Netflix Doesn’t Buy Seinfeld: What’s the Deal with That?

By Erin Bloodgood

Elm Staff Writer


After the announcement by Netflix that they would be adding “Friends” to their online streaming service, many were thrilled. Many “Seinfeld” fans, like myself, hoped that Netflix would pick up the show about nothing and add it to their streaming base, since it was also an NBC show. Sadly, Netflix declined the offer, which was similar to the amount paid for “Friends.” Why would Netflix say no to an iconic TV show that has made Jerry Seinfeld, the show’s co-creator, the richest actor in the world? You can still catch “Seinfeld” reruns on TV, but there’s nothing like a good Netflix binge watch except when Netflix asks if you’re still watching. Yes, Netflix, of course I’m still watching; it’s only been six episodes.

“Seinfeld” actors Michael Richards, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Jerry Seinfeld. Seinfeld co-created the show with Larry David.
“Seinfeld” actors Michael Richards, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Jerry Seinfeld. Seinfeld co-created the show with Larry David.

Many of you might be thinking, “‘Seinfeld’? Why do we care about that silly TV show from the ‘90’s? It’s a show about nothing.” The bottom line is that “Seinfeld” is funny, and its content is timeless. Yes, of course our culture has changed since “Seinfeld” had its run from 1989 to 1998. We have an entirely different way of communicating with one another in comparison to Jerry and his friends. We no longer have to go to a store, rent VHS tapes, or worry about if the person who last had it rewound it for you. We no longer use payphones (unless you’re Adam Levine). We no longer get mixed up about where we’re supposed to meet our friends for dinner because we can easily send a text to confirm. People didn’t have that luxury back then, and it made for some pretty funny situations.

There are some jokes in “Seinfeld” that you won’t understand (unless you’re really into 1990’s pop culture), but there are things that happen in “Seinfeld” that may have happened to you last weekend.  You might have a friend who is always coming up with crazy ideas, or you may have faked your way through a project at the office for which you weren’t qualified. Maybe you’ve felt like you’ve waited forever for a table at a restaurant only to leave and then have your name called. Maybe you and your friends have a favorite hang out spot, and I know you’ve most definitely forgotten where you’ve parked your car after a day at the mall. “Seinfeld” showcases these moments in a way that is relatable even today.

This show is timeless not only for its depiction of four single friends living in NYC (“Seinfeld’s” depiction of dating is also relatable and funny) but it is also the reason why we have TV shows like “Friends.” “Seinfeld” was a show that you could sit down and watch each week and not have to worry about keeping up with the plot. You could watch almost any episode and not have to worry about the one that came before it because usually they were unrelated. The show does a good job of recapping to fill the viewer in on what they missed. It really was a show with no continuous plot other than four friends living their lives in the city. We have “Seinfeld” to thank for “Friends,” because “Friends” and other sitcoms like it copied the style of “Seinfeld” (some of the first episodes of “Friends” come from unused “Seinfeld” scripts that NBC had kept).

If you take away anything from this article, it’s that we haven’t really changed that much since “Seinfeld” debuted. It just goes to show that some things are universal, and just because Netlfix didn’t pick it up doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try (it’s their loss). Forget whatever misconceptions you had about watching a show that your parents may or may not have liked. Watch it; you’ll find it more relatable than you think.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *