Wednesday, August 1, 2012

SEINFELD - Season 6, Episode 4 - The Chinese Woman

“The Chinese Woman”

First Script Read: Wednesday, September 7, 1994
Filmed: Monday-Tuesday, September 12-13 , 1994
Aired: October 13, 1994
Nielsen rating: 20
Audience share: 30
Directed: Andy Ackerman
Writer: Peter Mehlman

In the previous episode, "The Pledge Drive," George adopts the behavior of the social elite in order to convince Yankee management to support PBS. In other words, he eats a candy bar with a knife and fork. This episode features a woman, Donna Chang, who seems to enjoy portraying herself as Chinese. She introduces herself with her full name. She quotes Chinese philosophers. She teaches an acupuncture class. She even confuses her "Ls" and "Rs." It's not clear why she does these things, except that she seems to understand they lend her a certain exoticism that appeals to people, setting her apart from all the other Caucasian women from Long Island. Indeed, before he meets her in person, Jerry is excited about the prospect of dating a Chinese woman. And Estelle Costanza trusts Donna Chang's marital advice until she realizes she is not Chinese. Donna Chang has figured out a way to take advantage of the prevalent Orientalism in America. And Elaine makes fun of Jerry's interest in a Chinese Woman, but she is similarly excited about the possibility of being in an interracial relationship in the season nine episode, "The Wizard."

Elsewhere, and typical for Seinfeld, the episode dances around abortion without every really addressing it. Kramer becomes concerne when he learns his preferred jockey-style underwear are bad for his sperm count:
KRAMER: Jerry, did you ever have your sperm count checked?
JERRY: No, why should I? I wear boxers.
KRAMER: You ever get a woman pregnant?
JERRY: I'm sorry, Kramer. Those records are permanently sealed.
KRAMER: What would you say if I told you I never impregnated a woman?
JERRY: Really? You never slipped one past the goalie in all these years? Boy, I'm surprised. You've slept with a lot of women, I…
KRAMER: A lot of 'em!

Jerry and Kramer are quite flippant in discussing the topic of pregnancy. Though neither man has ever been married or even expressed a desire to start a family, their discussion seems to presume that Kramer's failure to impregnate any of his partners signifies he is, in this way, less of a man than Jerry.

Uncomfortable in boxers, Kramer switches to wearing nothing at all under his pants. He is, as he puts it, "out there and loving every minute of it." At the end of the episode this switch has apparently been a success. Kramer appears at his window and shouts down to Jerry, Elaine, and George, "Hey, Jerry! Guess what! The Kramer name might live on! Noreen's late! She's laaate!!" Noreen is much less enthusiastic. The closing scene shows her contemplating suicide on a high bridge until Frank Costanza's cape-wearing lawyer (played by Larry David) arrives to lead her down to safety. Kramer, the would-be father, is nowhere to be seen, and the pregnancy is never mentioned again.

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