Wednesday, May 30, 2012

SEINFELD - Season 4, Episode 22 - The Handicap Space


“The Handicap Space”

First Script Read: February 11, 1993
Filmed: February 18, 1993
Aired: May 13, 1993
Nielsen rating: 18.7
Audience share: 28
Directed: Tom Cherones
Writer: Larry David


This is not a classic episode, but it is classic Larry David. At Kramer's encouragement, George parks his father's car in a handicap space at the mall:

KRAMER: I got news for you. Handicapped people, they don't even want to park there! They wanna be treated just like anybody else! That's why those spaces are always empty.
GEORGE: He's right! It's the same thing with the feminists. You know, they want everything to be equal. Everything! But when the check comes, where are they?

The gang returns to find the car trashed by a bunch of vigilantes out for revenge on behalf of a woman who was injured when her wheelchair batteries ran out going up a parking ramp.

Meanwhile, the television purchased at the mall goes as a gift to The Drake and his fiancée. But when the wedding is called off, the Drakette takes the television. 

ELAINE: Drake gave her the TV?
JERRY: He gave her all the gifts. He felt guilty.
ELAINE: Well, she can't keep it. It's not fair. That's our TV!
JERRY: I know it is!
ELAINE: Boy, I am really starting to dislike the Drake!
JERRY: I hate the Drake! Maybe the whole thing was a scam. Anybody can just get engaged and get presents and just keep them all. Maybe they're on their way to Chicago tomorrow to do the whole thing all over again!
ELAINE: They don't know anybody in Chicago.
JERRY: Don't worry. They'll make friends fast with that nice TV.
[GEORGE ENTERS]
GEORGE: Hey.
JERRY: Hey, guess what? The Drake broke up.
GEORGE: The Drake broke up?! That's fantastic! Now we get the TV back! It'll help defray some of the cost of the wheelchair.
JERRY: I don't know about defraying.
GEORGE: Why?
JERRY: We're not getting that TV.
GEORGE: What do you mean? The engagement is off. We get the TV back. That's business.
ELAINE: The Drakette took it.
GEORGE: She can't take it. It's not hers, it's theirs. Once there's no “theirs” there's no “hers.” It
should be ours.
ELAINE: Well, she has it!
GEORGE: I told you the Drake was bad! I hate the Drake!

As revealed in both Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiam, Larry David's worldview can seem Machiavellian, but he also defends a code of fairness that is libertarian, even Ayn Randian.Through Kramer and George, he attacks the hypocrisy of both women's and disabled persons' rights, observing that both groups want to be treated different only when it benefits them. And all of the characters agree that a gift given for an engagement should be returned if the engagement is voided. That's business.

Kramer goes to visit the disabled woman who was injured at the mall and, presto, he's in love! It's usually easier for Kramer to see past differences that the other three characters would be preoccupied with:

KRAMER: Yeah, she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I love her Jerry. I really love her. I'm gonna ask her to marry me. She's got everything I've always wanted in another human being. Except for the walking.

(You know there was a rough draft of this script where Kramer said, "Except for the legs.") But Kramer doesn't get married. The woman dumps him, saying Kramer isn't good looking enough for her. She breaks up on the less-superficial Kramer for superficial reasons. Superficiality counts in business. Luckily, she dated him just long enough to get a replacement wheelchair out of Kramer and George, although the last laugh is on her. The brakes give out on a hill and she crashes. George is sent by his philanthropist father (played by John Randolph in the original version, before being replaced by Jerry Stiller in syndication) to deliver the convalescing wheelchair woman a television donated by the Drakette. The gang takes the opportunity to steal the television back. It's only fair. The television was rightly theirs, and the wheelchair woman was cruel to Kramer. That's business.

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