September 22, 2019

"Seinfeld is better artistically and infinitely more influential and generally more culturally important than Friends. It is not remotely, however, as binge-friendly. Not even close."

Wrote culture pundit Adam Sternbergh, quoted in "'Seinfeld’ for $500 million? ‘The Big Bang Theory’ for $1 billion? The streaming arms race has a big problem" (WaPo).
[Sternbergh] said the distinction was that the show was “innovative and hilarious and brilliantly constructed and spiky" but unlike “Friends” had “no hugging, no learning.”

The shows that are most repeatable — if Netflix’s pronouncements are accurate, “Friends” and “The Office” — do have likable characters you mainly just really want to hang out with, almost more than you’re interested in their ultimate fates. (That’s one reason “Big Bang” seems like it might, at least theoretically, fit into this group.) But likeability alone hardly seems enough to give you repeatability....
The top-rated comment over there does what so many highly rated WaPo comments do — makes it about Trump:
Bids for the 15 seasons of The Apprentice broke the $1.00 barrier and were zooming to a buck and a quarter the last time I tracked.
I bet a lot of people would love to stream old episodes of "The Apprentice." I would! I'd love to watch again knowing what I could not have known at the time, that this show will launch its weirdo star into the presidency, the most amazing event in United States history. But I don't think any of these new services — HBO Max, Apple TV+, Peacock... whatever — would want to hold out "The Apprentice" as their brand. It's completely offensive to half the potential audience. You might say, yeah, but you'd have a lock on the other half. But I don't think it works that way. These binge-watchable shows are about relaxing and getting away from the troubles of the world. "Seinfeld" might not work, because, as Sternbergh knows, the characters are unlovable, and you don't really want the experience of vicariously living with them.

But "Seinfeld" is about "nothing" — about lots of little things that don't really matter, like the position of the second button of a shirt. There's almost no serious social or political issue. Can you even remember one? Something about the need to regulate yogurt that claims to be sugar-free but isn't? That's the only one can remember.

It's easier to remember a "Friends" episode with some serious politics, "The One Where Ross Moves In," or, as I like to call it, "The One With Phoebe As Health Inspector Sidekick Vunda."

Phoebe is dating "Health Inspector Larry," who's on a real power trip, shutting down restaurants for minor violations, which Phoebe finds sexually exciting. You know, women and power! There's a lovely legalistic discussion of Health Code Section 5, the requirement that the chef wear the hat but only in the kitchen. Monica (the chef) is not wearing the hat, but she's also not in the kitchen.
Larry: "And where is your hat?"

Monica: "It's in the kitchen, I'll go get it"...

Phoebe: "You saw the hat in the kitchen and knew that she'd have to go in there hatless to get it. You can have your own health inspector detective show…. then I can be your sidekick Vunda."


Now, that's political material you can cuddle up with.

ADDED: The "Seinfeld" episode with the yogurt — "The Non-Fat Yogurt" — really does have some political content:
Elaine starts dating Lloyd, who works as an aide to the mayor of New York City, David Dinkins, who is running for re-election against Rudy Giuliani. When Elaine suggests an idea for everyone in New York to wear name tags in public, Lloyd takes the idea to Dinkins. The idea is ridiculed, Dinkins is made a laughing stock, and Lloyd is fired. Lloyd then breaks up with Elaine. She correctly believes it is due to her weight gain from the frozen yogurt. Kramer, fearful of losing his investment [in the yogurt business], tries to sway a lab technician to falsify the analysis of the yogurt. They make out, and accidentally knock a sample of blood into a test tube belonging to Rudy Giuliani. This causes Giuliani's results to show he has a high level of cholesterol. Having eaten lots of supposedly non-fat frozen yogurt lately, he accuses the frozen yogurt shops of false advertising. The issue ignites voters, and Giuliani wins the election. The lab results show that the yogurt does in fact contain high levels of fat. When Jerry's local frozen yogurt shop switches to real non-fat yogurt, it tastes awful and business plummets. Newman, deprived of his guilty pleaser is enraged and vows revenge on Seinfeld. Matthew calls Jerry a "fat fuck" for ruining his father's business. 
Ha ha. Funny that Giuliani is still front and center in the news, a quarter century after "The Non-Fat Yogurt" aired. I remember that right around the same time, Trump declared bankruptcy, and I thought — Great, now that guy is over and I won't have to hear about him anymore. I was sick of 80s Trump, and the 80s were over. Bill Clinton was President, and life would be grand.

156 comments:

Scott Patton said...

You must wear the ribbon.

Lincolntf said...

I'm going to a Lesbian wedding!

Seeing Red said...

