The Women of Jerry, Part 10
Episode One (157), "The Butter Shave" (aired 25 September 1997). Kramer shaves with butter. Oh dear. What an unfunny episode, from Newman turning into a cannibal to Elaine fighting with Puddy. Bania following Jerry to success is mildly funny, but it doesn't save things. Jerry has no girlfriend, although Kristin Davis does show up, as Bania's girlfriend. And seeing Gordon Jump in these episodes is always a treat.
Episode Two (158), "The Voice" (aired 2 October 1997). Another somewhat poor episode, with Jerry actually choosing his funny voice over his girlfriend, who gets angry when he explains the voice is what they believe her belly button sounds like. Kramer gets an intern, which ought to be more clever (it's mildly amusing), and Gordon Jump tries to get George to quit because he lied about being handicapped, but George hangs on. Jerry's girlfriend is played by Sara Rose Peterson, who gets a Fame Rating of 2 out of 10. She showed up on Friends a few years after this, but has never done anything of note. I have no idea how old she is, but I would guess at least 15 years younger than Jerry, who was 43 when this episode aired.
Episode Three (159), "The Serenity Now" (aired 9 October 1997). This is actually a pretty funny episode, with Frank Costanza's cry of "Serenity Now!" ringing throughout it. Jerry's girlfriend teaches him to express his emotions, which leads to him being rude to her and eventually proposing to Elaine. George opens up to Jerry about his deepest emotions, which scares Jerry straight. It's not bad at all. Lori Loughlin is Jerry's girlfriend, and she gets a Fame Rating of 7 out of 10. Loughlin is a strange actress, because I know she's famous, but I've rarely seen her in things. She shows up in stuff I simply don't watch, like Full House, which made her famous. She's not a bad match for Jerry, actually - she was 33 when the episode aired, so she was 10 years younger than her co-star, but they fit better than some of his even younger girlfriends. She's also one of those women who appeared on Seinfeld well after they became famous.
Episode Four (160), "The Blood" (aired 16 October 1997). Jerry has no girlfriend, and that's probably for the best, because that means we can just move on. This episode features Jerry getting a transfusion of Kramer's blood, plus the return of Lloyd Bridges as Izzy Mandelbaum. Blech. George's transformation into, as Jerry calls him, "Caligula," is mildly amusing, though.
Episode Five (161), "The Junk Mail" (aired 30 October 1997). Another mediocre episode, as Jerry gets a van from "the summer George," his old camp friend. Wilford Brimley's appearance as the Postmaster General is okay, but another than that, not much is good here. Jerry has no girlfriend.
Episode Six (162), "The Merv Griffin Show" (aired 6 November 1997). Kramer finds the set of the show in a dumpster and turns his apartment into The Merv Griffin Show. George's subplot with the wounded squirrel is too stupid to mention, but Jerry's weird relationship with his girlfriend, who owns all the old toys, is somewhat funny. The less said about Elaine's subplot at Peterman the better. Jerry's girlfriend is played by Julia Pennington, whose appearance here was her first. She gets a Fame Rating of 3 out of 10, because she did some work after this, but still nothing really remarkable. I can't find any pictures or biographical information about her, but I can't believe she was older than 30 when this episode aired.
Episode Seven (163), "The Slicer" (aired 13 November 1997). Marcia Cross shows up as Jerry's dermatologist girlfriend in another one of these latter-day Seinfeld episodes where the stupidity just spirals out of control. Oh well. Cross gets a Fame Rating of 9 out of 10, because she's been in two seminal soap operas, Melrose Place and Desperate Housewives, on which she's the best of the four (even though I haven't seen it in a while - when I watched it, she was the best). She was also Kirstie Alley's sister on an episode of Cheers back in the day! Cross was 35 when the episode aired, and like Lori Loughlin, she actually looks like a good match for Jerry, who was still 43.
Episode Eight (164), "The Betrayal" (aired 20 November 1997). This is the backwards episode, which is somewhat amusing to watch, but it's not that much better than the rest of the episodes in this season. Jerry's girlfriend, Nina, is played by Justine Miceli. I guess she's not really his girlfriend, but they do have sex, and that's good enough for me! Miceli gets a Fame Rating of 5 out of 10, because she was in NYPD Blue for a while, and she's worked pretty steadily for 15 years. Shockingly enough, she was actually born in the same decade as Jerry was! She's almost exactly five years younger than he is, so she was 38 when the episode aired. Stunning. There are some funny things in this episode, like Jerry marveling about e-mail and Kramer being unwilling to take Jerry's food when Jerry first moved in. Of course, that contradicts the old Mad About You episode where we learn that Paul was living there when Jerry did, but oh well.
Episode Nine (165), "The Apology" (aired 11 December 1997). James Spader shows up and fails to apologize to George for making fun of his big head (he's in AA and needs to make amends to people). Jerry, meanwhile, dates a woman who's always naked (how does she go out?). Foolishly, he ruins it. Stupid Jerry! The girlfriend is played by Kathleen McClellan. She has never done much, although she's worked steadily, so I'm giving her a Fame Rating of 4 out of 10, and that's only because she appeared in both Stuff Magazine and Maxim. Now that's impressive! McClellan was Miss Photogenic at the Miss Teen USA pageant in 1988, so let's say she was 18 then. That would make her 27 or so when she appeared on Seinfeld. We're back to a big age gap.
Episode Ten (166), "The Strike" (aired 18 December 1997). Ah, Festivus! What would we do without you? This is pretty much the highlight of the final season, as it's goofy but not beyond the realm of possibility. Kramer's subplot, with the resolution of the bagel strike, is okay, but nothing great. Meanwhile, Jerry meeting a woman who looks different in different light is odd but isn't as stupid as some subplots. The girlfriend is played by Karen Fineman, whose Fame Rating is only 2 out of 10, because she hasn't done anything beyond guest starring in various episodes. I can't find any biographical information for her, or even a photograph!
