Why 'Seinfeld' is the best sitcom of all time
Even though we’re in a golden age of TV, with streaming services and cable networks alike putting tons of support behind both meaty dramas and reality shows in order to create riveting, must-watch television, there’s something undeniably comforting about tuning into a sitcom after a long day.
Yes, sitcoms (real name: situational comedies) are mainly known for making us laugh, but a good sitcom will be equal parts smart and silly, with well-developed characters and provocative storylines. And the best sitcom will make us think, without us even realizing we’re doing it.
So what is the best sitcom of all time? There are, undoubtedly, no shortage of options, from classics like “I Love Lucy” to contemporary favorites like “Modern Family” and “Arrested Development.” And there are plenty of great arguments all the way around, but only one show can take the proverbial best sitcom cake...and it’s the show about nothing.
Of course, we’ve got to give it to “Seinfeld,” which ended nearly 20 years ago but can be found airing in syndication at literally any time of day on any day of the week. “Seinfeld” ran for nine seasons from 1989 to 1998, and it didn’t take long for the show about nothing to firmly secure its place in pop culture history.
“Seinfeld” takes the top spot among some seriously stiff competition - especially given that it ran alongside a slew of beloved sitcoms in the ‘90s, from “Friends” to “Roseanne” — and there are a few reasons why.
Though it’s often touted as being about nothing, “Seinfeld” really was about the day-to-day interactions and moments that we all experience, like dealing with telemarketers and “low-talkers” to the highly unlikely and absurd, like dying from licking too many envelopes (RIP Susan!). “Seinfeld” captured those nuances in its sarcastic, often times sardonic way, striking a brand of comedy that’s neither sappy nor cheesy.
The show isn’t without its criticisms, namely a lack of diversity among characters living in New York City (“Friends” receives this same valid argument) and the fact that the main characters were actually pretty crappy people most of the time, but “Seinfeld” never tried to teach a lesson and never tried to tie things up in a neat, tidy bow — one of the reasons it remains the best.
There were no moral lessons to be learned, and no happy endings to relish in, and that’s what makes it great. Like all TV shows, “Seinfeld” has aged in the two decades since its finale aired, but the core of its humor remains pretty timeless. There are still little “Seinfeld” moments to enjoy daily. Having soup for lunch today? You’ll think of the Soup Nazi. Going out drinking with friends? Try not to bust out the Elaine dance.
“Seinfeld” is a cultural zeitgeist through and through, and that’s why it’s the best sitcom of all time.
Now, whose bra is this?