I never got into Seinfeld. Maybe 2-3 episodes? I know bits and who the characters were.

Beasts of England said...

’Bids for the 15 seasons of The Apprentice broke the $1.00 barrier and were zooming to a buck and a quarter the last time I tracked.’

Yeah, it’s about Trump - but it’s well-delivered humor. No nastiness, and an element of truth in the valuation. ;)

rehajm said...

It's completely offensive to half the potential audience. You might say, yeah, but you'd have a lock on the other half. But I don't think it works that way

It totally works that way. News networks left and right (Have you seen Fox News' ratings)? Works for the leftie newspapers. They might be hemorrhaging money but the burn rate is so low and their 'mission' so important none of the majors are going away any time soon.

Works for shows too.

Mark said...

which Phoebe finds sexually exciting

That describes practically every episode of Friends I saw -- "which (random Friends character) finds sexually exciting." Infantile and moronic and a bunch of people you would never want to have as friends.

Ann Althouse said...

"It totally works that way. News networks...."

I thought of that, the Fox News strategy, but that's completely wrong for big mainstream shows which reach a much large audience and for a streaming service that wants a big show it can forefront as its brand to get lots of people paying for subscriptions with lots of other shows. Fox News is just Fox News, not a cable service that you'd pick over other cable services.

rehajm said...

The weird and wonderful Trump show that would be even more interesting now is Donald J. Trump's Fabulous World of Golf. It's a look into how Trump works, plays, and socializes. Politically speaking there's something in it for everyone...

Ann Althouse said...

"That describes practically every episode of Friends I saw -- "which (random Friends character) finds sexually exciting." Infantile and moronic and a bunch of people you would never want to have as friends."

Okay, this is a great subject for a list. Can we come up with 10 or 100 things which some Friend found sexually exciting? Nothing but Larry's government power springs to mind for me.

I do think the show is overwhelmingly about sex in a way that's not actually sexy.

Lincolntf said...

Didn't one of the characters have a fling with another character's mom, portrayed by Morgan Fairchild? Maybe just a flirtation, not an actual affair. It's been a long while since I've seen Friends.

rehajm said...

but that's completely wrong for big mainstream shows which reach a much large audience and for a streaming service that wants a big show it can forefront as its brand to get lots of people paying for subscriptions with lots of other shows

I'd agree with that as a strategy too, but Netflix sure begs to differ. They're going full left with ALL of its original content. They co-opted David Attenborough to perpetuate leftie lies. Another Life is a LGBTQ orgy disguised as sci fi. Oh, yeah- the Obama's are producers now, too...

It may be wrong but it isn't stopping Netflix from trying...

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Althouse said ...
I bet a lot of people would love to stream old episodes of "The Apprentice." I would! I'd love to watch again knowing what I could not have known at the time, that this show will launch its weirdo star into the presidency, the most amazing event in United States history.


Did they teach American History back when Althouse went to school?

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Automatic_Wing said...

There was the abortion episode where Kramer was arguing with Poppy about when a pizza becomes a pizza.

nb said...

Others already mentioned it - 'You must wear the ribbon' and 'I'm going to a lesbian wedding' - but Seinfeld totally nailed the rise of political correctness, identity politics and social justice warfare at an early date.

rehajm said...

Last night we watched trailers for the shows on Apple's new streaming service. We're excited to watch three or four of them. They seem devoid of overt leftie politics. The shocking thing about that is that it was so shocking...

AustinRoth said...

“But I don't think any of these new services — HBO Max, Apple TV+, Peacock... whatever — would want to hold out "The Apprentice" as their brand. It's completely offensive to half the potential audience.”

Modern media is MORE than happy to put out shows that alienate half their potential audience. It just has to be the half they WANT to alienate.

whitney said...

Seinfeld is incredibly streamable and is going to make Millennials heads explode. I can hardly wait to start seeing the Articles and posts

gspencer said...

"'Seinfeld’ for $500 million?"

"That's gold, Jerry. Gold"

Bill Peschel said...

No, the "streaming arms race" does not have a problem.

It's called competition, but an employee of the sole newspaper in town wouldn't recognize that.

Bob Boyd said...

I prefer Seinfeld. I'm around people I like all day. That's the last thing I need when I'm home trying to relax.

William said...

I recommend The Good Place. They quote Kant and Nietzsche on the show so the show makes you feel smart. There's a racially diverse cast, but all of them have problems only encountered by affluent, white people. There's a Sam and Diane vibe with Ted Danson and Kristen Bell.

Quaestor said...

ARM writes: Did they teach American History back when Althouse went to school?

Yes, they did. Unlike today when teachers are required to invent it.

CWJ said...

