Only “Seinfeld” could deal with proctology, lovemaking techniques and corkscrew pasta in the same half-hour, and with hilarious results. This episode of the highest-rated show on television is a vintage effort, and as long as the writers continue to be inventive there’s no reason it shouldn’t stay on top.
Sex and male insecurity always figure prominently, and when one of Jerry’s friends — David, the honest mechanic — pilfers “the move” and uses it on Elaine, Jerry is as upset as if someone stole his standup material.
Kramer mistakenly gets license plates reading “ASSMAN” and, in a seemingly unrelated development, presents Jerry
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with a statuette in Jerry’s likeness made out of fusilli pasta — because Jerry is so silly.
Kramer gets lots of action due to his newly labeled wheels, and George’s recently separated mother (Estelle Harris) thinks he made a pass while driving her back from “having her eyes done.”
Elaine is one of the few overtly sexual women in sitcoms, yet she’s detached (and loyal) enough to have gotten an estimate for Jerry’s Saab while in bed with the mechanic.
Strands converge when George’s dad (Jerry Stiller) confronts Kramer the cad, and “Fusilli Jerry” gets in an accident.
Writer Marjorie Gross has come up with plenty of big laughs, and director Andy Ackerman delivers a broad, slightly bawdier-than-usual episode. The ensemble is in fine form, and though Harris comes close to stealing the show, the material is really the star.
Production team is increasingly willing to stray from indoor sets and shoot scenes on the street when it’s not essential to the action. Maybe they think viewers are tiring of the coffee shop and Jerry’s place.
Yet the outdoor sets are so obviously not New York that, while the sensibility may be Gotham, the look (especially the lighting) screams Burbank.
Of course, the beauty of “Seinfeld” is that it isn’t fueled by a sense of place, or even situations, but by a nexus of ideas and characters. You’d be forgiven for thinking the execution is incidental.