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COLUMBIA TRISTAR

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Various
Cast:
Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander
Writing Credits:
Various

Tagline:
A show about nothing.

Synopsis:
Season Four of the "show about nothing," created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, continues the antics and eccentricities of its loveable, harebrained characters. Jerry is surrounded by a cast of neurotic, obsessive, and socially challenged people, including his ex-girlfriend Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss), his best friend George (Michael Alexander), and his lanky, wacky next door neighbor, Kramer (Michael Richards). Together the group navigates a world of awkward encounters and bizarre schemes, punctuated by in-jokes with the audience, all of which add up to one of the funniest and most-loved shows in television history. In this season, George and Jerry try to get NBC to accept their pitch for a sitcom based on their lives. Also included is "The Contest," where the gang competes to see who can go the longest without ... you know; this episode won Seinfeld an Emmy for best Comedy, Writing and Supporting Actor (Michael Richards), and TV Guide named one particular sequence the third funniest moment in TV history. Other episodes include "The Virgin," "The Shoes," "The Implant," and "The Handicap Spot."

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Fullscreen 1.33:1
Audio:
English Dolby 2.0
Spanish Dolby 2.0
French Dolby 2.0
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Portuguese
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 552 min.
Price: $49.95
Release Date: 5/17/2005

Bonus:
Disc One
• Commentaries for “The Trip” Parts One and Two
• “The Breakthrough Season” Documentary
Regis and Kathie Lee Parody
• “Inside Look” Featurettes for Two Episodes
• Deleted Scenes for Two Episodes
• “Notes About Nothing” Text Commentary for All Episodes
Disc Two
• Commentaries for “The Cheever Letters and “The Contest”
•Bloopers
•Exclusive Stand-Up Material
•“Inside Look” Featurettes for Four Episodes
•Deleted Scenes for Four Episodes
•“Notes About Nothing” Text Commentary for All Episodes
Disc Three
• Commentaries for “The Airport” and “The Outing”
•“Inside Look” Featurettes for Four Episodes
•Deleted Scenes for Four Episodes
•NBC Promos and TV Spots
•Photo Gallery
•“Notes About Nothing” Text Commentary for All Episodes
Disc Four
• Commentaries for and “The Implant”, “The Junior Mint” and “The Pilot”
•“Inside Look” Featurettes for Five Episodes
•Deleted Scenes for “The Old Man” and “The Junior Mint”
•“Notes About Nothing” Text Commentary for All Episodes
•Both Original and Syndicated Versions of “The Handicap Spot”


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RELATED REVIEWS


Seinfeld: Season 4 (1993)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 16, 2005)

Although it took quite a while to get any Seinfeld episodes on DVD, the folks behind the series seem to be making up for lost time. About six months after the initial packages, here comes Season Four.

These shows will be discussed in their production order, which is the way in which they appear on the DVDs. The plot synopses come from the DVD’s packaging. They’re short, but at least they avoid spoilers.

DVD ONE:

The Trip, Part 1: “When Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) is booked to appear on The Tonight Show, he takes George (Jason Alexander) with him to Los Angeles to search for Kramer (Michael Richards). George and Jerry are unaware that Kramer is in trouble as a victim of mistaken identity.”

For my thoughts on this show, head to the next discussion.

The Trip, Part 2: “Jerry and George discover that Kramer is suspected as the serial killer known as ‘The Smog Strangler’”.

Season Four starts on an unusual note with “The Trip”. For the first time since the pilot episode, Julia Louis-Dreyfus fails to appear; she was off due to pregnancy. In addition, the whole Kramer plot almost feels like a spin-off program, as it looks at Kramer in an atypical manner outside of the standard element. The show works well despite the different circumstances and provides a lot of laughs

The Pitch/The Ticket (one-hour episode): “NBC executives approach Jerry to write a sitcom pilot. George joins him in the venture and pitches a show about ‘nothing’. Crazy Joe Davola (Peter Crombie) stalks Jerry and Kramer. Newman (Wayne Knight) uses Kramer as a witness to get out of a speeding ticket.”

