Thursday, July 26, 2012

SEINFELD - Season 5, Episode 21 - The Opposite


“The Opposite”

First Script Read:  Thursday, March 31, 1994
Filmed: Monday-Tuesday, April 4-5, 1994
Aired: 9:00pm, May 19, 1994
Nielsen rating: 20.4
Audience share: 32
Directed: Tom Cherones
Writers: Andy Cowan (Served as program consultant from 1994-95. This is his only Seinfeld writing credit.), Larry David, and Jerry Seinfeld


ELAINE: Ah, George… You know, that woman just looked at you.
GEORGE: So what? What am I supposed to do?
ELAINE: Go talk to her.
GEORGE: Elaine, bald men with no jobs and no money who live with their parents don't approach strange women.
JERRY: Well here's your chance to try the opposite. Instead of tuna salad and being intimidated by women, chicken salad and going right up to them.
GEORGE: Yeah, I should do the opposite. I should.
JERRY: If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.
GEORGE: Yes, I will do the opposite. I used to sit here and do nothing and regret it for the rest of the day, so now I will do the opposite, and I will do something!
(HE APPROACHES THE WOMAN )
GEORGE: Excuse me, I couldn't help but notice that you were looking in my direction.
VICTORIA: Oh, yes I was. You just ordered the same exact lunch as me.
GEORGE: My name is George. I'm unemployed and I live with my parents.
VICTORIA: I'm Victoria. Hi!

And so begins the greatest run of success and achievement in George Costanza's sad little life. After five seasons of being a loser, it's delightful to see George run up a string of victories. But instead of just having the character's luck turn around for an episode, George turns himself around. 

Meanwhile, Elaine goes into a spiral, losing her boyfriend, her apartment, and her job. On the other hand, Jerry realizes he is "Even Steven" - he always breaks even. The title character of the show, Jerry personifies the balance necessary for the sitcom genre. At the end of the episode, the main characters ALWAYS break even, or at least return to a necessary equilibrium. Jerry even seems to sense this towards the end of the episode:
GEORGE: I'm back in business, baby!
JERRY: George, I wouldn't get too excited about this stuff, you know, things have a way of evening out.
GEORGE: Hey!
JERRY: Hi Elaine.
ELAINE: Hi.
JERRY: How're things going?
ELAINE: How're things going? You wanna know how things are going? I'll tell you how things are going. I am getting kicked out of my apartment!
JERRY: Why? Why are they doing that?
ELAINE: I don't know! They have a list of grievances.
JERRY: The jewel thief?
ELAINE: Yeah, the jewel thief.
JERRY: What else?
ELAINE: I put Canadian quarters in the washing machine. I gotta be out by the end of the month.
GEORGE: Well, you could move in with my parents.
ELAINE: Was that the opposite of what you were going to say or was that just instinct? (SHE SQUEEZES GEORGE’S MOUTH BETWEEN HER FINGERS.)
GEORGE: Instinct.
ELAINE: Stick with the opposite.
JERRY: Elaine, don't get too down. Everything will even out. See, I have two friends. You were up. He was down. Now he's up. You're down. You see how it all evens out for me?

Jerry's right. Even though Elaine fears she's turning into George both characters will settle back into their usual roles in season six. George will be scheming and lazing his way through his Yankees job while Elaine will be so close and yet so far from success working for Mr. Pitt. And Jerry will be the same as always.

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