'Seinfeld' Finale
Source: Netflix

The End of 'Seinfeld' Was Actually Highly Controversial

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Oct. 1 2021, Published 4:51 p.m. ET

Now that one of the most classic, most highly lauded sitcoms of all time is on Netflix, it’s time to buckle down and watch every episode ASAP.

Seinfeld, the 1990s sitcom that predated Friends, starring Jerry Seinfeld as the titular character, is now easy to binge watch. And many of us who have watched every episode of The Office, Friends, and even Cheers are ready to fill the Seinfeld gap in our breadth of television knowledge.

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So as we begin watching the famous “show about nothing,” many of us are wondering what happens in the finale. Is there any chance for a Seinfeld reboot or spin-off? Is there any way that after nine seasons of the critically acclaimed comedy, we could get any more of it? And do we need to watch every episode to understand the finale? How did Seinfeld end?

'Seinfeld'
Source: Netflix
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The end of ‘Seinfeld’ is actually very controversial.

Unlike many modern-day sitcoms, Seinfeld never got too bogged down in plot. Every episode has its own set-up and punchline; we’d expect nothing else from a show created by Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, the creator and star of Curb Your Enthusiasm. However, the end of Seinfeld does come to an end of sorts.

The gang — Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer — decide to take a trip to Paris after NBC options Jerry and George’s series, Jerry. However, in their typical antics, Elaine hangs up on her friend Jill to go off on the trip while Kramer jumps up and down on the plane to try to get water out of his ears.

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'Seinfeld' Finale
Source: Netflix

All the commotion leads to our kooky characters ending up in the cockpit and forcing the pilots to make an emergency landing in the small town of Latham, Mass. Once they land, they witness and film an overweight man, Howie, getting carjacked at gunpoint, and instead of helping him, they crack jokes about him.

When Howie includes this in his report to the cops, the gang gets put on trial for a “duty to rescue” violation, in which they have a civic duty to step in rather than stand by watching and mocking.

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The apex of the two-part finale, however, is the trial. Kramer’s lawyer, Jackie Chiles, an uncanny impersonation of the then-famous real-life Johnnie Cochran, comes back to represent the crew in front of Judge Art Vandelay (ironically George’s frequently used fake name).

But witness after witness takes the stand reminding us of how selfish the Seinfeld crew really is. Many guests throughout the years come back to incriminate the foursome, and they are sentenced to a year in prison.

'Seinfeld' Finale
Source: Netflix
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Ironically, Elaine uses her one call to call back her friend, Jill, and Kramer finally gets the water out of his ears. Although the series was supposedly just going to end in prison, after the wrap party, Larry and Jerry wrote in his iconic prison stand-up scene in which he performs stand-up to the other inmates.

Its meta and morality-based nature left many Seinfeld fans disappointed, although Larry has since stood by it. Jerry, on the other hand, has repeatedly shared that it could have been funnier.

The finale breakdown of ‘Seinfeld’ leaves plenty of room for development.

Although Seinfeld came to a decisive close, the heart and soul of Seinfeld is … nothing (literally). Its meta nature of pitching the very show they’re on within the show and repeatedly reminding us that Seinfeld is “a show about nothing” is shining proof that it’s very possible to bring Seinfeld back.

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It would be fascinating to see what happens to Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer after a year in prison and to see if they’ve evolved at all. But if Seinfeld stays true to itself, we know they’d be the same old selfish, but hilarious, people. However, the likelihood of any sort of Seinfeld reboot or revival or spin-off is very low.

'Seinfeld' Finale
Source: Netflix
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After the finale, Phil Morris, who played lawyer Jackie Chiles, claimed he would be starring in a spin-off, although NBC denied even having a meeting about this. There were rumors of a Kramer spin-off as well, although it’s been said that Michael wanted to leave Kramer behind.

Now, Larry David has his hands full with Curb Your Enthusiasm, and it’s impossible to make Seinfeld without Jerry, who hasn’t shown much interest in reviving the show. On the other hand, we can always hope for a modern-day show about nothing starring a different favorite comedian.

All of Seinfeld is now available to stream on Netflix.

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