Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Why didn't someone tell me ...

Marz and I were walking to Rainbow Chinese Restaurant last night.

"Why did you get Seinfeld from the library?" she said, having seen the DVDs at my place.

"Because I love Selena Meyer*!" I said. "I didn't know Julia whats-her-name was Elaine---I've never seen Seinfeld, so now I want to, to see her."

"You've never seen Seinfeld?!?"

We're at the restaurant. It's only 5:30, and there's hardly anyone there yet. I ask the host and the two servers--all young, white people--standing by the red-silk and lanterns in the entrance area, "Have you guys seen Seinfeld?"

They look at me suspiciously. 
"Why?" says the host.

"Well, my friend and I were just talking about it--I've never seen it---and I wonder if everyone else has..."

"You've never seen Seinfeld??!"

They've all seen it.
"I've seen every episode," says a server. 

"You weren't even born yet." I say.

"I'm Jewish." She turns to the host. "Seat them in my section."

She's a great server. She checks the tea pot---"Is your water still hot?" but she doesn't hang around, asking personal questions. 
But toward the end of our meal, she does ask, "So, you really never saw Seinfeld?"

"No. I was working evenings, and, you know, back then it wasn't easy to see shows if you missed them, unless you programmed your VCR, which I could never figure out..."

"So you're not here because of the Chinese Restaurant episode? I thought you were here because of that---it's my favorite episode. You should go home and watch it on YouTube."

We tipped her 29 percent, went home, and watched the episode (on Hulu--my DVDs are of the seventh season), and I'm... like... 


It was so ridiculous, funny, and weird (yet so recognizably normal), and woven together so smartly.
As everyone but me seems to know, the whole episode takes place as Seinfeld and his friends wait for a table at a Chinese restaurant.

My favorite detail is that they're in a hurry because after dinner, they're going to a one-time showing of Plan 9 from Outer Space, and Seinfeld is soooo excited to see again "the worst movie ever made!"

It is.

I can relate:  Plan 9 from Outer Space is hilariously clunkily bad, and I loved getting to see it at a movie theater on my birthday a few years ago.

By the end of the episode, all of their plans have gone awry, mostly due to the mysterious mismanagement of the host, and Elaine suggests Seinfeld go to the movie by himself.

Right! These are important, real-life issues!!! 
Must watch this show from the beginning. 

And now I understand why if you walk into a Chinese Restaurant asking about Seinfeld, the staff will look at you like, What are you insinuating?

*Selena Meyer, vice-president in VEEP, [my favorite modern TV show] is played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who plays Elaine in Seinfeld.


misterbagman said...

Okay, so maybe I'm spoiled by living in the San Francisco Bay Area, but it seems to me if you go into a Chinese restaurant and are waited on by a Jewish server, you may not be in for a top-shelf gustatory experience.

In any event, welcome to the Seinfeld fold!

Fresca said...

Well, it's true, the food was just OK, but the level of TV criticism was top-shelf! :)

Michael Leddy said...

That episode was inspired — I’m not kidding — by an LA restaurant called Genghis Cohen, which serves “NY style” Szechuan food.