Folks have referred to Seinfeld as a series about “nothing” for years, and I think this is the episode that led to that moniker. The show becomes rather self-referential, which could turn cute, but that never happens. Instead, it balances those elements neatly, and the oddball Kramer subplot is also terrific. The only negative comes from the continued absence of Louis-Dreyfus; Elaine pops up in a couple of short inserts, but she plays no real role in the show.

The Wallet: “Jerry has to explain to his parents why he isn’t wearing the watch they game him, which he threw in the trash. Morty (Barney Martin) thinks his wallet was stolen at the doctor’s office. George negotiates his way out of the NBC pilot deal.”

Cocky George is funny George, though probably not as funny as insecure and panicked George. We get him in both modes in this good program. It’s also fun to see Jerry’s parents again along with the ever-reliable Uncle Leo. Louis-Dreyfus finally returns as well, at least for the show’s second half.

The Watch: “Jerry tries to buy his watch back from Uncle Leo (Len Lesser) to appease his parents. Meanwhile, George pleads with the NBC executives to reconsider their pilot deal. Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) enlists Kramer in a plan to break up with Dr. Reston (Stephen McHattie).”

Geez, this season’s lousy with two-part episodes! First “The Trip”, then the extended “Pitch/Ticket”, and now the twofer of “The Wallet” and “The Watch”. Unsurprisingly, this is another good show. It includes one of my favorite lines: when George tells Susan he can’t be insulted, he claims “You can call me ‘baldy’! You can pour soup on my head!” Although I maintain a full head of hair - and really would rather not have anyone dump broth on my noggin - I use this line frequently.

DVD TWO:

The Bubble Boy: “Jerry agrees to visit a bubble boy on the way to a cabin in the woods. But Jerry and Elaine get lost and George winds up fighting the bubble boy. Meanwhile, Kramer appears at the cabin and wreaks havoc.”

Another classic episode, one that brought the concept of “The Moops” to the public consciousness. Seinfeld handled outrageous ideas like a Bubble Boy and made them work while the show avoided becoming silly or inane. The Bubble Boy’s great because he contrasts with the usual portrayal of such impaired characters. Normally he’d be likable and endearing, but Donald the Bubble Boy is about the least pleasant character one can imagine. The show also connects with situations we’ve all experienced. I remember when I dated a woman with an annoying laugh almost as bad as Naomi’s, so this program hit home.

The Cheever Letters: “Jerry offends Elaine’s assistant (Lisa Malkiewicz) with the ‘panty remark’. Kramer makes a new contact for his Cuban cigars. A box of letters from John Cheever is all that remains after the Ross cabin burns down.”

When I see this episode’s title, I always think I don’t care for it. There’s something about the program’s title theme that disagrees with me. However, I neglect to recall its many hilarious moments. From the reveal of the cabin’s status to Jerry’s dirty talk to Grace Zabriskie’s inspired performance as Susan’s mom, it’s a strong show, no matter how I recall it.

The Opera: “Elaine realizes that her boyfriend Joey is actually Crazy Joe Davola. She, Jerry, George and Kramer have to endure a night at the opera with a bunch of clowns.”

Frankly, I think it’s a stretch that Elaine ever dated Joe Davola in the first place; their meeting a few episodes back pushed credulity. His presence brings a darker than usual tone to “The Opera”, and it doesn’t quite work. The show certainly has the requisite number of funny moments, but it doesn’t totally coalesce into something terrific. It becomes a good episode that doesn’t soar.

The Virgin: “Jerry discovers the girl he’s dating (Jane Leeves) is a virgin. Kramer’s constant interruptions make it difficult for Jerry and George to write their pilot. When they go to pitch it to the network, George’s kiss costs Susan (Heidi Swedberg) her job at NBC.”

