After nine years of “no learning, no hugging,” Larry David’s quartet of New York singles couldn’t suddenly be expected to learn or hug; indeed, the series ended as it began, with the same inane conversation about shirt buttons. Still, the foursome also shouldn’t suddenly have been held accountable for being callous, narcissistic jerks, not after almost a decade of self-absorption without consequences. Yet here they were, in a David-scripted finale, put on trial for their bad behavior, with a series worth of memorable guest stars returning just to act as negative character witnesses.
Part of what made Seinfeld one of the most popular shows of the ’90s was the fact that Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer were charming and fun to watch. Now, David seemed to be telling fans, they were chumps for ever identifying with and liking the four Manhattanites. As a result, this finale, more than any of the others on the list seemed, designed specifically to irk the show’s longtime fans.
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