“The Andrea Doria”
First Script Read: Thursday, November 14, 1996
Filmed: Monday-Wednesday, November 18-20, 1996
Aired: November 28, 1996
Nielsen rating: 19.9
Audience share: 31
Directed: Andy Ackerman
Writer: Spike Feresten
Which is a worse experience: surviving a sinking cruise ship disaster? Or living the life of George Costanza? That's what the tenant association of George's building seeks to find out as he tries to convince them his life has been more of a tragedy than the survivor of the wreck of the Andrea Doria. After the survivor tells his tale, George steps up and describes several events that have happened to him over the course of the show.
Once again in season eight the storyline offers an opportunity to take a step back and examine the entirety of these characters. In this case, the episode grapples with how sad George's life has been. George succeeds in convincing the tenant association that his life is the greater tragedy though he ultimately loses the apartment when Elaine's ex-boyfriend, the bad breaker-upper, bribes the superintendent with $40.
Meanwhile, Jerry's rivalry with Newman takes a strange turn. Newman fails to get his dream transfer to Hawaii and starts storing his undelivered mail in Kramer's borrowed half of Jerry's storage space. Jerry wants the mail gone from his storage and, moreover, when Newman finds he is still in the running for his tropical transfer, Jerry wants Newman gone from his life. The two agree to an alliance, and Jerry helps Newman deliver the mail. Unfortunately, the post office finds out Newman wasn't walking his route because too many people got their mail.
As usual, the post office is belittled by a Newman story. His normal incompetence and carelessness towards his duty is taken as typical for the occupation. In the Seinfeld universe, Newman is a successful postman because the job's bar is set so low.