Here we establish that George is clearly the most self-centered man in the world. When Ping the delivery boy gets hit by a car, George worries solely about the status of his food. When Susan gets fired, he delights in the concept that he’ll get to breakup with her. “The Virgin” goes with an unusual concept via the Marla story, but it never goes nutty, and the material about the NBC show moves things along well.

The Contest: “In this classic Emmy award-winning episode, Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer enter a contest to see who is ‘master of your domain’.”

Of all the series’ catchphrases, “master of your domain” must be one of the five most popular ones. “Contest” certainly goes with a risqué concept, but it makes it fly. The show plays with various bents and becomes genuinely memorable.

DISC THREE:

The Airport: “Jerry and Elaine experience the differences between first class and coach while George and Kramer scramble between airports trying to meet their flight.”

Since my best friend works as a flight attendant, “The Airport” remains dear to my heart. I’ve often accused him of being just as rude as the Jm J. Bullock character here. I also love the radical discrepancy between first class and coach. It’s dated now since cutbacks have dumbed down first class big time – there’s no way a flight from St. Louis to NYC would be so lavish - but it’s still hilarious.

The Pick: “Jerry tries to convince his girlfriend (Jennifer Campbell) that he ‘did not pick’ while Elaine suffers the fallout of sending a nipple-exposing Christmas card. Kramer becomes a Calvin Klein model.”

Given my own up and down romantic life, George’s pining for the departed Susan creates one of the moments with which I most identify. It’s easy to glorify bad relationships when you’re on your own, and the show plays this concept for great laughs. The titular “pick” bit’s not that great, but the program has many other good parts, many related to Elaine’s nipple. I also dig the callback to Kramer’s old fragrance idea.

The Visa: “Babu Bhatt (Brian George) returns and Jerry’s attempts to help his immigrant friend get him deported. Elaine unsuccessfully tries to get George’s girlfriend to help her with her lawsuit.”

I must admit that Babu always bothered me because he’s so unappreciative. Despite his inherent selfishness, Jerry tries to help him, but Babu always holds his mistakes against him. Yeah, it’s funny, but it still kind of bugs me. On the other hand, I love the radically out of character Jerry who tries to suppress his inherent funniness.

The Movie: “Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer keep missing each other when they try to meet at the movies. Jerry’s delay is compounded by annoying comedian Pat Buckles (Barry Diamond).”

While enjoyable, “The Movie” gives me a sense of déjà vu. Buckles is an awful lot like the annoying friend of Jerry’s Kevin Pollak played in Season One’s “Male-Unbonding”, and the whole theme of frustration seems like a twist on “The Chinese Restaurant”. Despite the moderate lack of originality, “Movie” is funny and remains consistently enjoyable.

The Outing: “Jerry and George are mistakenly outed by a reporter (Paula Marshall). They try to squash the rumor that they are gay: ‘Not that there’s anything wrong with that’”.

Another episode that offers arguably the series’ most enduring catchphrase, “Outing” has a ton of fun with its subject. Like “The Contest”, it dances around a sensitive subject and does so splendidly. It sticks with just enough reality to connect with us but it spins things in an endearingly wacky manner to become a classic.

Note that despite the show’s high quality, it may be the one with the most inconsistencies. What happened to Sharon’s boyfriend? Why does the phone repair guy come to Kramer’s at night? How’d George get into Jerry’s building unannounced? Why would they put a young man in the same hospital room as an elderly lady?

The Shoes: “Jerry and George lose their TV pilot after sneaking a peek at the NBC executive’s (Bob Balaban) daughter’s (Denise Richards) cleavage. Elaine thinks everyone’s obsessed with her Botticelli shoes.”

An episode with a decent array of good gags, “Shoes” loses points for toilet humor. It plays Russell’s vomiting too much, and that seems tacky for this series. It never really coalesces overall, though some funny bits appear. I most like the bizarreness of Elaine’s irritation related to her shoes, as that theme subtly illustrates the disconnect between men and women.

