Seinfeld: Season 8

Seinfeld: Season 8
Another season, another Emmy (Michael Richards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series) for television’s finest sitcom. Though many feel the eighth year for Seinfeld was where it began to lose its spark and mind, thanks to the exit of series co-creator/executive producer Larry David. Picking up after Susan’s passing (aka the most awkward death in network sitcom history), the writers managed to use the brutal offing to the show’s advantage by punishing George for his indifference to his fiancée’s poisoning (with Susan’s family using her fortune to establish a foundation he’s required to chair). George quickly rebounds though, raising his I.Q. when his girlfriend gets mono, dating both a convict and a women in a relationship with his doppelganger, failing to convince a cult of carpet cleaners that he’s worthy of their brainwashing (to no avail) and celebrating "his summer” after getting severance from the Yankees. For everyone else, it’s smooth perfectly and comically timed sailing. Jerry shaves his chest by accident, faces a weightlifting challenge from 80-year-old Izzy Mandelbaum (Lloyd Bridges), drops his girlfriend’s toothbrush into the toilet and questions if he’s "bombable.” Elaine becomes president of J. Peterman, reveals her inability to dance, dates a "bad breaker upper,” falls in love with an underage video store clerk and gets blacklisted from every doctor in the city. Kramer, meanwhile, starts his own bus tour ($37.50 with a complimentary Three Musketeers bar), sells his life stories to Peterman, falls for Jerry’s girlfriend Pam, becomes a seat filler at the Tonys and wakes up in the East River after napping on his date. Despite its tendency to get weirder and crazier, Seinfeld also got funnier, producing two of the series’ finest episodes. In "The Chicken Roaster” a Kenny Rogers Roasters takes over Kramer’s life, forcing Jerry to meet "Mr. Marbles” and the two switching personalities, while George drops his last name as an infectious jingle to the tune of "By Mennen!” ("Co-stanza!”). "Little Jerry” sees Kramer buying a pet rooster, naming him after Jerry and entering him in a cock fight, which apparently doesn’t allow chickens to wear American Gladiator-type equipment. Again, there are select commentaries that range in value. One of the best is for "The Muffin Tops,” where Julia Louis-Dreyfus and writer Spike Feresten talk about the muffin’s cultural relevance, as well as revealing that the episode was originally set around Kramer’s police scanner eavesdropping habit, which got bumped two days before shooting to focus on a new snacking craze. As always, there are hours of extras, including bloopers, "Sein-Imation,” "behind the scenes” action and deleted scenes. A 23-minute documentary called "Submarine Captain,” however, is the most valuable new addition, taking a look at Seinfeld the man and his career as a comedian/actor/producer/writer through flattering yet informative interviews with co-workers, who all seem to point out his obvious weakness as an actor but strength in playing himself. (Sony)