Tuesday, October 30, 2012

SEINFELD - Season 8, Episode 7 - The Checks

“The Checks”

Filmed: Monday-Tuesday, October 7-8, 1996
Aired: November 7, 1996
Nielsen rating: 21.6
Audience share: 33
Directed: Andy Ackerman
Writers: Tom Gammill, Max Pross, and Steve O’Donnell (O'Donnell also wrote the script for episode 16, "The Pothole." He worked on most of David Letterman's shows in the 1980s and early '90s. More recently he was the head writer for Jimmel Kimmel Live for five years.)

This episode returns to a recurring joke - the misconception held by numerous characters that Jerry is struggling with his comedy career. Usually it is his parents who are trying to give him some money. In this case it is Brett, Elaine's Desperado-loving, Carl Farbman furniture-hawking boyfriend. He first notices Jerry is lacking good furniture in his apartment. Then he drives up to Jerry who is walking in the pouring rain. Jerry tells him he couldn't afford to buy an umbrella. He doesn't get a chance to clarify that it is because the street umbrella vendors, with whom he used to work, have turned on him for bailing on the industry. Brett also notices Jerry is on his way to cash royalty checks that are worth less than a dollar each; he's being compensated for the use of his image on a Japanese television show.

In the midst of the economic boom of the 1990s, poverty could be more of a laughing matter. When George loses his job, it's the subject of hilarity, not cause for concern for his well-being. Other than moving back in with his parents, he seems to be able to keep up his standard of living. Even Kramer who is, as far as anyone can tell, unemployed, seems to live a perfectly comfortable life. When he does have money, he spends it immediately, as he encourages his new Japanese tourist friends to do, misunderstanding the yen-to-dollar exchange rate. When the Japanese tourists run out of money they are forced to sleep in Kramer's big Carl Farbman drawers, but Kramer and the group keep on proceeding through all financial setbacks as though nothing has changed.

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