Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Spoilers for something everyone has probably already seen

I'd like to talk about the final episode of Seinfeld. Yes, I know I'm about 10 years late for this discussion, but my TV viewing was rather limited when I was young and I didn't get to see the show until just now, so we're going to talk about it now.
I'd somehow missed all the news that at the end of the final episode, the main four cast members of Seinfeld were sent off to prison for not helping someone who was being robbed. Even though R sometimes had problems getting me to watch the show because I found the characters so grating and despicable, I still can't get over the fundamental wrongness of such a verdict. Yes, I know the law they were convicted of violating is made-up and probably unconstitutional, only existing in the disturbed world that is the Seinfeld universe. Nevertheless, it bothers me all the same.
I know there certainly are laws out there that make it illegal to not do something (seat belt laws, helmet laws, criminal negligence), and I know that such things have saved thousands of lives, but one still wonders how far our social contract goes in requiring us to act against our will. Perhaps that is what makes the final episode bother me so much. We're not that far away from being incarcerated for watching a crime, and this episode simply shows us a twisted version of reality. I suppose that is what makes it funny, but it also scares the pants off me.

Hopefully now I will be able to stop obsession about a 10-year-old sitcom episode.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I never thought about it like that, but wow, you are so right. It is scary.

That being said, I didn't start watching Seinfeld until a little over a year ago, and even though I enjoy most of it, I absolutely hated the finale.