DVD FOUR:

The Old Man: “Jerry, George and Elaine volunteer to spend time with senior citizens. Jerry loses his, George’s fires him, and Elaine can’t even stand to look at hers.”

How can one not find humor from a show in which three essentially selfish people try to behave in a selfless manner? Plenty of amusement results, a lot of it from Bill Erwin’s terrific guest performance as crotchety old Sid. Add to that the site of George with his bald head dipped in oil and a closing hint at the future of George and Jerry and we have another strong show.

Inconsistency alert: am I the only one who doesn’t think Sid would have the Stones’ Emotional Rescue in his collection?

The Implant: “Jerry enlists Elaine to find out if his girlfriend’s breasts (Teri Hatcher) are real. George loses another girlfriend after getting caught ‘double-dipping’.”

I once dated a woman whose personals headline read “they’re real, and they’re spectacular”. (They were, and they were, though she was no Teri Hatcher.) That’s the show’s big catchphrase, though the “double-dip” competes with it. All of these make this a very funny episode.

The Handicap Spot: “On their way to buy a big screen TV for ‘The Drake’, George parks his father’s car in a handicap spot. An angry mob trashes the car and George must face the wrath of his father. We meet Frank Costanza (John Randolph) for the first time.”

”Spot” follows “The Contest” and “The Outing” in its approach to potentially controversial subject matter. Seinfeld was never particularly politically correct, and it pushes those limits with its view of the handicapped. Most of the potentially offensive material shows up at the wheelchair shop, but the program so clearly veers into parody territory that it’s hard to imagine it bothered many people.

Bizarre casting coincidence note: here we see John Randolph in his one and only appearance as George’s father Frank. Jerry Stiller soon replaced him. The coincidence? Jerry’s father Morty was originally played by Phil Bruns and then replaced by Barney Martin. It’s weird that the actors initially cast as the fathers of these two primary characters both got the boot.

The Junior Mint: “Jerry doesn’t know his girlfriend’s (Susan Walters) name but learns it rhymes with a female body part. Kramer drops a Junior Mint into the surgical cavity of Elaine’s boyfriend (Sherman Howard) during an operation.”

I’d love to know if Junior Mint sales skyrocketed after this show aired - they had to benefit from the free publicity. That element does lend the episode a quirky flavor that makes it work. I never liked the casting of Sherman, though. Elaine goes so nuts for his physical appearance, but this seems odd since a) Roy’s still kind of tubby, and b) Sherman’s not a very attractive man. He’s not a handsome man who looked bad just because he was fat; he was pretty ordinary under the best of circumstances.

The Smelly Car: “A smelly valet stinks up Jerry’s car and anyone who comes in contact with it. George discovers he drove Susan to lesbianism.”

What’s with the string of ugly boyfriends forced on Elaine? Carl’s so unattractive that he makes Roy look like Brad Pitt. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but I don’t think someone as superficial as Elaine would go for these unappealing guys. I do like the thread in which Susan goes gay, and the main “smelly car” plot is terrific.

The Pilot, Parts 1 and 2: “Jerry and George’s pilot is finally a go. NBC President Russell Dalrymple becomes obsessed with Elaine. Kramer suffers intestinal maladies.”

Seinfeld may be called a series about nothing, but it still went with an overall story arc for Season Four. That involved Jerry’s pursuit of a TV series, and it all culminates in the double-length “Pilot”. The show brings things to a close wonderfully, especially when we see the slightly-altered universe of Jerry, the proposed series. “Pilot” caps a great year on a positive note.

Seinfeld transformed from cult status to smash hit in Season Four. Some of that came from its shift to a better time slot, but the insanely high quality of the year’s episodes sure didn’t hurt. Even the worst Season Four programs were good, and the great ones really excelled. This is absolute prime material.