Episode Eleven (167), "The Dealership" (aired 8 January 1998). This isn't a terrible episode, but it's not the greatest. Jerry has no girlfriend, so there's nothing else to say, except to ask why George didn't just take a short walk to a convenience store to get a Twix bar?
Episode Twelve (168), "The Reverse Peephole" (aired 15 January 1998). This is a pretty funny episode because of Puddy's strange fur coat and the gradual transformation of Jerry carrying a purse and wearing a fur coat because he's a "fancy boy." Jerry's girlfriend is played by Jennette Robbins, who doesn't make much of an impression, unfortunately. She gets a Fame Rating of 1 out of 10, because she was in this episode and in Friends once, and that's it. Sheesh. As you might expect, I can't find out much about Ms. Robbins. She's an enigma!
Episode Thirteen (169), "The Cartoon" (aired 29 January 1998). There's no girlfriend, but Kathy Griffin's increasingly bizarre taunting of Jerry is compelling, somehow. Nothing much else to say!
Episode Fourteen (170), "The Strongbox" (aired 5 February 1998). Jerry has no girlfriend, but George dates Illeana Douglas, one of the two girls who refuse to break up with him. I just thought I'd point it out because Illeana Douglas sadly doesn't get enough work.
Episode Fifteen (171), "The Wizard" (aired 26 February 1998). Jerry visits his parents, which is never good. He gives his dad a Wizard organizer, and Morty thinks it's a tip calculator. Meanwhile, Elaine and her boyfriend aren't sure which race the other is. It's not a bad episode, especially when Kramer moves to Florida, but it's not a great one, either. No girlfriend for Jerry!
Episode Sixteen (172), "The Burning" (aired 19 March 1998). Jerry's girlfriend has a "secret tractor story" that she hasn't told him, and he tries to figure it out. This is actually a pretty funny episode, with Jerry's girlfriend giving him the "It's me" on the phone, George always leaving on a high note in his conversations, and Elaine changing the religious pre-set stations on Puddy's radio (great Puddy line: "You stole my Jesus fish!"). This episode also features Daniel Dae Kim of Lost, who strangely speaks perfect English. The girlfriend is played by Cindy Ambuehl, whom I'll give a Fame Rating of 5 out of 10, just because she's been in a ton of stuff without ever becoming a star. But she was in Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead! I wonder if that's on DVD? Ms. Ambuehl was 33 when the episode aired, while Jerry was still 43, so the age gap is back to a decent interval. She doesn't match up as well with Jerry as Loughlin or Cross did, though, probably because she's meant to be, well, a bit dim. She does have a web site, though! I guess she's designing clothes these days. Good for her!
Episode Seventeen (173), "The Bookstore" (aired 9 April 1998). The whole subplot with George taking the book into the bathroom in the bookstore and then failing to get rid of it is amusing, and J. Peterman's speech about his culpability in getting Elaine's make-out partner into heroin is humorous. There's no girlfriend, however, so let's move on.
Episode Eighteen (174), "The Frogger" (aired 23 April 1998). George buys a Frogger machine on which he still has the high score, even years later. If he's willing to spend money on the Frogger machine, why wouldn't he spend money on a decent crew to move it, even if he's notoriously cheap? I mean, he already bought the machine! Anyway, Jerry tries to break up with his girlfriend but can't. She lives in a section of town that has been terrorized by a serial killer, "The Lopper," so he doesn't want to leave her apartment after breaking up with her. The scenes where they're breaking up are pretty funny. The girl is Julia Campbell, who I remember from Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion. Yes, I've seen it! I'm going to give Campbell a Fame Rating of 5 out of 10, even with that classic film on her résumé. She was 35 when the episode aired, and Jerry was just shy of his 44th birthday. Not a bad age gap.
Episode Nineteen (175), "The Maid" (aired 30 April 1998). Jerry gets a maid. And then sleeps with her. The whole thing with her being a maid or a prostitute is okay, and when Kramer has a "long-distance" relationship (his girlfriend moves downtown) and he gets stranded there (at the "nexus of the universe," First and First), that's pretty funny too. Jerry's maid/girlfriend is played by Angela Featherstone, who ought to be on The Wiggles, shouldn't she? Featherstone is another one of those actresses who's been in a bunch of stuff without achieving stardom, but she was the girl Ross cheated with on Friends, plus she was in Con Air and Zero Effect, plus she cursed Van Halen in The Wedding Singer, so I'll give her a Fame Rating of 6 out of 10. Featherstone was 33 when the episode aired, and this aired the day after Jerry turned 44. That means she was 32 when Ross slept with her and working in a copy shop. He should have known she was trouble!
Episode Twenty (176), "The Puerto Rican Day" (aired 7 May 1998). This is the one that never gets replayed because of the burning Puerto Rican flag. It's too bad, because it's not bad. No girlfriend for Jerry, however.
Episode Twenty-One through Twenty-Four. These are clip shows and the finale, which is awful. Plus, Jerry has no girlfriend in it, so it doesn't matter.
Let's check out the totals! Jerry has 11 girlfriends, with only Lori Loughlin and Marcia Cross achieving any real measure of Fame. Featherstone is the closest to them, but there's a big drop between those two and her. The women are generally a bit older, however, which is nice to see. It's typical of the final season in general that the girlfriends are pretty weak.
So that's it for our tour through the Women of Jerry. However, I'll be back with a summary of all the girlfriends! It's the least I can do! Look for it soon!