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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!

9.7.07

The Women of Jerry, Part 8

We're up to Season Seven, but I have to go back in time to correct a mistake. Yes, I forgot a girlfriend! How sad is that?

In Episode Three of Season Six ("The Pledge Drive") Jerry does indeed have a girlfriend. I completely forgot about it, and the episode recaps don't mention her, but then it aired not too long ago and I saw her. She's alive!!!!! His girlfriend gives him a thank-you card for appearing on the pledge drive, and Jerry throws it away and pisses her off. She was played by Rebecca Staab, and she was actually pretty cute. She's had quite the career on soap operas and as a guest star, plus I discovered she's the "hot mom" in those Tag Body Spray commercials, so I'll give her a Fame Rating of 5 out of 10. Plus, that same year she was Sue Storm in the Fantastic Four movie. Awesome! Ms. Staab was 33 when the episode aired (on 6 October 1994) and Jerry was 40. So not a bad age gap with her.

Okay, now we're on to Season Seven!

Episode One (111), "The Engagement" (aired 21 September 1995). George and Jerry assess their lives and decide they aren't men. They swear to do something about it, so George asks Susan to marry him. Jerry, however, breaks up with his girlfriend because she eats her peas one at a time. His girlfriend is played by Athena Massey, who doesn't make much of an impression (I think she was in just the one scene). Ms. Massey didn't have much of a career - in fact, this might be the highlight of hers, although she was in Poison Ivy: The New Seduction and The Nutty Professor, where she played "Sexy Girl," so I might be speaking out of turn here. I'm giving her a Fame Rating of 3 out of 10, because she did work for a while. Although, given how easy it was to find pictures of her on-line, perhaps that's a bit low. She apparently has fans out there! Massey is younger than I am, which made her 23 when this episode aired (two months shy of her 24th birthday). Jerry was 41, so the age gap was significant. The biggest yet, I think.

Episode Two (112), "The Postponement" (aired 28 September 1995). George wants to postpone the wedding and weeps like a baby. Kramer spills coffee on himself, which will eventually introduce us to Jackie Childs, who is excellent. But no girlfriend.

Episode Three (113), "The Maestro" (aired 5 October 1995). No girlfriend, but this is a pretty decent episode. Phil Morris as Jackie Childs appears for the first time, and gets to yell at Kramer ("Who told you to put the balm on?"). The Maestro (Bob Cobb) is played by Mark Metcalf of Animal House and "We're Not Gonna Take It" fame. But he's not Jerry's girlfriend, now is he?

Episode Four (114), "The Wink" (aired 12 October 1995). This is bad episode because it's one of those that brings up something about the characters simply for that episode and is never mentioned again, in this case Jerry's healthy eating habits, which he takes to idiotic lengths. He does have a girlfriend, I guess, in Elaine's cousin, Holly, who is played by Stacey Travis. Travis has zipped around quite a lot in her career, but she's never really taken off as a star, but I'm still giving her a Fame Rating of 7 out of 10. Why? She starred in Hardware in 1990 (very early in her career), and Hardware is a freakin' excellent movie. Weird post-apocalyptic sci-fi flick with Dylan McDermott, Iggy Pop as an angry DJ, and Lemmy from Motörhead. How can you go wrong? Interestingly enough, I can't find a birthdate for Ms. Travis. Strange.

Episode Five (115), "The Hot Tub" (aired 19 October 1995). In this episode, Jerry tries to help the marathon runner Jean-Paul wake up in time for his race. Meanwhile, George starts cursing a lot when he hangs out with Texans. Isn't that always the way? There isn't a girlfriend in sight for our hero.

Episode Six (116), "The Soup Nazi" (aired 2 November 1995). This might be the most famous episode, and although it's very good, it's dragged down a bit by Jerry's annoying (and unfunny) baby-talk with his girlfriend, played by Alexandra Wentworth. Wentworth has made the most of her career, appearing in Jerry Maguire and Office Space, among others, but I'm still only giving her a Fame Rating of 5 out of 10, largely because she's in the Soup Nazi episode. Wentworth was 30 when the episode aired, while Jerry remained 41, so the ten-year gap seems to be back.

Episode Seven (117), "The Secret Code" (aired 9 November 1995). George refuses to tell Susan his ATM code (it's "Bosco") and then he gets dragged into a family drama with J. Peterman. Jerry is doing promos for Leapin' Larry, which means he goes girlfriend-less once more.

Episode Eight (118), "The Pool Guy" (aired 16 November 1995). Jerry has no girlfriend (unless we want to count Ramon, the pool guy who gloms onto him), but this is a very funny episode because Elaine decides to befriend Susan, leading to the great "Relationship George vs. Independent George" debate.