The DVD Grades: Picture B-/ Audio C+/ Bonus A-

Seinfeld appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on these single-sided, double-layered DVDs; due to those dimensions, the image has not been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The discs presented visuals very similar to those of the first two sets, which meant they were good but not exceptional.

Sharpness mostly came across well. Wider shots tended to be moderately fuzzy and indistinct, though. Since the shows used close-ups much of the time, those issues failed to create great distractions, and the programs usually offered reasonably concise images. Occasionally I saw examples of jagged edges and shimmering, but those stayed minor. Some light edge enhancement also crept into the shows.

As for source flaws, grain caused the biggest distraction. The shows looked awfully grainy at times, and a few other issues occasionally interfered. I saw periodic examples of specks, grit, and other blemishes. These were minor.

Despite some runniness, the colors proved surprisingly solid most of the time. Some shots demonstrated less adequate conciseness, as the hues sometimes appeared a bit messy. However, the majority of the time they displayed pretty nice vivacity. Blacks were quite deep and firm, but low-light shots were less consistent. They tended to be somewhat dense and opaque, though not terribly so. Ultimately, Seinfeld showed some problems, but the episodes were better than watchable.

Not much happened during the bland Dolby Surround 2.0 soundtracks of Seinfeld. The mixes expanded a little beyond what we heard in the earlier seasons, but not by much. Those were essentially glorified monaural, and that trend continued here, with most of the sound emanating from the center. Music broadened to the sides and rears a bit more actively, though. Effects remained uninspiring. Even exterior locations stayed subdued, as laughter from the audience provided the main side and rear material. A few shots opened up matters slightly, but don’t expect fireworks here.

Audio quality improved a little over earlier years. Speech sounded a bit more natural and showed less edginess. Effects were essentially accurate and free from distortion, though they could become slightly rough at times. Music presented the liveliest elements, with decent highs and fair bass response. There wasn’t much to the mix, but it was fine for the materials and at least it showed improvements compared to earlier seasons.

For a series about nothing, this four-DVD set includes a lot of supplements. Most of these spread across the four discs to pop up for various episodes. We find Notes About Nothing on all the programs. These text commentaries fill us with all sorts of Seinfeld-related information. They cover biographical and career notes about cast and crew plus specific details about the episodes such as shooting and rehearsal dates, air dates, ratings and reviews. We find scads of details about changes from the original scripts, deleted scenes, and other variations. The tracks go over series development and issues connected to characters and situations. Also, we get cute “counters”; these keep track of Kramer’s entrances, Jerry’s, Kramer’s and George’s girlfriends, Elaine’s boyfriends, Jerry’s declaration of “Hello, Newman” and appearances by guests. Those continue from the earlier sets, and this package adds a “not that there’s anything wrong with that” counter.

As with the tracks on earlier sets, I learned a lot from “Notes About Nothing”. “Nothing” provides some very detailed and illuminating discussions. They’re an excellent bonus and may well be the strongest aspect of the set. The information from “The Outing” proves especially good as we get scads of details about alternate concepts considered for the episode.

The nine running, screen-specific audio commentaries are much less informative. Two of these come from Jerry Seinfeld for “The Contest” and “The Junior Mint”. (Although series co-creator Larry David sat with Seinfeld for the first DVD releases, he fails to appear here.) Actors Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards and Jason Alexander also congregate for “The Cheever Letters” and “The Outing”. Writer Larry Charles chats during “The Trip” parts one and two and “The Airport”, while director Tom Cherones and production designer Tom Azzari discuss “The Pilot”. Writer Peter Mehlman talks during “The Implant”.

Seinfeld says little of note in his tracks. He tosses out sporadic story-related remarks, most of which we already learn in the text commentary. Mostly he laughs and doesn’t talk about much. Alexander, Louis-Dreyfus and Richards continue their bland commentaries from the prior sets with more dull sessions here. They provide exceedingly little info about the show, as they mostly just watch the episodes and reiterate the stories. I can’t think of one useful factoid I got from their discussions.

