We've reached Season Eight, which is where the show took a distinct downturn. There were still some excellent episodes, but it got more and more goofy and less "real," and the laughs were fewer. But Jerry kept dating!
Episode One (135), "The Foundation" (aired 19 September 1996). Jerry doesn't have a girlfriend in this episode, because he broke up with Janeane Garofalo in a flashback. But she does show up, as does Susan Walters, whose character's name (Dolores) isn't as famous as the name Jerry and George think is her name (Mulva). She doesn't date Jerry in this episode either.
Episode Two (136), "The Soul Mate" (aired 26 September 1996). Jerry dates a woman for whom Kramer falls, hard. So Newman helps him woo her away. This is the episode in which everyone involved ends up wanting a vasectomy - Elaine's new boyfriend, Jerry and Kramer (for Pam's benefit), and Newman (for Elaine's). The girlfriend, Pam (Kramer even loves her name!), is played by Kim Myers
. Despite a very impressive résumé (her first role was in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2
!), Myers only gets a Fame Rating of 2 out of 10
. She hasn't really done a lot, although I must have seen her in the episode of The Closer
in which she appeared and didn't recognize her. Kim Myers was 30 when the episode aired. Jerry was 42.
Episode Three (137), "The Bizarro Jerry" (aired 3 October 1996). See, now this is a brilliant episode, as Elaine continues to date Kevin, who turns out to be the Bizarro Jerry, complete with a generous "George" (named Gene) and a considerate "Kramer" with great, practical ideas (named Feldman). It's a very funny episode. Less funny, but still not bad, is Jerry's story with his girlfriend, "Man Hands." Their story is good, but George using her picture to get inside "The Forbidden City" where all the attractive women are is good too. "Man Hands" (her name in the episode is Gillian) is played by Kristin Bauer
, who has had a steady if unspectacular career and therefore gets a Fame Rating of 4 out of 10
, although she did show up in Maxim
magazine (which is where I found the picture), so that's something. Bauer was only 22 when the episode aired, therefore making her 20 years younger than Jerry and the one with the biggest age gap so far.
Episode Four (138), "The Little Kicks" (aired 10 October 1996). Jerry has no girlfriend. This is an example of the way the show went in the last few years. Elaine's dancing is very funny, but Jerry's plot with Kramer and his bootlegging friends, while amusing, is so bizarre it doesn't feel right. A typical latter-day Seinfeld
Episode Five (139), "The Package" (aired 17 October 1996). Here's another one. Jerry's insurance fraud thing is kind of tedious, and although George's dilemma with the photo store clerk is amusing, it's also kind of forced. There are some very funny moments, such as Newman grilling Jerry about mail fraud, but overall, it's not that good. Jerry has no girlfriend, although the photo shop clerk that George is sweet on is pretty cute.
Episode Six (140), "The Fatigues" (aired 31 October 1996). And another one. Elaine's deranged employee is just not funny, although Frank Costanza's experiences in Korea are. Jerry and George get mixed up in the whole mentor-protégé, and it's pretty humorous. Jerry is dating Abby, played by A. J. Langer
of My So-Called Life
and It's Like, You Know
fame. That's right, she's actually somewhat famous! Langer has been working steadily for years, and as well as starring in the two excellent shows I've already cited, she was in Escape from L. A.
as well! Therefore, she gets a Fame Rating of 7 out of 10
. Langer was also 22 when the episode aired, but she's younger even than Kristin Bauer, meaning the age gap has a new champion!
Episode Seven (141), "The Checks" (aired 7 November 1996). And yet another one. Jerry has no girlfriend, so I'm not going to get into this too much, but Brett's zoning out when "Desperado" comes on the radio is silly, as is Jerry's signing of all the royalty checks. Even in the dark days of 1996 you could buy rubber stamps to endorse checks!
Episode Eight (142), "The Chicken Roaster" (aired 14 November 1996). And still another one, even though this episode, where Jerry switches apartments with Kramer so that Kramer doesn't put Kenny Rogers Roasters, where Jerry's friend works, out of business, is pretty funny. Watching Jerry turn into Kramer and vice versa is quite funny. Elaine charging a ton to the Peterman expense account is stupid, however, even though it does get us to Burma and funny Apocalypse Now
riff. Jerry has no girlfriend through it all.
Episode Nine (143), "The Abstinence" (aired 21 November 1996). In keeping with the spirit of these later episodes, this features some ridiculous things, but George's forced abstinence from sex (his girlfriend thinks she has mono) is funny. Elaine becoming dumber through lack of sex, however, is not. Jerry has no girlfriend. He's too busy trying to get over the embarrassment of getting bumped at his junior high school.
