Tuesday, November 6, 2012

SEINFELD - Season 8, Episode 15 - The Susie



“The Susie”

First Script Read: Wednesday, January 15, 1997
Filmed: Wednesday, January 22, 1997
Aired: February 13, 1997
Nielsen rating: 21.7
Audience share: 33
Directed: Andy Ackerman
Writer: David Mandel


The imagined character "Susie" is yet another twist on the continuing attempts in season 8 to comment on the characters that the audience had grown so familiar with. Elaine is essentially split into two characters when her co-worker, Peggy, starts calling her Susie. Peggy starts complaining about Elaine's management without realizing she is talking to Elaine. "You know," Peggy says to Elaine, "It's amazing Peterman hasn't fired that dolt. She practically ran the company into the ground!" Elaine continues to shield her identity even in a meeting with Peggy in the same room as Peterman, who knows she is Elaine. Eventually, Susie borrows a solution from Larry David and kills Susie off.

The rest of the episode is somewhat scattered, as David Mandel himself admits in the script. Mike Moffet, who first appeared in The Parking Space, returns as a bookie who can't pay Jerry for a win. George spends the entire episode avoiding his girlfriend, Allison, because he knows she is about to break up with him. Kramer ends up serving as Allison's surrogate, breaking up with George on her behalf.

Despite the messiness of the story, Mandel is pleased with some of the jokes. For example, there is a memorable scene when George listens to his answering machine message twice in a row because he is screening for Allison. His message recording is a silly song that George clearly enjoys as he dances along to his own voice.




“...the other thing that I loved about it," explains Mandel, "is just our willingness as a show to devote dead screen time to a man sitting on his couch listening to an answering machine which again is the only kinda thing you can do on the eighth season of a show when you’re number one and the audience is with you. They love these characters and they are willing to accept the fact that you are wasting time for bad answering machines, which obviously we’ve all heard.”

Jason Alexander, a veteran of Broadway musicals, actually didn't sing the message poorly enough and had to re-record the message to make it worse.

Mandel also had an idea for a very "meta" joke. Early in the episode Kramer tells Jerry he's going to move his watch forward right then and there because he doesn't want to wait for daylight savings time. Mandel wanted to set up something that seemed like it would obviously have complications later in the episode but then never refer to it again. In the end, it does pop up once or twice in the episode. As a result, Kramer's time adjustment just adds to the unevenness of the episode.


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