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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:
The show about nothing is finally a DVD about something! Packed with all new special features, this 4-disc set includes all 22 episodes from The Complete Eighth Season of Seinfeld!

This box set contains some of the all-time fan favorite episodes, including "The Bizarro Jerry", "The Little Kicks", "The Yada Yada", "The Muffin Tops", and the season's finale, "The Summer of George"!

MPAA:
Rated NR

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

Runtime: 506 min.
Price: $49.95
Release Date: 6/5/2007

Bonus:
Disc One
• Commentaries for “The Bizarro Jerry” and “The Little Kicks”
• “Inside Look” Featurettes for Three Episodes
• Deleted Scenes for Two Episodes
• “Notes About Nothing” Text Commentary for All Episodes
• “Jerry Seinfeld: Submarine Captain” Documentary
Disc Two
• Commentaries for “The Fatigues”, “The Checks”, “The Abstinence” and “The Chicken Roaster” (2 tracks)
• “Sein-Imation: The Del Boca Vista Express”
•“Inside Look” Featurettes for Three Episodes
•Deleted Scenes for Three Episodes
•“Notes About Nothing” Text Commentary for All Episodes
Disc Three
•Commentaries for “The Comeback” “The Susie” and “The Pothole”
• “Sein-Imation: Pinky Toe’s Wild Ride”
•“Inside Look” Featurettes for Four Episodes
•Deleted Scenes for Four Episodes
•“Notes About Nothing” Text Commentary for All Episodes
Disc Four
• Commentaries for “The Nap”, “The Yada Yada”, “The Muffin Tops” and “The Summer of George”
•Bloopers
•“Inside Look” Featurettes for Four Episodes
•Deleted Scenes for Five Episodes
•“Notes About Nothing” Text Commentary for All Episodes


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Seinfeld: Season 8 (1997)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 9, 2007)

With Season Eight of Seinfeld, the series nears its final lap, as Season Nine would prove to be its last gasp. Season Eight presented challenges as it was the first to proceed without the input of series co-creator Larry David. Would S8 live up to the series’ prior glories? Read on to find out my thoughts. The plot synopses come from the DVD’s packaging. They’re short but good.

DVD ONE:

The Foundation: “Following the death of their daughter, the Rosses establish a foundation in Susan’s memory and ask George to sit on the board. After Peterman has a mental breakdown and moves to Burma, Elaine takes over the company and puts the Urban Sombrero on the catalog cover. Jerry gets reacquainted with Mulva. Kramer takes up karate."

I thought Season Seven ended on a flawed note, and I worried that its similar emphasis on dead Susan would create problems here. The inappropriately dark tone no longer mars things, though I won’t call “Foundation” a great episode. It’s fun to see Elaine’s promotion go to her head, and it’s a hoot – albeit a predictable one – to view Kramer as he beats up little kids. This is a spotty episode but still a fairly enjoyable one.

The Soul Mate: “Kramer falls for Jerry’s girlfriend. George suspects the foundation board thinks he killed Susan so he plants a tape recorder in his briefcase. Elaine’s boyfriend Kevin gets a vasectomy to prove he doesn’t want kids. Inspired by Kevin, Jerry, Kramer and Newman decide to get vasectomies too.”

I’ll be very happy when the series dispenses with the heavy connections to Susan and her demise. They make George seem even less likable than usual and just don’t work. Nothing else in “Mate” proves particularly memorable either. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the episode just seems a little more contrived than usual. Some laughs emerge, but it’s not a strong program.

The Bizarro Jerry: “Elaine realizes that her boyfriend Kevin and his friends are the exact opposites of Jerry, George and Kramer. Kramer starts working at a midtown Manhattan office. Jerry dates a beautiful woman with ‘man hands’. George uses a picture of Jerry’s girlfriend to infiltrate an underground model paradise.”

“Bizarro” veers toward the contrived side of the street, but it musters more than enough good amusement to make it succeed. It’s amusing to see the alternate universe of Kevin and his friends, and George’s attempts to score with babes also are good. Finally, Kramer’s move into the business world fits the character and offers nice moments. It’s a pretty positive episode, though the “man hands” part gets kind of dopey.

The Little Kicks: “Elaine horrifies her co-workers by dancing at an office party. George acts like a bad seed to impress Elaine’s secretary. Kramer’s friend Brody, a movie bootlegger, hands Jerry the camera during a film and Jerry finds himself enjoying his new role as a ‘filmmaker’”.

One of the series’ most iconic moments comes here via Elaine’s terrible dancing. Part of me thinks it’s too broadly comedic for the show, but it’s too funny for me to feel too bothered. I like George’s pathetic attempts to become a “bad boy”, and the bootlegging side has some moments, though Brody presents an abnormally dark character for the Seinfeld universe; he doesn’t fit. Overall, the show succeeds.

The Package: “George attempts to wow a woman at the photo store by having Kramer take seductive photos of him. Jerry refuses to accept a suspicious package, so Uncle Leo signs for it. Elaine learns that all of her doctors think she’s a difficult patient.”

In a season marked by an increasing tendency toward unrealistic wackiness, “Package” hews a little closer to home than usual. Of course, any show in which George poses in his skivvies to seduce a photo store clerk can’t be called “realistic”, but the episode manages to twist events to which we can relate. That helps make the program lively and amusing.

DVD TWO:

The Fatigues: “Jerry dates a protégé whose mentor is dating Kenny Banya. George goes to great lengths to avoid reading a thick book on risk management. Elaine promotes a scary war vet at the Peterman Company. Kramer enlists Frank Costanza to help him cook for a Jewish singles event.”

And here we divulge from the real world! “Fatigues” indulges in more moments of goofiness and extremes, trends that don’t work particularly well for Seinfeld. When the series works best, it provides a moderately skewed take on reality, whereas when it goes too far off-kilter, it grows less enjoyable. That’s the problem with Eddie, the “scary war vet”, and Frank’s flashbacks get silly. At least the appearance of Banya adds laughs, as do George’s attempts to get out of reading a textbook.

The Checks: “Jerry’s hand cramps after signing hundreds of royalty checks for an appearance of Japanese television. Kramer tries to help Japanese tourists. George attempts to sell the Jerry pilot to Japanese television. Elaine’s boyfriend is obsessed with the song ‘Desperado’ and Farbman furniture.”

I must admit I like a story in which George gets upset that a brainwashing cult doesn’t attempt to recruit him. Kramer’s antics with the Japanese become goofy, but they’re still funny, and Jerry’s problems with his cramped hand create nice moments. Only Elaine’s boyfriend and his affection for “Desperado” are clunkers in this otherwise solid program.

The Chicken Roaster: “Kramer boycotts the Kenny Rogers Roasters whose red neon sign glows into his apartment. Jerry switches apartments with Kramer and becomes like him in the process. Elaine enjoys her access to the Peterman expense account, springs for a sable hat for George, and gets busted for reckless spending. Newman gets Kramer hooked on the chicken.”

All four threads work well here. Kramer’s problems with the chicken store create goofy hijinks, while I like George’s methods to get additional dates. It’s fun to see Elaine’s incompetence, and Jerry’s degeneration also amuses. The four elements coalesce into a good show.

The Abstinence: “George’s girlfriend gets mono and can’t have sex. By abstaining from sex, George becomes intelligent. Elaine stops having sex, but it has the opposite effect on her. Jerry keeps getting bumped from a gig at his junior high school career day. Kramer turns his apartment into a smoking lounge and enlists Jackie Chiles to represent him in a lawsuit against the tobacco companies.”

While this initial season without Larry David started with erratic episodes, it’s getting better. The concept that George gets smarter when he loses his preoccupation with sex offers a lot of comedy, and Elaine’s desperation to date a doctor – now matter how incompetent – works. Add to that the return of both Jackie Chiles and Jerry’s annoying manager Katie and the show becomes a nice one.

