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Seinfeld DVD success proves show still on top

By David Fryman

Section: Arts

January 14, 2005

With natural disasters, murder trials, and election analysis taking center stage in the news during the last two months, at least one very important and historic event has gone almost entirely unreported. The first three seasons of Seinfeld is available on DVD for the time.

An internet search of various national newspapers turned out only a smattering of references to this event and I have heard nothing about it on television news. I think it is appropriate for the first issue of the Hoot, a newspaper founded in part to provide better news coverage, to have some mention of the Seinfeld DVD, albeit in an opinion column.

Im sure that many of you are rolling your eyes at the suggestion that the release of Seinfeld on DVD deserves more media coverage. True fans of televisions greatest sitcom will appreciate and share my excitement. All of you who like Pez, say yada yada yada, or use nazi as a suffix to express insane orderliness owe Seinfeld a debt of gratitude. I know that Im not alone in my love for Seinfeld;

the high television ratings speak for themselves.

Seinfeld fans like me have been waiting patiently as both Friends and The Simpsons were released on DVD, and it was worth the wait. The set of 4 DVDs complements the first three seasons of episodes with commentary tracks, deleted scenes, and behind-the-scene accounts of each episode.

The DVD-extras include how actor Jerry Seinfeld and writer Larry David came up with the setting and plot for many of the episodes.

As Jen Chaney writes in a Nov. 16 WashingtonPost.com article entitled Seinfeld: A DVD About Something, one of the very few news articles about this momentous occasion, Where else can you learn that Doris Roberts of Everybody Loves Raymond almost was cast as Jerrys mom? Or that Michael Richards insisted on carrying an actual air conditioner during filming of The Parking Garage? Or that many of Seinfelds plot devices are based on real moments from the bizarre life of Larry David?

I began watching Seinfeld in high school. Unfortunately for me, the sitcoms heyday was in the early 90s so the best I could do was watch reruns, which I did quite consistently. During my freshman and sophomore years here, I amassed a complete collection of Seinfeld episodes on my computer (the files were made from television recordings) and graciously shared them with my fellow Brandeis students via the network. Watching Seinfeld over and over again on my computer, as my roommates could attest, I became increasingly interested in anything related to the show about nothing.

But alas, in the summer following my sophomore year, my hard drive crashed and with it, my beloved collection of video files, which I never recovered. The new Seinfeld DVDs, though, put those old files to shame and leave fans salivating for seasons four and five. Those of you who never appreciated Seinfeld will surely scoff at the pathetic declaration of love that is this column. I have no doubt, though, that my fellow fans are brimming with enthusiasm at the release of the DVDs. The DVDs' remarkable success thus far indicates that America is still watching.

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