Episode Ten (144), "The Andrea Doria" (aired 19 December 1996). Jerry has no girlfriend, and the subplot of Kramer turning into a dog because he's taking "dog medicine" is pretty dumb, but Elaine getting freaked out by her "big head" is humorous, as is George using his lifetime of misery to get an apartment over a survivor of the Andrea Doria sinking. Why shouldn't George take advantage of his situation? He's had a much worse life than that old dude!
Episode Eleven (145), "The Little Jerry" (aired 9 January 1997). Another subpar episode, another girlfriend-less Jerry. First, the idea of him bouncing a check, when we are often reminded about how rich he is, is ridiculous. Then, the cockfighting thing is stupid. George's relationship with the convict is funny, but it's not enough to really make the episode.
Episode Twelve (146), "The Money" (aired 16 January 1997). Everyone obsesses about money. Jerry has no girlfriend, so the less said about this dull episode the better.
Episode Thirteen (147), "The Comeback" (aired 30 January 1997). This is not a bad episode simply because we've all been where George has been - unable to think of a good comeback to a barb until it's far too late, and George's dedication both to his lame comeback ("It's jerk store! Jerk store!") and the lengths he'll go to deliver it are humorous. Meanwhile, Jerry's girlfriend doesn't really count, but I'll mention her anyway. This is the episode in which the man from whom Jerry buys a tennis racket tries to pimp his wife out to Jerry, so even though nothing happens, I'll count her. She's played by Ivana Milicevic
, who gets a Fame Rating of 6 out of 10
, because she's been in a lot of stuff that you've probably seen, even though she's never been the star of much. I mean, who could forget her as the lingerie saleswoman in Enemy of the State
? See what I mean? She's probably more famous than she deserves to be because she's attractive. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Milicevic was 22 when this episode aired. She's month older than A. J. Langer, so she's still the youngest girlfriend. Jerry was still 42 when the episode aired.
Episode Fourteen (148), "The Van Buren Boys" (aired 6 February 1997). A street gang who worships Martin van Buren? Really? Sigh. Jerry does have a girlfriend, Ellen, who seems perfect to him but whom everyone else has a problem with. Why? WHY????? Nobody knows. Ellen is played by Christine Taylor
, otherwise known as Mrs. Ben Stiller. I have to give Taylor a Fame Rating of 8 out of 10
, even though she's pretty famous. I just don't think she's on Teri Hatcher's level, although I like her a lot more as an actress. She's been in a ton of stuff - she was Jason Lee's girlfriend on an episode of My Name is Earl
, Jason Bateman's girlfriend on a few episodes of Arrested Development
, the bisexual bank employee in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
, a reporter in Zoolander
, a brief love interest of Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer
, and Marcia Brady in two Brady Bunch movies. Plus, for some reason Ross chose Rachel over her in Friends
just because she shaved her head, even though she wasn't crazy (like Rachel) and liked having wild sex. Ross, hair grows back, you idiot! Taylor was 25 when the episode aired, and Jerry was still 42. A slight narrowing of the age gap, but not much. Taylor was born in Allentown, near where I grew up (and the subject of a Billy Joel song) about two months after I was. I find trivia like that interesting.
Episode Fifteen (149), "The Susie" (aired 13 February 1997). Another mediocre episode, because Elaine's subplot with "Susie" is so prominent, and pretty dumb. Jerry at the "funeral" is funny, though, and Allison breaking up with George by using Kramer as her proxy is not bad. Jerry has no girlfriend, though, so let's move on.
Episode Sixteen (150), "The Pothole" (aired 20 February 1997). Man, when you look at them all at once, these mediocre episodes just keep coming, don't they? Elaine's Chinese food subplot, which gets her mistaken as a janitor, is just dumb. Poor Julia Louis-Dreyfus - they were sticking her with some clunkers during this season. Jerry's weirdness over dirt starts to go a little nuts in these latter seasons, and this episode is an example, as he drops his girlfriend's toothbrush in the toilet and then can't kiss her. Kristin Davis plays the girlfriend, and I'm going to give her a Fame Rating of 7 out of 10
. Yes, she was on Sex and the City
, which you think would make her more famous than A. J. Langer, but I'm still going with 7, because I don't think Sex and the City
was as culturally relevant as many people would think. Davis was also on Melrose Place
. She also showed up in a later episode of Seinfeld, as Bania's girlfriend. Davis was born on 23 February 1965, which means she was 31 when the episode aired, but just about to turn 32. Jerry was still 42, so we're back to a decent age gap.