The Andrea Doria: “George drums up sympathy as he battles a shipwreck survivor for an available apartment in his building. Elaine dates a ‘bad breaker-upper’. Kramer has a bad cough that sounds exactly like a dog’s cough, so he sees a vet for the remedy. Jerry helps Newman deliver mail so he can win a transfer to Hawaii.”

I hate to agree with George, but I’m on his boat here. Why should someone get a bonus just because they went through one problematic ordeal? Actually, George’s biggest complaint seems to be that the “Andrea Doria” wasn’t that big a disaster, but I’m still on board with him. Kramer’s bit is goofy but good, and I like the problems Elaine runs into with her semi-ex-boyfriend. Though “Doria” doesn’t qualify as a classic, it’s still solid.

The Little Jerry: “Jerry bounces a check at the local bodega and the storekeeper posts it for all to see. Kramer buys a chicken so he can produce his own eggs. When he discovers his chicken is really a rooster, he renames it Little Jerry Seinfeld and trains him to be a champion cockfighter. George dates a prisoner. Elaine’s boyfriend shaves his head but realizes he’s really bald when he tries to grow it back out.”

I’ve considered razing my hair in the past, but I worried that Kurt’s fate would befall me and my hair wouldn’t return in full. That thread hits closest to home, obviously, and is the only one that doesn’t drive down the silly side of the street. Cock fighting and dating convicts both milk laughs, but they’re a little more absurd than I’d like. Still, this is a generally entertaining show.

DISC THREE:

The Comeback: “George misses an opportunity to zing a co-worker and goes the distance to get him back. Elaine falls for a mysterious video store staff member because she loves the movies he recommends. Kramer picks Elaine to be the executor of his living will. Jerry buys an expensive racquet from a tennis pro who turns out to be a terrible player.”

The best Seinfeld threads reflect real-life topics, and the idea of the delayed comeback is a solid one. Who among us hasn’t been in George’s situation? I love that he pursues his revenge to such extremes. Elaine’s story is good as well, and I like Kramer’s behavior when he becomes irrationally afraid of death. Even the predictable side of Jerry’s topic remains funny.

The Money: “George discovers his parents are rich. Jerry tries to buy back the Cadillac that his father sold to Jack Klompus. Kramer can’t sleep in the same bed as his girlfriend because of her ‘jimmy legs’. Kramer moves in with the Costanzas and convinces them to spend their savings by moving to Florida. Elaine hires Morty to work at J. Peterman.”

Another subject with which I could identify: girlfriends who disrupt the sleep process. I like the “jimmy legs” thread quite a lot, but on the other hand, I can’t relate at all to Jerry’s desire to give money back to his parents. When my Old Man throws bucks my way, that’s cool with me! I’m much more in the George vein; no, I don’t want my Old Man dead, but… Anyway, all these threads coalesce well and form a funny program.

The Van Buren Boys: “Jerry’s girlfriend seems perfect but no one else likes her. George discovers a mediocre student to be the first Susan Ross Foundation Scholar. Peterman enlists Elaine to ghostwrite his autobiography. When Peteman buys the rights to Kramer’s life stories, Elaine struggles to work with him and Kramer faces a life without his own past.”

Though I didn’t like the initial uses of the Susan Ross Foundation, the concept pays off here with George’s protégé. He follows a predictable line, but it’s still very amusing. I also very much like the concept of a gang based on the eighth president, and Jerry’s desperate attempts to find something wrong with his seemingly perfect girlfriend amuse. Kramer’s problems with his loss of history work well too, and all of this makes up a fine program.

The Susie: “Elaine’s co-worker calls her Susie by mistake but Elaine pretends to be Susie to protect her reputation. Kramer sets his watch an hour ahead. George avoids his girlfriend because he suspects she’s about to break up with him and he wants her to help him make a great entrance at the Yankees Ball. Kramer places bets on Jerry’s behalf with Mike Moffet, who thinks Jerry is a murderer.”

