld continues to be considered one of the greatest television series of all time.
The book Seinfeld FAQ: Everything Left to Know about the Show about Nothing, by Nicholas Nigro, will take you back in time, remind you of everything you loved about the show, and probably actually help you learn a thing or two about the show you thought you knew everything about.
I started watching Seinfeld later than most people. Every time I would sit down to watch, it was the same episode (The Parking Garage.) I didn’t see what the big deal was. But shortly after it finished, I managed to see a different episode and after a few more, I was hooked. And I love reading books about television shows, so I knew this would be a book I would enjoy.
The book begins by covering the early days of the show from conception to getting on the air. It then re-introduces us to the 4 main characters and the people who played them. From there, readers meet the supporting characters and then the book looks at the cultural impact of the show, including the controversies. The next part documents each episode of the nine seasons and the book concludes with life after the show and how Seinfeld changed the television landscape.
Throughout the book there are great photos of the cast and screenshots from episodes. Also included are “top ten” lists which cover topics from Jerry’s reasons to dumping a girlfriend to Kramer’s jobs. The moment you begin reading this book, it will have you running to your dvd collection.
Overall this was an enjoyable book, the subject matter makes sure of that. There were quite a few times when it felt repetitive, not in the sections of the book but in the author mentioning the same thing more times than needed. I felt as though the episode guide was a little too long. I understand that there is a lot to cover, but because of that a different format may have worked better so it did not seem as long. The book definitely could have been condensed a bit more. Casual viewers of the show may find the length of the book a bit difficult.
If you were a fan of Seinfeld, you’ll enjoy this book. Think there isn’t anything more you could know about the show? Unless you were an absolute die-hard fan, there is new stuff in this book for you. There is lots of great information about the behind-the-scenes stuff that went into making this television show. Be prepared to spend a lot of time re-watching the show when you’re done (or not even finished) the book.