Friday, October 26, 2012

SEINFELD - Season 8, Episode 1 - The Foundation

“The Foundation”

First Script Read: Thursday, August 8, 1996
Filmed: August 13, 1996
Aired: September 19, 1996
Nielsen rating: 22.2
Audience share: 34
Directed: Andy Ackerman
Writers: Alec Berg and Jeff Schaffer

At the end of season 7, Susan's death had liberated George in a way that seemed to leave him free from consequences. Season 8 begins with a shot of Susan's gravestone, cutting to George, Jerry, and Susan's parents standing over it. Leaving the past behind, George moves on, poised to embrace his freedom:

GEORGE: Ahhh! I tell you, Jerry, I'm feeling something. Something I haven't felt in a long time.
JERRY: Pride?
GEORGE: No. Autonomy! Complete and total autonomy.
JERRY: Well, you're your own boss now.
GEORGE: I wanna go to a tractor pull.
JERRY: Go ahead.
GEORGE: I am staying out all night!
JERRY: Who's stopping you?
GEORGE: I wanna bite into a big hunk of cheese! Just bite into it like it's an apple.
JERRY: Whatever.

George's brick of cheese-eating nirvana is quickly interrupted. The Rosses call to ask him to serve on a foundation in Susan's memory. To his annoyance, he gradually realizes how wealthy Susan was; for the first time, part of George regrets her death. He is much more annoyed at the burden of the foundation, which the Rosses design to consume all of his free time. George is not free after all. The ghost of Susan, embodied in the portrait that watches over the foundation's board room, still has its claws in George's life. It drags him back down (much like Kramer's tiny young karate classmates' little hands drag him down in the back alley to exact their own vengeance). George avoided punishment for Susan's death in the finale of season seven. But he doesn't escape it for long.

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