This episode boasts a number of promising threads that fail to go much of anywhere. On the surface, all seem good except for the Jerry plot; it’s just too dopey to work. However, the other three could – and probably should – have flown. Instead, they only sporadically succeed. This makes the show fitfully amusing but not a real winner.

The Pothole: “George drops his Phil Rizzuto keychain in a pothole and goes to great lengths to dig it out. Elaine moves into a janitor’s closet to get Chinese food delivered to her. Jerry knocks his girlfriend’s toothbrush into the toilet. Kramer adopts a mile of highway. Newman’s mail truck catches fire.”

Am I the only one who would pay big bucks for a talking Phil Rizzuto head keychain? Probably not, but I do love that trinket anyway. Elaine’s problems with Chinese delivery are a minor theme of the series – we saw this previously when she dated a Communist – and the subject amuses here as well. Kramer’s attempts to keep his stretch of highway clean are fun, and I like the exploration of Jerry’s hygienic phobias. All four elements balance well for another good program.

The English Patient: “Kramer asks Jerry to bring him some Cubans from Florida so he can start his own cigar business. Elaine shocks everyone when she admits to hating the movie The English Patient. Jerry competes with octogenarian Izzy Mendelbaum. George is attracted to a woman because she confused him with her boyfriend.”

Not long after this episode aired, my then-girlfriend dragged me to a screening of English Patient. All I could think through the whole painful experience was how much I wished I’d been at Sack Lunch instead. This program captures the movie’s flaws to a “T” and entertains wildly as it does so. I also like George’s thread, as he attempts to discern the one tiny detail he needs to change to land babes. I could use that knowledge too. A fun tough guy turn from Lloyd Bridges rounds out a fine show.

DVD FOUR:

The Nap: “Jerry hires a handyman who has trouble making simple decisions to redo his kitchen cabinets. George realizes he can nap under his desk at work and hires Jerry’s carpenter to redesign his under-desk area. Kramer takes up swimming in the East River. Elaine’s boyfriend gives her a mattress to help her bad back.”

Not much of “Nap” connects. The end result of the handyman’s work creates some fun visual gags when the new cabinets take over Jerry’s apartment. Otherwise… there’s not much meat here. The handyman himself seems less delightful than I’d expect, and the aspects related to George’s desk just get silly. Not much else really works in this disappointing episode.

The Yada Yada: “George’s girlfriend uses the phrase ‘yada yada’ instead of completing her sentences. Dr. Tim Whatley infuriates Jerry when he converts to Judaism for the jokes. Kramer and Mickey go on a double date. Elaine botches the chances of her friends adopting a baby.”

With its titular catchphrase, “The Yada Yada” offers one of the series’ more memorable threads. Actually, I could swear lots of people already used that term before the episode aired, but I guess the show popularized it. That thread is definitely the best part of the show, though some of the other elements succeed as well, especially when Elaine turns into a predictably poor reference. The Kramer and Jerry lines are decent but not especially memorable.

The Millennium: “Kramer and Newman duke it out to invite their friends to the ultimate New Year’s Eve party. Jerry finds himself in trouble with his girlfriend’s stepmother because of his placement on her speed-dial. George tries to get fired by the Yankees so he can get a scouting job with the Mets. A Putumayo store clerk is rude to Elaine so she recruits Kramer to sabotage the business.”

Obviously the topic of “The Millennium” dates it. The gag about the argument between Newman and Kramer doesn’t sizzle so much when 1/1/00 was more than seven years ago instead of being almost three years in the future. If you can put yourself in that mindset, though, it’s funny, and it’s amusing to see George try to botch his cushy job with the Yankees – and fail. Add to that Elaine’s pathetic protest against a store as well as one of the more subtle Graduate allusions and the show entertains.

