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Seinfeld’s “The Parking Garage” Is One of the Few Episodes That Lives Up to the Premise

For a present famously about nothing, a variety of Seinfeld episodes have a complete lot occurring. There are many episodes about intercourse and relationship, one about disposing of muffin stumps, one about George being mistaken for the chief of a white nationalist motion and one other the place he performs a marine biologist. Jerry dates Keith Hernandez in a single ep and he dodges the kibosh from a stalker in one other, and there are even a number of episodes dedicated to Jerry and George pitching their very own present about nothing (which is finally ruined by stated kibosh). You don’t watch an episode known as “The Soup Nazi” after which suppose, “Wow, yeah, identical to my life!” And all of that is wonderful. In truth, nearly all of it’s good! The “present about nothing” factor is extra of a pithy pitch for Seinfeld than an correct descriptor. Any present that doesn’t happen in a characterless void is about one thing.

However inside Seinfeld’s 9-season run, there are just a few episodes which might be held up as the instance of the “present about nothing” ethos. These are episodes that are inclined to unfold in actual time as Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer face the minor inconveniences with main reactions—which is strictly what occurs in actual life. The primary episode to actually nail that is, in fact, Season 2’s “The Chinese language Restaurant”—the first great episode of the series.

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So much occurs on this traditional, extremely quotable episode (“We’re living in a society!“), however the plot begins and ends with Jerry, Elaine, and George ready for a desk at a Chinese language restaurant. That’s it. And it’s marvelous. It’s the present’s purported premise executed flawlessly. And whereas there are just a few different episodes about nothing (the gang tries to see a film, the gang splits up on the subway, the gang will get caught in site visitors, and so on.), there’s just one different episode that matches “The Chinese language Restaurant’s” perfection: Season 3’s “The Parking Storage,” which first aired 30 years in the past at present.

“The Parking Storage’s” setup is one we’re all accustomed to, and one which you’ll recall in your head actually each single time you park your automobile for the remainder of your life. Our lead quartet wander round a sprawling parking storage looking for their journey. That’s it. Although I’ve an iPhone, each time I park I all the time surprise for a split-second why I don’t carry a pen to jot down my location. What number of instances have I heard George Costanza’s voice say, “I’m afraid it’ll puncture my scrotum” in my life? Too many instances, my pals, too many!

Seinfeld, The Parking Garage, Elaine
Photograph: Netflix

The comedy in “The Parking Storage” is all spot-on, too, with all 4 gamers getting the precise proper sort of motivation. Fastidious Jerry’s gotta pee, anxious George has nitpicky dad and mom that he’s leaving hanging, Elaine’s rallying behind the reason for saving her new goldfish’s life, and Kramer… effectively, Kramer simply has a giant ass air conditioner that he’s lugging round.

With all of these parts in play, the forged get to do what they do greatest: Jerry Seinfeld will get to be exasperated and sarcastic; Jason Alexander will get to be aggressively depressing; Julia Louis-Dreyfus will get to hone that withering supply that may win her Emmys as Selina Meyer; and Michael Richards will get to principally do a vaudeville routine with a giant, heavy field. The positioning of him toppling over on the finish of the episode, slamming the AC unit into his trunk is such an incredible little bit of bodily enterprise.

Seinfeld, The Parking Garage, Kramer putting AC in trunk
Photograph: Netflix

This episode even has one slight benefit on “The Chinese language Restaurant”: nobody’s lacking. That episode is with out Kramer, a personality who you simply know waits for no tables. Kramer, like the girl on the cellphone sales space, shouldn’t be a part of “society.” His presence in “The Parking Storage” makes the episode really feel extra Seinfeld-y, and it even permits Kramer the extremely uncommon alternative to play it cool whereas everybody else crumbles round him. “The Parking Storage” has every part you need from a Seinfeld episode.

Later makes an attempt to rekindle the magic of nothing didn’t work as effectively. Season 3’s “The Subway” and Season 4’s “The Film” are wonderful episodes, with Elaine’s inner nuclear meltdown on the subway being the most NYC joke in all the collection. However they don’t work fairly as effectively as a result of the forged are all break up up for almost all of the episodes. “The Chinese language Restaurant” and “The Parking Storage” work so effectively as a result of they let the ensemble be an ensemble—one of many best ensembles in sitcom historical past. And whereas Season 9’s “The Puerto Rican Day” retains the forged principally collectively, the “present about nothing” vibe actually didn’t mesh will with the surrealist bombast of the later seasons.

Thirty years later, “The Parking Storage” is remembered as a good-to-great episode, its rep dulled a bit bit since “The Chinese language Restaurant” did the nothing bit first. I feel that in hindsight, it’s secure to say that “The Parking Storage” is each bit pretty much as good as “The Chinese language Restaurant,” as each episodes distill the essence of Seinfeld all the way down to its purest kind. And whereas “The Chinese language Restaurant” nailed the premise first, “The Parking Storage” nailed it final.

Stream Seinfeld’s “The Parking Garage” on Netflix

https://decider.com/2021/10/30/seinfeld-the-parking-garage-episode-30-anniversary/ | Seinfeld’s “The Parking Storage” Is One of many Few Episodes That Lives As much as the Premise

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