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15.5.07

The Women of Jerry, Part 6

Let's check out Season 5 of Seinfeld to see how the girlfriends stack up, shall we? Yes, we shall!

Episode One (65), "The Mango" (aired 16 September 1993). This is the episode when Jerry found out Elaine faked her orgasms, so he wants another chance. He gets one, and then fails to perform. I can't really count Elaine as a girlfriend. Besides, we already covered her as Jerry's girlfriend.

Episode Two (66), "The Puffy Shirt" (aired 23 September 1993). No girlfriend, but this is a great episode. Jerry can't hear Kramer's girlfriend, who asks him to wear her "puffy" shirt on the Today show. George gets a job as a hand model (and we find out he won the "no masturbation" contest, even though later we find out, in typical George fashion, that he cheated), but of course it all goes horribly wrong. Excellent stuff.

Episode Three (67), "The Glasses" (aired 30 September 1993). George's glasses are "stolen," so he needs new ones. While he's blind, he claims to see Jerry's girlfriend kissing Cousin Jeffrey. This is a not bad episode made better by the presence of Timothy Stack (now seen hilariously playing himself on My Name is Earl) as the glasses salesman who Kramer helped get off sweets. Jerry's girlfriend is played by Anna Gunn. Ms. Gunn has had a pretty decent career, and her Fame Rating is 6 out of 10 simply because she played Timothy Olyphant's wife, Martha Bullock, on Deadwood. What a great freakin' show. Gunn, by the way, was 25 when the episode aired. Jerry was 39. Pretty decent age gap there.

Episode Four (68), "The Sniffing Accountant" (aired 7 October 1993). No girlfriend. Jerry suspects that his accountant is using drugs even though he's just allergic to mohair, and this leads to various complications. Elaine is angry that her boyfriend, Jake Jarmell, doesn't use enough punctuation. It's that kind of goofiness that makes this sitcom such a classic.

Episode Five (69), "The Bris" (aired 14 October 1993). Jerry and Elaine are godparents, Kramer sees a "pigman," and George parks outside a hospital in a bad place. A pretty funny episode, but no girlfriend in sight.

Episode Six (70), "The Lip Reader" (aired 28 October 1993). Jerry dates a deaf woman! The deaf woman, of course, is Hollywood's go-to deaf woman, Marlee Matlin, who gets a Fame Rating of 8 out of 10 for filling the "deaf-woman" niche so ably all by herself. This is a pretty funny episode, as Elaine pretends to be deaf so she won't have to talk to her driver, Kramer becomes a ball boy and takes out Monica Seles, and George uses Matlin to spy on his girlfriend. Matlin has done a ton of work, and on network television, she has been playing Jaime Pressly's lawyer on My Name is Earl (Earl, of course, falls for her). Matlin was 28 when this episode aired, and Jerry was 39.

Episode Seven (71), "The Non-Fat Yogurt" (aired 4 November 1993). No girlfriend in this episode. Jerry, however, curses a lot and influences a child, who begins cursing a lot. We meet Lloyd Braun for the first time (and when he came back, he was played by a different actor). Not a bad episode.

Episode Eight (72), "The Barber" (aired 11 November 1993). Ugh. First of all, no girlfriend. Second of all, the whole "Jerry-switching-barbers" thing is stupid. A lousy episode.

Episode Nine (73), "The Masseuse" (aired 18 November 1993). Jennifer Coolidge shows up as Jerry's girlfriend, the masseuse who refuses to give him one. It's a pretty funny episode, for two reasons: Jerry's attempts to get her to give him one, which result in something like sexual harassment (it's funny in an uncomfortable way) and George ditching his girlfriend, who likes him, to chase Coolidge, who "dislikes [him] so intently" that he starts to like her. I'm going to give Coolidge a Fame Rating of 7 out of 10, because she's been a bunch of stuff even though she's never really achieved big-time stardom. She's always a riot, though, whether she's guest-starring on Friends, being schooled on how to pick up a man in Legally Blonde, seducing teenagers in American Pie, or showing up in one of Christopher Guest's "mockumentaries." Seinfeld was her first job in the entertainment field, by the way. Coolidge was 30 when the episode aired, and Jerry was still 39. Not bad. George's girlfriend, by the way, was played by Lisa Edelstein, who currently plays Dr. Cuddy on House.

Episode Ten (74), "The Cigar Store Indian" (aired 9 December 1993). This episode mainly deals with Frank Costanza's obsessive collecting habits about TV Guide, but it also features Jerry dealing with stereotypes, and is pretty funny. His "girlfriend" in this episode (do they ever actually go out on a date?) is Winona, played by Kimberly Norris, who I always thought was very attractive. Norris gets a Fame Rating of 3 out of 10, because she hasn't really done much in television or movies. She does, however, have a web site, and she is a Native American, which is nice to see (because of the subject matter in the show). I can't find any pictures of her to steal (her IMDb page and her web site have plenty, but I can't steal them), and I haven't been able to find her birthdate, but I would venture to guess that she's at least ten years younger than Jerry.