The Muffin Tops: “Elaine bumps into Mr. Lippman, who steals her idea for selling muffin tops. George pretends to be a tourist to impress a woman. Jerry accidentally shaves his chest and can’t stop. Kramer starts a Peterman reality bus tour. Steinbrenner trades George to Tyler Chicken.”

When Kenny Kramer – the inspiration for the character – emerged to capitalize on the show’s popularity, I always thought he seemed pretty lame. He gets spoofed here via the Peterman Reality Bus Tour, a hilarious romp through NYC. As for the thread I relate to the most, that’d be Jerry’s battles with body hair. However, I’ll leave that subject alone – this is a family site. In the end, “Tops” turns into a solid program, though the culmination of Jerry’s chest-shaving is too dopey for my liking.

The Summer of George: “George’s severance package from the Yankees allows him to take the summer off. Jerry is confused when he discovers his girlfriend has a dude. Elaine is bothered by a co-worker because she doesn’t swing her arms when she walks. Kramer works as a seat filler at the Tonys and gets swept up on stage with a winning production.”

Once again I relate more closely than I’d like to the George story. His big “Summer” ends up as one with him clad in sweat clothes and ensconced in front of his TV. Kramer’s line is the funniest of the bunch, though, as his Tony mania is a hoot, especially when he has to deal with a violent Raquel Welch. The parts with Elaine and Jerry have their moments but aren’t particularly satisfying. “Summer” ends an up and down season with a decent show.


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. This year’s visuals compared to those of its immediate predecessors, though perhaps not quite as good as Season Seven.

Sharpness usually looked fine. At times wide shots could get a little soft, but those examples didn’t present notable concerns. Instead, the shows mostly seemed acceptably well-defined. Jaggies and shimmering were negligible, and edge enhancement stayed minor. As for source flaws, the episodes could be a bit grainy, and I noticed occasional specks. These weren’t intense, but they created a few distractions and seemed more prominent than during Season Seven.

For the most part, colors looked good. The shows maintained a natural palette that came across with reasonable vivacity and clarity. Sometimes the programs seemed a little dull, but those instances didn’t crop up frequently. Black tones remained fairly deep and full, while shadows were somewhat erratic. I didn’t think low-light shots came across as problematic, but they lacked great delineation. Ultimately, this ended up as an unexceptional but satisfying package of visuals.

For a model of consistency, we go to the Dolby Surround 2.0 soundtrack of Seinfeld’s eighth season. I’ve noticed very few changes in the audio over the series’ run, and nothing new occurred here. For the most part, the track stayed pretty monaural. The shows’ minimalist score spread to the sides to a small degree, and environmental information opened up matters in a modest way. Surround channel usage cropped up for some bigger sequences, but given the paucity of those, the scope stayed restricted. I don’t intend that as a complaint since Seinfeld didn’t need a big, wild soundscape.

As always, audio quality seemed good. Very little edginess affected the dialogue, as the lines sounded natural and distinctive. Music emphasized bass, of course, and low-end response remained solid. Effects played a small role that they didn’t challenge my system, but they appeared concise and accurate. This was another perfectly adequate set of soundtracks.

In the “if it ain’t broke…” file, we find the supplements of Seinfeld. These follow the same trends found during the prior packages. Notes About Nothing come with all the programs. These text commentaries fill us with all sorts of Seinfeld-related information. They cover 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, and Jerry’s declarations of “Hello, Newman”. Some Season Eight specifics include info about Larry David’s departure from the series and the elimination of Jerry’s standup routines

I’ve always loved the “Notes”. Text commentaries can be hit or miss, but these have consistently proven to be satisfying, deep and informative. They’ve fleshed out many aspects of the shows and added much to our understanding of the series. As in the past, these continue to be the strongest supplements on the DVDs.

We also locate 14 running, screen-specific audio commentaries. These feature a mix of participants. For “The Bizarro Jerry”, we get writer David Mandel, and for “The Little Kicks” and “The Muffin Tops”, we find notes from writer Spike Feresten along with actors Jason Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Those two actors chat with writer Peter Mehlman for “The Yada Yada”, while Mandel and Mehlman chat along with “The Susie”.