Episode Nine (119), "The Sponge" (aired 7 December 1995). This is another pretty fine episode, and introduced the word "spongeworthy" to the pop culture lexicon. Jerry gets a woman's name from an AIDS walk sign-up sheet but then thinks she's "too good" to have sex with. He then finds out she's stockpiling sponges, so obviously she digs the sex. But then she rejects him when he admits he changes the size on his jeans because he's so vain. This isn't a bad episode, but I haven't seen it in a while. Did they pull it from the rotation? Anyway, George is "out of the loop" because he spills secrets to Susan, and Elaine has to interview her boyfriend before she'll sleep with him. Pretty good. Jerry's girlfriend is played by Jennifer Guthrie, whose career was actually almost over by this point. She gets a Fame Rating of 2 out of 10, because she never really did anything besides take over the Elisabeth Shue part in the television version of Adventures in Babysitting. Guthrie had just turned 36 when the episode aired, so that's a pretty decent age gap with the 41-year-old Jerry. I can't find any pictures of her. She's vanished!

Episode Ten (120), "The Gum" (aired 14 December 1995). Jerry has no girlfriend. This is the episode with Lloyd Braun right after he gets out of the asylum, so everyone has to go out of their way to avoid making him think he's crazy. This leads to Jerry pretending he likes Chinese gum and wearing glasses and Kramer eating a 50-year-old hot dog. This was aired today, actually (Monday the 9th, that is).

Episode Eleven (121), "The Rye" (aired 4 January 1996). This is kind of a dumb episode, with the whole marble rye subplot, plus Elaine's jazz musician boyfriend (who happens to be spongeworthy, as Elaine says early on). No girlfriend for Jerry, so let's just move on.

Episode Twelve (122), "The Caddy" (aired 25 January 1996). We get the return of Jackie Childs, as Kramer sues Sue Ellen Mischkie (or however you spell it) because she was wearing only a bra in public and caused him to crash his car. Meanwhile, Jerry, who loves her "whole freewheeling attitude," falls hard for her. This is a pretty funny episode and introduces the heir to the Oh Henry! candy bar fortune to us all. Sue Ellen is played by Brenda Strong, who is of course famous for shooting herself in the head in the first episode of Desperate Housewives and never shutting up after that. Therefore, I'll give her a Fame Rating of 7 out of 10. She also got chopped in half in Starship Troopers, so there's that. Strong was 35 when the show aired - another decent age gap.

Episode Thirteen (123), "The Seven" (aired 1 February 1996). George gets mad when Susan's cousin steals the name "Seven" for her baby. Meanwhile, Jerry dates a woman who always wears the same outfit. This is an okay episode, although if Jerry really wanted to know that badly if she has any other clothes, he could have gone about it a different way (yes, I know that wouldn't have been funny, but still). Lisa Deanne plays the strangely-attired girl, and her Fame Rating is 2 out of 10, because she had a short career and didn't do much during it. I can't find out anything about her or a photograph. Oh well.

Episodes Fourteen & Fifteen (124 & 125), "The Cadillac" (aired 8 February 1996). Jerry goes to Florida, which means he has no girlfriend and the episode is boring. It's notable because George finds out he's Marisa Tomei's type, which is very funny. Why on earth didn't he wait six months after Susan died to call Marisa back instead of the same day? What a fool.

Episode Sixteen (126), "The Shower Head" (aired 15 February 1996). The highlight of this episode is the way the low-flow showers mess with Jerry's, Kramer's, and Newman's hair, but there's no girlfriend and no reason to write more about it.

Episode Seventeen (127), "The Doll" (aired 22 February 1996). Another show with no girlfriend, although this is the first appearance of Kathy Griffin as Susan's old roommate. And the Maestro returns!

Episode Eighteen (128), "The Friars Club" (aired 7 March 1996). Jerry is considered for membership in the Friars' Club, but when the jacket he wears in the club disappears, things go wacky. Meanwhile, he's dating Susan's best friend, which makes George happy because they can double-date. Samantha Smith is the girlfriend, and she's had an odd career. She was on Charles in Charge in 1984, but her next television appearance was this episode. She's done quite a bit since then, and now she's "Sarah Lennox" in Transformers. Has anyone seen the movie? Is this a big part? I mean, she has a last name, for crying out loud! I'm going to give her a Fame Rating of 6 out of 10. Smith was 26 when the episode aired, a 15-year age gap between her and Jerry. I'd like to show a picture, but have you ever tried Googling "Samantha Smith"? Yeah, I didn't think so. There are some nice photos at the IMDb page.

Episode Nineteen (129), "The Wig Master" (aired 4 April 1996). This is a very funny episode, with Kramer eventually getting mistaken for a pimp and Jerry getting grumpy when a man assumes he's not with another man even though they're sitting around drinking champagne coolies. Lots of good stuff, actually, but no girlfriend around.

