Friday, November 2, 2012

SEINFELD - Season 8, Episode 11 - The Little Jerry

“The Little Jerry”

First Script Read: Sunday, November 24, 1996
Filmed: Monday-Wednesday, November 25-27, 1996
Aired: January 9, 1997
Nielsen rating: 23.0
Audience share: 33
Directed: Andy Ackerman
Writer: Jennifer Crittenden

The season eight self-reflectivity continues in Kurt (played by the brilliant John Michael Higgins), Elaine's boyfriend who transforms into George when he realizes he is going bald. The hilarious irony is, in this case, Kurt has already been shaving his head. "That's like using a wheelchair for the fun of it!" George whines at this news. Kurt likes it, though, and Elaine thinks its bold and attractive...until she sees his driver's license photo. "I could be dating this hair?!?" she exclaims, prompting Kurt to stop shaving his head, which leads to his unpleasant discovery. George tells Kurt he has about a year before his head resembles George's.

KURT: Is there anything I can do?
GEORGE: Yes. Live, dammit! Live! Every precious moment as if this was the last year of your life. Because in many is.

Inspired, Kurt tries to get Elaine to marry him but she hesitates. He heads back to George's apartment for advice. George is out. He's off bragging to Jerry about his fugitive girlfriend, Celia, who, after George sabotaged her parole request, broke out of jail and delighted George with escape convict sex. Kurt finds Celia moments before the police burst in:

DETECTIVE #2: Mr. Costanza, you're under arrest for aiding and abetting a known fugitive.
KURT: Ha! I'm not George Costanza!
DETECTIVE #2: Save it. We know you're bald. We know it's you. Let's go!

Kurt fights the cop because, as he explains later to Elaine, "I'm not THAT bald!" He ends up in jail for 10 to 14 months. Elaine, realizing he'll be bald by the time he is free, decides they are through.

It's amusing that even the cops can't see past Kurt's baldness to realize that he is not George Costanza. Once again, it underscores the superficiality of the Seinfeld universe. Elaine seems ridiculous for rejecting bald Kurt when she had previously approved of his shaved head, but everyone else has the same attitude toward it, including Kurt. So perhaps the problem with baldness is more than aesthetic. Here it seems almost to signify a character fault. Does baldness cause George to be a loser? Does being a loser cause George to go bald? Or is the baldness merely an external indicator of his internal condition? Kurt is becoming bald. Therefore he is becoming a loser like George.

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