“The Fatigues”, “The Comeback” and “The Nap” all present writers Gregg Kavet and Andy Robin, and writers Tom Gammill and Max Pross pop up for “The Checks”. Two commentaries come with “The Chicken Roaster”: one from Jerry Seinfeld and director Andy Ackerman and another from writers Jeff Schaffer and Alec Berg. More from Seinfeld and Ackerman arrives for “The Abstinence”, and they’re joined by writer Steve Koren. The Seinfeld/Ackerman pair returns for “The Pothole”, where writer Dan O’Keefe comes along as well. Finally, Berg and Schaffer offer another chat for “The Summer of George”.

For the prior six volumes of Seinfeld, we got a mix of pretty good commentaries and rather rotten ones. That up and down trend continues with this package, though overall, these tracks work better than those in the past. Mandel starts the set with a nice look at “Bizarro”. He delves into the episode’s development and gives us a nice collection of notes about the program. The other writers’ tracks fall into similar topics and flesh out those episodes well. We find info about inspirations and influences as well as cut scenes and what it was like to work on the series after Larry David’s departure. A few writer-specific moments emerge as well, such as when Gammill and Pross relate why they left the series.

Mandel offers an unusual look at “The Susie”, a track he dominates, Mehlman says very little along the way. Mandel tells us he doesn’t think much of the episode and proceeds to let us know what problems he finds in it along with the usual comments about inspirations and whatnot. The emphasis on the show’s mistakes makes the chat particularly compelling.

With writers in tow for their three sessions, the tracks that feature Louis-Dreyfus and Alexander work better than when they sat alone in prior seasons. However, don’t expect it to be a great commentary. We discover some decent details about the stories, and during “Kicks”, Louis-Dreyfus divulges how she came up with the iconic dance. Nonetheless, we still get stuck with too much dead air and not enough good content.

No matter with whom he was paired, past Seinfeld commentaries weren’t very good, and unfortunately, that continues to be the case here. His “Roaster” track with Ackerman consists mostly of laughing at the lines, and the addition of Koren for “Abstinence” and O’Keefe for “Pothole” doesn’t bring much more to the table. A few notes about sets, performances and scripts appear in these two commentaries, but there’s little meat and a lot of nothing.

Though inconsistent, I do think Season Eight’s commentaries are the best of the Seinfeld bunch. The emphasis on the writers works. All but one of the 14 tracks includes a writer, and though they don’t always help flesh out the material, they make things more satisfying. Expect more than a few dull spots in these pieces, but at least they demonstrate real improvements over prior commentaries.

We get Inside Look featurettes for 14 of the episodes. They come for “The Foundation” (7:12), “The Bizarro Jerry” (4:31), “The Little Kicks” (5:35), “The Fatigues” (5:03), “The Chicken Roaster” (5:32), “The Abstinence” (7:13), “The Comeback” (4:14), “The Money” (1:55), “The Van Buren Boys” (2:41), “The Pothole” (6:51), “The Nap” (3:50), “The Yada Yada” (6:53), “The Muffin Tops” (7:47) and “The Summer of George” (8:25). These present comments from Seinfeld, Ackerman, Louis-Dreyfus, Schaffer, Berg, Alexander, Mandel, Robin, Kavet, O’Keefe, Mehlman, Feresten, director of photography Wayne Kennan, editor Skip Collector, producers Tim Kaiser and Suzy Greenberg, production designer Tom Azzari, executive producer Larry David, costume designer Charmaine Simmons, and actors Michael Richards, Jerry Stiller, John O’Hurley, Danny Woodburn, Phil Morris, Wayne Knight, and Bryan Cranston.

