Seinfeld and Postmodernism

Topics: Postmodernism, Seinfeld, Modernism Pages: 12 (4388 words) Published: March 3, 2013
This paper seeks to explain whether the television show called Seinfeld can be perceived as a postmodern show. In order to answer this question literature review was conducted in combination with analysis of the episodes from different seasons so it will be possible to notice and review the characteristics of the postmodern worldview across the Seinfeld’s seasons. The analysis showed that Seinfeld’s series have characteristics that can be defined as postmodern. Consequently, Seinfeld can be perceived as a postmodern show.

Table of contents
Methodology p.4 Introduction p.5 Postmodernism pp. 6-12 Analysis: Seinfeld and Postmodernism pp. 12-17 Conclusion p.18 Methodology

The connection between Seinfeld’s series and postmodernism was reviewed. In order to comprehend the topic it was decided to start the analysis with the literature review on the postmodernism and continue with the content analysis of the Seinfeld series. Alter-Muri’s and Klein’s (2011), MacGregor’s (1992) and Jones’s (1997) articles about postmodern art were reviewed for the better understanding of the effect of the postmodernism on the postmodern art. Klaver (1994) and Olson (1987) explained the effect of the postmodernism on television’s content. Hurd’s article provided background information about the postmodern worldview. Benhabib’s (1984) article described the epistemologies of the postmodernism. Jameson (1991) explained the cultural logic of the late capitalism. Gunster (2005), Hirsch & Hirsch (2000), Pierson (2000), Morreale (2000), McConnell (1996) provided more information about Seinfeld and its description as a show “about nothing”. For the content analysis the following Seinfeld series were reviewed: “The pick,” “The contest,” “The dinner party”, “The fix up”, “The race”, “The airport” and “The cigar store Indian”. Additionally, examples from the following series will be used in the seminar paper: “The pen”, “The pez dispenser”, “and The parking place,” “The junior mint,” “The non-fat yogurt,” “The couch,” “The label maker,” “The rye,” and the “Slice”.

The goal of the current paper is to analyse the content of the show Seinfeld and decide if it can be addressed to as postmodern series. In order to analyse the series it is crucial to understand what is postmodernism. As far as modernism appeared before postmodernism the term modernism will be examined in order to understand deeper the meaning of the postmodern. For the proper understanding one should address the following questions: How did postmodernism appear? What are postmodernist values? How the postmodern worldview can be defined? What is the effect that the postmodernism had on our culture, education, architecture, literature, media and artworks? What is the meaning and significance of the appearance of the postmodernism? In the second part of the seminar paper Seinfeld series will be reviewed and explained from the postmodernist perspective. Series will be analysed according to the definitions of the postmodern representations and world’s understanding. It will be analysed if the postmodernist representation has an effect on TV series. Also different scholar opinions regarding the “show about nothing” will be presented in the paper in order not only to answer the question stated above, but to provide different perspectives on the series. Additionally, it is important to understand the effect of the series on the audience...
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