Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I love the 90s, Jerry

I want Jerry Seinfeld to go away.

Don't get me wrong. I think that he embodies comic genius, and his dead pan delights me. In fact, I'm a huge, huge "Seinfeld" show fan. But that is just the problem.

After Seinfeld the show ended back in 1998, Jerry disappeared with it in attempts to separate himself from the phenomenon that bore his name. But for someone like me--a young teenager whose television consciousness first awoke at age six with Seinfeld and developed in that sacred Thursday 9 P.M. EST time slot--Jerry's disappearance even more embedded him with the show.

As Michael Richards ventured into a spin-off that lasted for two episodes, Jason Alexander jumped from one TV special to the next and Julia Louis-Dreyfus had more luck with her New Adventures of Old Christine, I learned to accept their faces in new roles--even if I did still refer to them as Kramer, George and Elaine. ("Hey! Elaine is giving the commencement speech this year!")

But Jerry continued to embody "Seinfeld"--a human time capsule of the 90's, a reminder of better times when the news was defined more by what constitutes "sexual intercourse with that woman" and less by extremist violence and inept, corrupt government leaders. Jerry Seinfeld's face means prosperity, insularity, boy bands and bad movies. In short, in the lines and curves of Jerry's face lies my childhood.

So when I see Jerry now, on HP commercials and late night talks shows with his endless Bee Movie plugs, I want to grab him from the screen and shout: Get out of here! You don't belong! Don't you SEE what is wrong with the world? Don't drag the good old days into this mess! Stay where you belong--on TBS reruns and DVD box sets!!

As long as I don't have to see Jerry out and about today, I can turn on those reruns and snuggle into my couch. I can pretend to be 10 again, knowing that I'm pretty sophisticated for watching such high brow, adult NBC Must See TV, and feel optimistic about a world where the biggest concerns are close talkers and man hands, long division and chapter books.

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