“The Nose Job”
First Script Read: Wednesday, October 23, 1991
Filmed: Tuesday, October 29, 1991
Aired: November 20, 1991
Nielsen rating: 11.8
Audience share: 19
Directed: Tom Cherones
Writer: Peter Mehlman
The world of Seinfeld is incredibly superficial. The characters know it isn't right, but they are fairly helpless to do anything about it.
George's girlfriend, Audrey, has a huge nose. This is amusingly demonstrated to the audience with several close up fish-eye-lens shots of her massive nose. George is consumed with guilt over his own superficiality, but he can't overcome it. After Kramer nonchalantly recommends to Audrey that she get a nose job, George prods Audrey to have the surgery. When the operation is initially botched, George is so disappointed he faints. He can't even look at her, and he takes off his glasses to talk to her. Before she has the nose job fixed, Audrey dumps George.
Early, Jerry tells George, "Stop being so concerned with looks," but his hypocrisy is demonstrated by a quick cut to a flashback of Jerry happily getting a woman's phone number on the elevator. Isabel, played by Tawny Kitaen, is beautiful. Jerry finds himself in a relationship that is extremely satisfying physically but extremely unsatisfying mentally. He can't bring himself to break up with her. "It's like my brain is facing my penis in a chess game," he explains. Ultimately, though, when Isabel makes Jerry read a long script with her late into the night, the penis literally loses power. The audience watches the chess match between Jerry's penis (Jerry Seinfeld in a white shirt and plain white helmet) and Jerry's brain (Seinfeld in a grey shirt and brain cap), The brain wins and the penis folds down and disappears, freeing Jerry to break up with Isabel.
Ultimately, Kramer ends up with Audrey after her second surgery is a success. Is Kramer less superficial? No, Kramer was the one who recommended the nose job in the first place. Plus, Kramer credits his success with Audrey not to his own personality but to the lucky jacket he steals back from an imprisoned man's apartment with the help of Elaine.
The episode condones superficiality, but it offers no way around it. Man's attention to looks is supposed to be something he is ashamed of, but not anything he should be expected to cure.