Thursday, January 19, 2012

SEINFELD - Season 2, Episode 1 - The Ex-Girlfriend

"The Ex-Girlfriend"

First Script Read: Wed, October 17, 1990
Filmed: October 23, 1990
Aired: January 23, 1991, 9:30 pm Wednesday
Nielsen rating: 10.9
Audience share: 17
Directed: Tom Cherones
Writer: Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld

This is a relatively dark and uncomfortable episode about Jerry getting involved with George's ex-girlfriend, Marlene. Still, it is a step forward in the style of the show. The dialogue is snappier, and the show moves quicker; for example, there are nine scenes in the season two premiere, "The Ex-Girlfriend," compared to at most seven in the first five episodes.

We also start to get a picture of Kramer's philosophy, as he muses on Jerry's interest in George's ex:

Kramer: “Man. I don’t understand people. I mean, why would George want to deprive you of pleasure? Is it just me?”
Jerry: “It’s partially you, yeah.”
Kramer: “I mean you’re his friend. Better that he should sleep with someone else? Some jerk that he doesn’t even know?”

Jerry is eventually persuaded. Kramer thus assumes a role he will play often over the course of the series. He is frequently the voice of the social critic, perceiving and dismissing the structures of culture that Jerry is too non-confrontational and George is too timid to take on. If the character Jerry's outlet for his angst towards social norms is his stand-up act then Kramer's outlet is simply rejection. His friends occasionally find this helpful and sometimes useful as they navigate issues of etiquette and social behavior.

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