The “Inside Looks” expand on the “Notes About Nothing” as they cover various topics. We hear about dealing with David’s departure from the series and its impact on all involved, the series’ increasing sense of self-reference via the “second generation writers”, outtakes, more influences and inspirations, guest actors and characters, performance choices, sets, locations, props, references, technical elements and effects, and David’s return to do the Steinbrenner voice.

Prior “Inside Looks” offered fun notes, and that trend continues here. For some of the best stories, we hear of Johnnie Cochran’s take on Jackie Childs and the annoying involvement of the real Kramer. Inevitably, some material repeats from the commentaries. However, we still get plenty of new information in these useful programs.

Deleted scenes accompany 14 episodes: “The Foundation” (one scene, 0:44), “The Package” (1, 0:41), “The Fatigues” (1, 0:36), “The Chicken Roaster” (2, 0:52), “The Little Jerry” (1, 0:50), “The Comeback” (2, 1:59), “The Money” (1, 0:55), “The Van Buren Boys” (2, 1:53), “The English Patient” (1, 0:54), “The Nap” (2, 2:48), “The Yada Yada” (1, 1:04), “The Millennium” (2, 1:28), “The Muffin Tops” (1, 0:43), and “The Summer of George” (1, 0:48). Notable sequences include George’s fantasy retort in “The Comeback”, more of Kramer’s cautiousness in the same episode, and Elaine’s attempts to fill the Peterman bio with Newman’s stories. Past collections of deleted scenes provided pretty good stuff, but I don’t think these are terribly memorable. I liked a few of the clips but the majority remain pretty forgettable.

Introduced with Season Six, we get two Sein-Imation segments. These offer very crude animated renditions of some Seinfeld scenes. We get clips for “Pinky Toe’s Wild Ride” (2:03), and “The Del Boca Vista Express” (1:07). “Sein-Imation” expands on the filmed sequences to show material not seen in the shows. Essentially the cartoons act out notions from the original material. They use the programs’ dialogue but depict different visuals. They’re odd but surprisingly fun.

DVD One includes a documentary called Jerry Seinfeld: Submarine Captain. This 23-minute and 21-second piece includes details from Seinfeld, Ackerman, Louis-Dreyfus, Richards, Alexander, Pross, Gammill, Schaffer, Berg, Mehlman, Kavet, Feresten, Robin, O’Keefe, Kennan, Stiller, O’Hurley, David, Cranston, TV critic Ray Richmond, NBC executive Rick Ludwin, executive producers George Shapiro and Howard West, Castle Rock executive Rob Reiner, NBC executive Warren Littlefield, director Tom Cherones, writer Carol Leifer, and actor Len Lesser. “Captain” looks at elements of Seinfeld’s work on his series. We hear about him as an actor, a writer, and a producer, as we learn how he behaved without much ego or selfishness throughout the show’s run. We also find some more notes about David’s departure and its impact on Seinfeld.

“Captain” offers a decent show but it suffers from a few flaws. For one, it throws in an awful lot of show clips, and much of it sticks with fluffy praise for Seinfeld. In addition, we get a fair amount of repetition after all the “Notes” and the “Looks”. It’s a watchable little piece in its own right, but it doesn’t add a lot.

On DVD Four we locate some bloopers. This 23-minute and 58-second reel gives us the standard allotment of goof-ups and giggling. We get a lot of it, and not much of it does anything for me. I keep hoping to find some hidden gold in these Seinfeld blooper reels, but it doesn’t happen here.

Fans of Seinfeld worried that the departure of series co-creator Larry David would negatively affect the show’s quality, and it did. Season Eight ended up as one of the weakest since Seinfeld’s early days. However, flawed Seinfeld still beats almost everything else out there; Season Eight seems problematic simply compared to the series’ high standards and it still offers a lot of entertainment. The DVDs present perfectly acceptable picture and audio along with the usual complement of excellent extras. Season Eight isn’t the best Seinfeld has to offer, but it’s good enough to earn my recommendation.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.5 Stars Number of Votes: 10
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