Charles proves more effective in his chats, but flaws still occur. He gets into some real production issues and also lets us know inspirations for shows and character insights. He also relates why he left the show eventually, as he states he felt like George Harrison compared to the Lennon and McCartney pair of Seinfeld and David. Unfortunately, way too much dead air continues to mar his tracks.

Mehlman’s discussion comes across as very similar to those from Charles. He touches on similar subjects, though he lacks the same level of depth. We get some decent notes from Mehlman but still plenty of gaps and not great insight.

Although Cherones and Azzari offered the best chats on the prior DVDs, this one’s not too hot. Mostly they talk about the sets and name various actors. Since “The Pilot” includes lots of show personnel in guest roles, this subject fills a lot of space. Cherones also simply narrates the story much of the time, and this track doesn’t give us much useful information. Despite occasional good moments, these commentaries don’t do a lot for me; the “Notes About Nothing” provides the best way to look at the shows.

Across all four discs, we get Inside Look featurettes for 15 of the episodes. They come for “The Trip, Part 1” (4:51), “The Pitch/The Ticket” (6:43), “The Bubble Boy” (4:38), “The Cheever Letters” (4:18), “The Opera” (3:21), “The Contest” (9:50), “The Airport” (4:20), “The Pick” (3:26), “The Visa” (1:41), “The Outing” (5:15), “The Old Man” (4:06), “The Implant” (3:47), “The Handicap Spot” (5:47), “The Junior Mint” (4:46), and “The Smelly Car” (3:02). These mix show snippets plus new interviews with Charles, Alexander, Cherones, Seinfeld, Richards, Louis-Dreyfus, Mehlman, producer Tim Kaiser, Castle Rock executive Glenn Padnick, NBC executives Rick Ludwin and Warren Littlefield, executive producers Larry David and George Shapiro, writers Bruce Kirschbaum, Andy Robin and Tom Leopold, casting director Marc Hirschfeld, Larry David’s neighbor Kenny Kramer, and actors Bob Balaban, Heidi Swedberg, Wayne Knight, Estelle Harris, Jerry Stiller, and Brian George.

Like the “Notes About Nothing”, the “Inside Looks” take on a mix of basic topics. We hear about shooting in more sets and locations, inspirations for various lines, characters and sequences, the series’ growing willingness to depart from reality, development of some stories, character topics, casting guest actors, and general notes. Too many show clips appear, and inevitably some of the information repeats from other sources. Nonetheless, the “Inside Looks” toss out lots of good bits that help us learn more about the series. Some highlights come from alternate shots such as when Jerry guesses his girlfriend’s name in “The Junior Mint”. It’s also amusing to hear how often Alexander was wrong about the viability of story ideas.

We discover deleted scenes for 12 episodes: “The Trip Part 1” (two scenes, two minutes, five seconds), “The Wallet” (one scene, 2:41), “The Cheever Letters” (two scenes, 3:37), “The Opera” (three scenes, 3:04), “The Virgin” (one scene, 0:50), “The Contest” (two scenes, 2:00), “The Airport” (two scenes, 1:10), “The Pick” (two scenes, 1:43), “The Movie” (one scene, 1:46), “The Outing” (two scenes, 2:26), “The Old Man” (three scenes, 1:44) and “The Junior Mint” (one scene, 0:58).

Most of the snippets offer minor additions to existing sequences. A few minor unique segments appear, such as one in which Kramer confronts the Calvin Klein executive who stole his fragrance idea. We also get the Buckles stand-up routine that almost was used as a closer instead of Jerry’s usual bit. The pieces are fun to see; they’re generally entertaining and I’m glad they’re here.

