What’s the Deal with Seinfeld Coming Back?


Gregory Castellano, Writer

You may have noticed an influx of Seinfeld memes, references, and videos popping up all over the Internet recently, but why? Although the 90’s classic sitcom has always remained popular, it has resurrected itself within the collective minds of Gen Z. In addition to its implementation on one of the most popular streaming services, Netflix, Seinfeld’s deadpan humor and episodic nature is one that resonates well with a generation of burnt-out teens and young adults.

When Seinfeld first aired in 1989, the show was almost scrapped by NBC due to low ratings. Unlike other comedies Seinfeld aired with such as Full House and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the characters of Seinfeld never learn any lessons, makeup with others, or change in any significant way. A regular episode of Seinfeld consists of the characters hanging out, making the worst possible decisions, and somehow making it out unscathed. This format allowed Seinfeld to reach its audience with relatable scenarios across all generations 

In any episode of Seinfeld, each character is defined and written so that if you started watching a random episode of any season, you could understand the characters as if you had watched the whole show. Committing to a nine-season show would seem daunting to anyone, but since most of the episodes are not connected and all the characters remain the same, casual viewing for bite-sized episodes that are easy to watch in any order becomes more accessible. This is in stark contrast to the long-running series of today with episode lengths of up to an hour, which can be difficult to sit through for those who have low attention spans. 

The main reason Seinfeld connects so well with teens today is through its apathetic tone and timeless characters. The teens and young adults of today are naturally drawn to Seinfeld due to the deadpan nature of not only the show itself, but also the characters – specifically the failures of the characters’ lives as its main source of comedy. George hates his life and can’t keep a job, Jerry is always messing up his love life, Elaine is hated by her peers, and Kramer is a freeloader. We all know someone who fits the archetype of the main characters, and the show connects to the audience through this.

While Seinfeld was influenced by Gen X’s nihilistic politics and comedy, it appeals to the similar unapologetic and daunting sense of humor of Gen Z. Once again, Seinfeld has inserted itself into the minds of a new generation, the effects of which have yet to be seen. One thing is for sure: the show will live on as a pop culture icon for many years to come.