Episode Eleven (75), "The Conversion" (aired 16 December 1993). George converts to Latvian Orthodox, Kramer learns he has the "kavorka," and Jerry finds fungus cream in his girlfriend's medicine cabinet. His girlfriend is played by Kimberly Campbell, who never made much of an impression on me - she seemed vacuous. I'm giving her a Fame Rating of 2 out of 10 because she was on Seinfeld (her first job), but it's interesting that this was her first job and the last thing she's appeared in is Memento. I just find that neat. I have no idea how old Ms. Campbell was when this episode aired, but once again, I would say at least ten years younger than Jerry.

Episode Twelve (76), "The Stall" (aired 6 January 1994). Seinfeld went for some stunt casting here, as Elaine's boyfriend is played by Dan Cortese (remember Dan Cortese?) and Jerry's girlfriend is played by Jami Gertz. This is a pretty funny episode, mostly because of Cortese and George's man-crush on him. Krys and I still say "step off" and ask each other what we're doing "mañana." I have never liked Gertz, so her part of the show is less enjoyable, but the idea of not sparing a square is pretty funny. I give Gertz a Fame Rating of 8 out of 10, because she's still working and, let's be honest, she was pretty darned famous in the 1980s. For having been around a while, Gertz was only 28 when the episode aired, while Jerry was still 39. The ten-year age gap seems to be in effect!

Episode Thirteen (77), "The Dinner Party" (aired 3 February 1994). No girlfriend in this episode, as the gang splits up to find appropriate gifts for a dinner party. George wants to bring Pepsi and Ring Dings. Jerry eats a black-and-white cookie and throws up, breaking his non-vomit streak. Of course, this is the episode in which George and Kramer see Saddam Hussein on the street. It's not a great episode, but it's not bad.

Episode Fourteen (78), "The Marine Biologist" (aired 10 February 1994). This episode was just on TBS a few days ago, and that's good, because I love this episode. I especially love George's account of how he saved the whale ("The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup at a deli"). Jerry has no girlfriend, although Elaine accuses him of wanting to date the woman who was hit in the head with her organizer, played with grating goodness by Carol Kane (which would have been unusual, as she's two years older than Jerry). I always liked Rosalind Allen, who played Diane. As George puts it, she was the "It" Girl, and you can see why.

Episode Fifteen (79), "The Pie" (aired 17 February 1994). Audrey, Jerry's girlfriend, inexplicably refuses pie. He spends the rest of the episode trying to find out why, but never does. It's quite funny. This is, of course, the first appearance of Poppie, Audrey's father, who shows up again even though Audrey never does. Audrey is played by Suzanne Snyder, and interestingly enough, this was NOT her first appearance on Seinfeld. She was the female neo-Nazi who picks up Jerry and George in the limousine at the airport in Season 3. This episode actually came toward the end of her career (in entertainment, that is). I'm going to give her a Fame Rating of 5 out of 10, because she was in some fun stuff prior to Seinfeld, including Killer Klowns from Outer Space. That has to count for something, right? Snyder was either 32 or 31 when the episode aired (I have only a birth year, 1962), which is not a bad age gap.

Episode Sixteen (80), "The Stand-In" (aired 24 February 1994). Jerry is girlfriend-less again! This episode is the first with Mickey, Kramer's actor pal. This is also the episode in which Elaine dates the guy who "takes it out" on their first date. Not a bad episode, but not really that memorable.

Episode Seventeen (81), "The Wife" (aired 17 March 1994). Jerry makes up for the previous episode by having two (2) girlfriends! The most famous one, of course, is Courteney Cox, who dates Jerry for most of the episode before their fake marriage (contrived so Meryl (Cox) can get a dry cleaning discount that is offered to Jerry and his family), but he dumps her to give the discount to Paula, played by Rebecca Glenn. (I have to admit, though, that I'm not positive Paula is the girl he "cheats" with. I can't find anyone else who's a likely suspect, and I can't remember the girl's name. Can anyone confirm or deny?) This is a pretty good episode, as they often are whenever the gang plays around with a social convention without actually engaging in that social convention. Cox gets a Fame Rating of 10 out of 10 (this is for Tom, who wondered if Teri Hatcher couldn't get a 10, who could?), because since this episode aired, she hasn't really been out of the spotlight. Prior to this episode, she was in that Bruce Springsteen video, Masters of the Universe (man, that's a unintentionally funny movie), and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. After this, of course, she was in Friends, Scream and its two sequels, and her latest show, Dirt. And there's the marriage to David Arquette. I would put in the claim that Cox is the most famous of Jerry's girlfriends. When this episode aired, Cox was 29, and Jerry was 39. Back to normalcy in the age gap!