DVD One includes a documentary called The Breakthrough Season. This 19-minute and eight-second show includes notes from Seinfeld, Alexander, Louis-Dreyfus, Richards, Charles, David, Shapiro, Ludwin, Littlefield, Padnick, Castle Rock executive Rob Reiner, executive producer Howard West, TV critic Ray Richmond, NBC CEO and chairman Robert Wright, and composer Jonathan Wolff.

They get into Season Four’s story arc, problems finding a mass audience, developing critical and commercial success, coming up with show ideas, controversies, the end of Cheers and Seinfeld’s scheduling shift, and winning an Emmy. Some of the topics pop up elsewhere, mostly via the “Notes About Nothing”, but we get a reasonable amount of new information here. “Season” sums up matters well and acts as a decent little overview of the year.

Also on DVD One, we find a Regis and Kathie Lee Parody. The four-minute and 38-second clip offers a segment from that series. In it we see a laudatory clip from Regis and a spoof of that done by the Seinfeld folks. It’s a fun extra.

We locate some bloopers on DVD Two. This 21-minute and nine-second reel mostly includes the usual goofs and giggles. A few funny outtakes pop up but mostly this is the same old stuff.

DVD Two also gives us Master of His Domain. This eight-minute and one-second clip includes “exclusive stand-up material”. As one might expect, this consists of unused comedy routine snippets. Not all of the bits work, but I’m happy to get the chance to see them.

Entitled Sponsored by Vandelay Industries, DVD Three includes a two-minute and 56-second collection of NBC promos and trailers. 10 of these spots appear here, and all of them address the show’s move to 9:30 on Thursdays after Cheers. We also find four minutes and 13 seconds of 1992 Olympic Promos. We find 11 of these clips. They show various assemblies of the main cast sans Louis-Dreyfus as they discuss Olympic events. They’re not as funny as one might expect, but they’re a nice bonus.

Still on DVD Three, we also see a Photo Gallery. It presents a running montage of pictures that lasts one minute, 51 seconds. These mix publicity shots and production stills.

DVD Four includes both the original and syndicated versions of “The Handicap Spot”. As I mention in the body of my review, they recast George’s father in Season Five; Jerry Stiller took over for John Randolph. We can check out either version. The Stiller take is radically funnier but it’s very cool to watch the original. (The syndicated cut has one series inconsistency: Estelle Harris was blonde the first time but was a redhead for the reshoot. The syndicated one also lessens the impact of a joke. In both, George reads Glamour - the magazine indirectly responsible for “The Contest” - in the background at his parents’ house. It’s much more difficult to read the mag’s cover in the reshoot.)

We also can see the original with an introduction from Alexander. He chats for 33 seconds and gives us a little background on things.

Across the discs, we find a few Easter eggs. In DVD One’s “Extras” menu, click “up” from “Regis and Kathie Lee Parody” to activate a hidden birthday cake. Hit enter to see a 29-second clip with a birthday greeting from the main cast. For whom was this meant? I have no idea.

For Disc Three, highlight “Episodes” from the “Extras” menu and press “up”. Then hit enter to see a four-minute and 59-second featurette about the battle over a studio parking space. We hear from Louis-Dreyfus, Alexander, Richards, and Seinfeld. They discuss the feud between the folks and Tom and Roseanne Arnold. It’s a bizarre tale and an entertaining piece.

On Disc Four, head to the “Episodes” menu and click “up” from “Extras”. That brings up a dashboard icon, so hit enter. This reveals a 24-second bluescreen outtake of Bob Balaban, Larry Charles and Larry David on the “ocean”.

By Season Four, Seinfeld was firing on all cylinders, and we can see that from this excellent package of shows. Even the worst episodes still have many funny moments, and the best of the batch truly shine. The DVDs presents more than acceptable picture and sound quality along with a long, deep roster of extras. Seinfeld Season Four represents extremely high caliber TV and earns my enthusiastic recommendation.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.5714 Stars Number of Votes: 63
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