Episode Twenty (130), "The Calzone" (aired 25 April 1996). Just before his 42nd birthday, Jerry gets a girlfriend who can get whatever she wants. He eventually loses her to Todd Gack, the guy who goes on dates with women without actually dating them. Nicki is played by Danette Tays (whose IMDb page is under Dylan Tays), who gets only a Fame Rating of 2 out of 10. Apparently she couldn't get everything she wanted, because she never had much of a career. According to the magic of Google, however, she's now an "exotic dancer" in the Los Angeles area. Good for her!

Episode Twenty-One & Twenty-Two (131 & 132), "The Bottle Deposit" (aired 2 May 1996). As funny as this episode is, there's not girlfriend, so I'll only discuss it briefly. Sue Ellen returns to bid against Elaine for JFK's golf clubs, and Brad Garrett shows up as Jerry's mechanic. Strange, considering they made such a big deal about how honest Puddy was, but oh well.

Episode Twenty-Three (133), "The Wait Out" (aired 9 May 1996). I'm going to count Debra Messing as a girlfriend here, although I'm not sure she technically counts until next season, when she actually dates Jerry. Whatever - she's a girlfriend at some point, and this is her first appearance, and one of the very few women to appear in more than one episode. Jerry and Elaine are "waiting out" a marriage between Messing and Cary Elwes, and when George says something stupid and causes a separation, they think they're in. Messing gets a Fame Rating of 9 out of 10 for Will and Grace, plus she's in that USA Network show now. Among other things, of course - she broke Ben Stiller's heart in Along Came Polly, and McHale's Navy launched many stars into the firmament, I'm sure. Jerry, you'll recall, was 42 when this episode aired, and Messing was 27. The age gap grows as Jerry gets older!

Episode Twenty-Four (134), "The Invitations" (aired 16 May 1996). George kills Susan. Sigh. Still, a brilliant way out of the marriage, even if it's a bit mean-spirited. But that's pretty much what this show is about, isn't it? Jerry, meanwhile, gets engaged to Jeannie Steinman, who's a female version of him. In a perfect casting situation, Janeane Garofalo plays Jeannie. Garofalo gets a Fame Rating of 8 out of 10, because although she's more talented than, say, Debra Messing, she's not quite as famous. She ought to be, because she's awesome, but she's not. She was in Cop Land, for crying out loud! Garofalo was 31 when this episode hit the airwaves, so the age gap is a respectable 12 years between her and Jerry.

So that's Season Seven, which I think we can agree was the last really good season. Seasons Eight and Nine had their moments, but weren't really up to the quality of the previous ones. Even this one slipped somewhat. Anyway, let's look at the totals. 11 girlfriends, which is about standard, and some pretty good ones, too. Brenda Strong, Debra Messing, and Janeane Garofalo are a pretty good trio, and Stacey Travis isn't bad at all (in terms of fame, that is - she's kind of annoying in the episode). The age gap continues to grow for the most part, and I'm curious to see what happens in the last two seasons (I know, I'm probably the only one).

If you've missed any of these posts, and for some bizarre reason are interested, here are the others: the Pilot, Season One, Season Two, Season Three, Season Four, Season Five, and Season Six. Enjoy!

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5 Comments:

Blogger john sweet said...

8 of 10 for Janeane? Janeane Garofalo only gets an 8?!?! Truth About Cats and Dogs Janeane who was stealing scenes and looking better than Uma Thurman? The Janeane who does voices for animated films, television spots, cable syndicated shows, her own stand-up as well as other comedy, drama... did you look through her career on IMDB?

Man, you are harsh!

Of course, I still have a crush on her from her MTV spots when she had her crush on Eddy Vedder... so maybe I am playing favorites.

She's all the way to 11! (sorry... Spinal Tap moment there)

UncleMonster

10/7/07 5:21 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Sorry, John, but that's the way it is. I love Garofalo too, but I don't think she's as famous as Debra Messing. More talented and cuter, sure. But more famous? I don't think so. Feel free to disagree!

11/7/07 8:08 AM  
Blogger Roger Green said...

Of course these are subjective, but I would have given Wentworth at least a 6, but maybe it's because she was one of only 4 people on your list I ever even heard of. Perhaps I know her because she's married to George Stephanopoulos and I'm a news junkie.

11/7/07 9:29 AM  
Blogger Ahistoricality said...

I enjoy reading these roundups at least as much as I ever enjoyed the show.

25/7/07 1:35 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

That probably speaks more to your dissatisfaction with the show, ahistoricality! But I'm glad you like them!

25/7/07 6:57 AM  

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