Episode Eighteen & Nineteen (82 & 83), "The Raincoats" (aired 28 April 1994). This two-part episode aired on the same day in April 1994, the day before Jerry's 40th birthday. This is the episode in which Jerry's parents are going to Paris but Kramer gets Morty involved in a business deal involving his beltless trenchcoat, "The Executive." Elaine's boyfriend, played nicely by Judge Reinhold, is a "close talker" and takes an inordinately weird liking to the Seinfelds. Jerry, meanwhile, is dating Rachel, played by Melanie Smith, who actually stayed Jerry's girlfriend for a few episodes. Ms. Smith only gets a Fame Rating of 4 out of 10, because she's never really done much, although she did work pretty regularly (including some time in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). Melanie Smith was 31 when this episode aired. Jerry, as we've seen, was 39, but when the other episodes with Smith aired, he was 40.

Episode Twenty (84), "The Fire" (aired 5 May 1994). This is one of the great episodes, even though Jerry has no woman. After Kramer's date, Toby, heckles him at his performance, he goes to her office (she works with Elaine) and heckles her, causing her to run in the street, where a street cleaner cuts off her pinkie toe. This leads to Kramer's tale of how he got on the bus to take the toe to the hospital (Jerry: "You kept making all the stops?" Kramer: "Well, people kept ringing the bell!"). In this same episode, George exhibits ridiculous cowardice by pushing over women and children at his girlfriend's son's birthday party in order to escape a small fire in the kitchen. Jon Favreau is the clown, and he's very funny.

Episode Twenty-One (85), "The Hamptons" (aired 12 May 1994). Jerry's girlfriend is Rachel again, played by Melanie Smith. This isn't a bad episode, as the gang heads out to the beach to "see the baby" - their friends' baby, who's absolutely ugly. Rachel catches George with his pants down after he gets out of the pool, which leads to the word "shrinkage" entering the pop culture vernacular. The notable thing about the guest stars in this episode is that George's girlfriend, who sunbathes topless, is played by Melora Walters, who has been in a bunch of stuff from Dead Poets Society to The Butterfly Effect but was absolutely brilliant in Magnolia (of course, everyone was brilliant in Magnolia, but still).

Episode Twenty-Two (86), "The Opposite" (aired 19 May 1994). In this absolutely brilliant episode, one of the best ever, George realizes that he must do everything the opposite from what he's ever done, which gets him a girlfriend and a new job with the Yankees. Meanwhile, Elaine turns into George and loses her job and her apartment. Rachel breaks up with Jerry, but everything always works out for him, so he's not worried. A great episode, and a good place to end a season.

So that's the fifth season of Seinfeld. Not a bad tally at all. 9 girlfriends, plus the girl he dumps Meryl for (I won't count her). One Oscar winner (Matlin), one quirky character actress with an impressive body of work (Coolidge), one 1980s "It" girl (Gertz), and one über-celebrity (Cox). Even the ones who are only famous for being in Seinfeld appeared in some good episodes. A fine season for Mr. Seinfeld. Who knows what future episodes will bring!

Here are the rest of the entries in this particular group so far:
Part One (the pilot), Part Two (Season One), Part Three (Season Two), Part Four (Season Three), Part Five (Season Four).

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3 Comments:

Blogger Tom the Dog said...

Hey, thanks for the shout-out! I just mentioned your Jerry project over on my blog, though (as I note in my post), I swear I didn't even realize you mentioned me in this post before I started writing my entry.

Anna Gunn is damn good, and Deadwood, as you say, is a great freakin' show, but man, that picture of her sure makes her look rough. Her neck muscles are all tensed up in a really disturbing way, and her smile is frankly scary. Marlee Matlin... ah, how very much I love Marlee Matlin. And hey! Courteney Cox gets a 10! I guess if anyone were going to overshadow Teri Hatcher in the fame department, it would be Cox.

Also: "The Opposite" is my favorite episode ever. "My name is George. I'm unemployed, and I live with my parents." BRILLIANT!!

17/5/07 12:29 AM  
Blogger layne said...

Dagnabbit, I'm pretty sure being Hollywood's go-to deaf woman - and Oscar winner to boot - rates at least a nine.

17/5/07 12:33 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Sorry, Layne - she's only an 8. That's the way it is!

I looked for better pictures of Anna Gunn, Tom, but a lot were like that. Strange. I didn't want to post a picture of her in Deadwood regalia, as this is a post about Seinfeld. Maybe I should.

17/5/07 5:18 PM  

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