Seinfeld, Master of Its Domain: Revisiting Television's Greatest Sitcom / Edition 1

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After a slow and inauspicious beginning, Seinfeld broke through to become one of the most commercially successful sitcoms in the history of television. This fascinating book includes classic articles on the show by Geoffrey O'Brien and Bill Wyman (first published in the New York Review of Books and respectively), and a selection of new and revised essays by some of the top television scholars in the US - looking at issues as wide-ranging as Seinfeld's Jewishness, alleged nihilism, food obsession, and long-running syndication. The book also includes a comprehensive episode guide, and Betty Lee's lexicon of Seinfeld language.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Noted television and pop culture academic and critic Lavery-who has previously written and edited scholarly texts on such television supernovas as Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer-has whipped up a frothy egg cream of an essay collection on Seinfeld for eggheads. Sixteen essays (some new, some previously published and revised) are divided among four topical sections with an afterword and supplementary material featuring a glossary of Seinfeld terms and expressions and an episode guide. The essays in Part 1 generally give an overview of the show before segueing into Part 2's exploration of "genre, humor, and intertexuality." Part 3 treats issues of "gender, generations, and ethnicity," while Part 4 concludes with essays on "cultural, pop cultural, and media matters." As Lavery notes in his preface, despite Seinfeld's iconic stature-half of us loved it, and the other half loved to hate it-only one serious monograph has been published. This anthology featuring the likes of Geoffrey O'Brien and Eleanor Hersey will best serve academic media and pop culture collections and serious readers who like their TV eggs hard-boiled. The recent release of the show on DVD should increase interest.-Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826418036
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 1/20/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 290
  • Sales rank: 1,095,928
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David Lavery is one of the leading figures of Television Studies in the United States. He teaches in the Department of English at Middle Tennessee State University, and is the author/editor/co-editor of nine books including Full of Secrets: Critical Approaches to Twin Peaks, 'Deny All Knowledge': Reading The X-Files, Fighting the Forces: What's at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and This Thing of Ours: Investigating The Sopranos.

Sara Lewis Dunne also teaches at Middle Tennessee State University, and is the co-editor of Studies in Popular Culture.

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Table of Contents

David Lavery and Sara Lewis Dunne (Middle Tennessee State University), Preface. “Part of Popular Culture”: The Legacy of Seinfeld

Section 1. “Giddy-Up!”: Introductions Albert Auster (Fordham University), Much Ado About Nothing: Some Final Thoughts on Seinfeld David Marc (Syracuse University), Seinfeld: A Show (Almost) About Nothing Bill Wyman, Seinfeld Reflections on Seinfeld

Section 2. “Maybe the dingoes ate your baby”: Genre, Humor, Intertextuality Michael Dunne (Middle Tennessee State University), Seinfeld as Intertextual Comedy Barbara Ching (University of Memphis), They Laughed Unhappily Ever After: Seinfeld, Situation Comedy, and the Encounter with Nothingness Dennis Hall (University of Louisville), Jane Austen, Meet Jerry Seinfeld Amy McWilliams (Texas A & M), Genre Expectation and Narrative Innovation in Seinfeld

Section 3. “If I like their race, how can that be racist?”: Gender, Generations, and Ethnicity Joanna L. Di Mattia (Monash University), Male Anxiety and the Buddy System in Seinfeld Matthew Bond, “Are they having babies just so people will visit them?”: Parents and Children on Seinfeld Jon Stratton (Curtin University of Technology), Seinfeld is a Jewish Sitcom, Isn’t It: Ethnicity and Assimilation on 1990s American Television

Section 4. “It is so sad, all your knowledge of high culture comes from Bugs Bunny cartoons”: Cultural, Pop Cultural, and Media Matters Geoffrey O’Brien, The Republic of Seinfeld Sara Lewis Dunne (Middle Tennessee State University), Seinfood: Purity, Danger, and Food Codes on Seinfeld Eleanor Hersey (Fresno Pacific University), "It’ll Always Be Burma to Me": J. Peterman on Seinfeld Elke van Cassel (Radboud University Nijmegen), Getting the Joke: Seinfeld from a European Perspective Michael M. Epstein (Southwestern University School of Law), Mark C. Rogers (Walsh University), and Jimmie L. Reeves (Texas Tech University), From Must-See-TV to Branded Counter Programming: Seinfeld and Syndication

Section 5. Afterword David Lavery, Middle Tennessee State University, with Marc Leverette, Colorado State University, Re-Reading Seinfeld after Curb Your Enthusiasm

Section 6. “Get Out!”: Back Pages Betty Lee, Seinfeld Lexicon Seinfeld Episode and Situation Guide (by David Lavery)
Seinfeld Intertexts and Allusions Contributors Bibliography Index

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