[Edit: After much soul-searching thanks to the overwhelming response (well, two people) about my ranking, I'm going to change Kristin Davis to 8 out of 10
. I guess she's more famous than I thought!]
Episode Seventeen (151), "The English Patient" (aired 13 March 1997). Ugh. The Izzy Mandelbaum episode. As much as I love Lloyd Bridges, this is not a good episode. Elaine's hatred of The English Patient
is quite funny (especially because she wants to see Sack Lunch
), as is George's stupidity in trying to track down Neil instead of realizing that he's replaced Neil. Jerry has no girlfriend, though.
Episode Eighteen (152), "The Nap" (aired 10 April 1997). Lots of silly stuff, but no girlfriend. Too silly to get into, really. This is the episode in which Jerry's contractor can never make a decision and Kramer starts swimming in the East River and Elaine dates the mattress guy.
Episode Nineteen (153), "The Yada Yada" (aired 24 April 1997). "Yada yada" was a hip thing in pop culture for a while thanks to this episode, but isn't saying "yada yada yada" a lot older than this? People seemed to think the writers made it up. Anyway, I guess Debra Messing counts as Jerry's girlfriend in this, because he finally gets to date her (after waiting out her marriage to Cary Elwes). She turns out to be a horrible racist, though, so that was that. This is a pretty funny episode, actually, with Tim Whatley converting to Judaism for the jokes and Kramer and Mickey having trouble deciding which of the two girls they asked out they're going to date.
Episode Twenty (154), "The Millennium" (aired 1 May 1997). I want to say Jerry has two girlfriends - Valerie and her mother. I don't think Valerie's mom counts, even though they do a "Mrs. Robinson" riff with her. Valerie is Lauren Graham
, whose starring role in The Gilmore Girls
pushes her up to a Fame Rating of 8 out of 10
, I think. Plus, she was in Bad Santa
- what a funny movie. Graham was 30 when the episode aired, while Jerry was 43. Not bad.
Episode Twenty-One (155), "The Muffin Tops" (aired 8 May 1997). Another rather dumb episode, as Elaine goes into business with her old boss, Mr. Lippman, selling the tops of muffins. This leads to the problem of disposing of the muffin stumps, which is an excruciatingly stupid part of the show. Jerry, meanwhile, accidentally shaves his chest, which means he has to keep doing it or his girlfriend will get suspicious. Wait, a girlfriend? Yes, Melinda Clarke
plays Jerry's girlfriend Alex. I'll give Clarke a Fame Rating of 7 out of 10
, because her role on The O. C.
raised her profile. She was also in Spawn
! Clarke was 28 when the episode aired, 15 years younger than Jerry. "I keep getting older, they stay the same age" comes to mind.
Episode Twenty-Two, "The Summer of George" (aired 15 May 1997). I just love the way George keeps proclaiming it "the Summer of George." That and the Dude in Jerry's girlfriend's apartment. The plot with Raquel Welch and Elaine's cat fight thing is kind of blah. Jerry's high-maintenance girlfriend is played by Amanda Peet
, whose appeal escapes me, I'm sorry to say. I mean, she's attractive, but not scorching hot, which a lot of people seem to think. This was kind of early in Peet's career, but she's gone on to bigger and better things (I really liked her in Identity
, which is a pretty darned good flick), but I think I'll still give her a Fame Rating of 7 out of 10
because she hasn't really gone stratospheric yet. We'll see if she has it in her. Peet was 25 when the episode aired. Poor Jerry, trying to keep up with these younger ladies!
That's it for Season Eight. For a mediocre season, Jerry had some good girlfriends. 8½ girlfriends (Milos' wife doesn't really count), and most were pretty famous. The age gap is getting bigger, obviously, but the nice thing about Seinfeld
is the women always seem a bit older and Jerry doesn't age all that much, so it's not as creepy as you think. The only one I can remember thinking was too young for him was Langer - she really looks her age (or even younger), and whenever I see the episode, I think it's odd she's dating Jerry.
In case you've missed any of these posts, here are the links: the pilot
, season one
, season two
, season three
, season four
, season five
, season six
, and season seven
. Next time, it's on to the final season of Seinfeld
! How will those girlfriends stack up????
Labels: Celebrities, Jerry Seinfeld, The Women of Jerry