I think The Apprentice might appeal to the Trump haters. Look at the bad orange man firing all these poor shoes. Heartless evil I tell you. The kicker comes with selecting a winner. Huzzah! A new hate object. If Trump likes him, he must be just as evil. Where is he now? Let's dox him!

Quaestor said...

The Non-Fat Yogurt features the inferior Lloyd Braun.

Mark said...

The Friends always seemed to be having sex every week with different people, as if that were real life.

One of the few episodes I watched was about the girls arguing over who would get the last condom in the apartment. I'm no prude here, but it was all so juvenile.

stevew said...

There is an audience that is not entertained by these situational comedy shows. It is an audience of at least one (me). Here are some of the shows I have streamed and, in some cases, binge watched:

Justified
The Man in the High Castle
The Americans
Game of Thrones
Bones

I would enjoy watching The Apprentice again. You can have Friends and Big Bang Theory, always found them to be contrived and Not Funny!. I've seen a few good Seinfeld episodes, "The Contest" aka: Master of My Domain is one, "The Alternate Side" aka: These pretzels are making me thirsty, is another.

Sebastian said...

"It's completely offensive to half the potential audience."

The half that arrogates to itself the power to decide what the other half watches, and threatens to attack anyone who disagrees.

"You might say, yeah, but you'd have a lock on the other half. But I don't think it works that way."

Well, yeah, of course it doesn't work that way, considering which half is which.

"These binge-watchable shows are about relaxing and getting away from the troubles of the world."

But not really. Cuz it would be wrong for deplorables to relax with deplorable shows for deplorable reasons.

The culture war continues. A luta continua, to coin a phrase.

Andrew said...

"There's almost no serious social or political issue. Can you even remember one?"

The one that immediately came to mind has already been mentioned twice: the AIDS ribbon episode. The thugs who beat up Kramer are now running the Democratic party.

Lem said...

The saying “not that there is anything wrong with that” started OFF show as ‘not that there is anything wrong with’ saying a gay joke. And ended up as ‘not that there is anything wrong with’ being gay ON the show.

Fernandistein said...

“no hugging, no learning.”

As Jed Clampett often opined: "Pitiful".

rehajm said...

Can we come up with 10 or 100 things which some Friend found sexually exciting

Monica gets aroused by her own roadmap for perfect sex. Seven...seven...seven...

Joey grabbing his own mermaid breasts when he gets buried in the sand....

Rory said...

There was an article a couple years about Latin baseball players who watch Friends because it's a gateway to learning English. I can see foreign-born people liking the show for that purpose: limited cast, limited sets, continuing story, they mostly yell their lines. A lot of Seinfeld constituted playing with language, and a lot of the background characters were struggling with English themselves.

Jen Aniston's little poltergeists are also significant factors in the show's bingeability.

rehajm said...

...Rachel goes commando.

Oh wait, that's me...

dustbunny said...

I’d much rather hang out with the Seinfeld characters! I have tried a number of times to watch Friends but just can’t stand the cuteness. Seinfeld is never cute except when they are making fun of it. Schmoopie!

Le Stain du Poop said...

Never saw a single episode of "Friends."

I did see a few episodes of "Seinfeld" and found it hilarious.

You?

Terranova47 said...

This debate depends on your generation.

My daughter was born in 1984. She and her froends followed 'Save By The Bell' then 'Friends' as guides to behavior.

We the parents watched 'Seinfeld' as it reflected many real life situations in a crazy, exagerated way. I can not image anybody wanting to be actual 'friends' with any of the disfunctional charactors in Seinfeld.

Lyssa said...

I was just thinking the other day, what is the most influential TV series in history. It has to be The Apprentice, right? Nothing else comes close.

I would t have thought of the non-fat yogurt or the health inspector stories as particularly political, though I guess I get it. I recall a Seinfeld episode where Elane was upset that a restaurant owner (I think) was anti-abortion. But she wound up looking like a jerk when she mentioned it to her date and said something like “someday we will end that horrible practice.”

Mr. Majestyk said...

Another political moment in Seinfeld was when Elaine was dating a Christian guy, and Jerry asked her if she knew his opinion on abortion. She said she was sure he was pro-choice. Jerry asked, "How do you know? She replied, "Well ... 'cause he's just so good looking."

Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

The top-rated comment over there does what so many highly rated WaPo comments do — makes it about Trump:

It really does seem to rub you the wrong way that people actually care about what happens to this country, especially when it comes to the daily atrocities inflicted on it by the abominable Donald Trump.

WaPo is headquartered in the nation's capitol and Trump himself is obsessed with judgments based on real or alleged market value, so the comment seems incredibly appropriate.

Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

You could argue that The Apprentice is/was influential in the way that many snake oils have been influential throughout American history. People used to think it was awesome to shoot x-rays at their feet as a way of assessing shoe size!

Friends was just a show about a bunch of kids pursuing an unrealistic sense of warmth despite "adulting" in Manhattan in the midst of a national society that discourages cooperative engagement. America doesn't do this well so to perpetuate the illusion required making the plot topics shallow and almost childlike. I suppose that's the last stage of life when most Americans still feel cared for.

Le Stain du Poop said...

Kenny Stabler.


I just think this thread needed an injection of masculinity, is all....

John henry said...

For a real show about nothing try "The Detectorists"

Two guys in a field with metal detectors. 18 half hour episodes.

Sounds pretty stupid but it's one of the best shows I've ever seen. I watched all of season 3 yesterday on the plane.

I forget who recommended it here but I took a chance and 5 minutes in was hooked. Thank you

John Henry

Drago said...

HoaxPPT: "It really does seem to rub you the wrong way that people actually care about what happens to this country,..."

Labor Department’s latest report on initial filings for unemployment benefits at historically low levels:
https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/OPA/newsreleases/ui-claims/20191669.pdf

Commerce Department reported the U.S. housing market (new homes and permits) was the strongest since 2007:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. homebuilding surged to more than a 12-year high in August as both single- and multi-family housing construction accelerated, suggesting that lower mortgage rates were finally providing a boost to the struggling housing market.

Philadelphia Fed’s index of manufacturing business activity in September, more than doubling estimates as factories continue to expand.

https://www.rttnews.com/story.aspx?Id=3031103

Commerce Department then announced August retail sales growth was double expectations:

The Commerce Dept. announced that retail sales climbed by 0.4 percent in August, twice as high as the 0.2 percent analysts had predicted. The result highlights retail sales strength of more than 4 percent year-over-year. These excellent results come on the heels of blowout data in July, when households boosted purchases of cars and clothing.

Main Street USA is very strong. Democrats hardest hit.

CNN’s Martin Savidge traveled to this rural area to speak to voters and found that many of them plan to cast their vote for President Trump. Savidge tells viewers:

Once a Democratic stronghold, many of the voters we talk to here say more and more, they align with the President.


HoaxPPT, now would be a good time to start digging for another hoax dossier. You're gonna need it.

Drago said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drago said...

Hold That Recession: U.S. Indicators Are Trouncing Forecasts

https://www.bloombergquint.com/onweb/hold-that-recession-u-s-indicators-are-trouncing-forecasts

"(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. economy is outperforming expectations by the most this year, offering a fresh rebuttal to last month’s resurgent recession fears fueled by the trade war and a manufacturing slump."

Democrats hardest hit.

HoaxPPT, better gin up another hoax racism charge against Trump. You're gonna need it.

Why don't you check in with one of the many many many many democrats who have "blackface" in their backgrounds. They should have some good ideas.

rcocean said...

Reality shows don't do well in re-runs. Comedies do. "Make 'em Laugh"

Oh, you could study Shakespeare and be quite elite,
And you could charm the critics and have nothing to eat,
Just slip on a a banana peel, the world's at your feet
Make 'em laugh, make 'em laugh, make 'em laugh!

The best part of the Apprentice were the parts with Trump. That's why the show's ratings went into toilet when he left.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Rudy crushed it today on Fox Sunday. Laid it out, didn't take no crap.

rcocean said...

I never understood the whole, Seinfeld characters are unlikable. They're played by likable actors. And they're *comically* unlikable. None of them are mean or vicious. They're childlike in his vices - especially Kramer. Anyway, i watch sitcoms to laugh, not to make "Friends". I have real-life friends, I'm not looking for imaginary TV friends. And the people on Friends would have me looking for the exit after 5 minutes, because they bored the hell out of me.

Unlikable - but funny - TV Sitcoms stars: Basil fawlty, Lucy, Ralph Kramden, Eddie Haskell, Fraiser, Diane Chambers, thurston howell III, Ted Baxter, Mr. Drysdale, Mr Burns.

Drago said...

ARM: "Did they teach American History back when Althouse went to school?"

You mean, like America's founding was really in 1619? That kind of "history"?

#LeftyHistory

Marc said...

There's almost no serious social or political issue.

It depends on what is meant by 'serious' and 'political', doesn't it. The yogurt episode of Seinfeld may be the only one that has partisan politics so much a part of the plot but the series touches on abortion and birth control, feminist issues otherwise, identity politics, the fashion for homosexuality, etc etc.

Ice Nine said...

Both of those shows are about as funny as the Babylon Bee.

bagoh20 said...

Seinfeld had a lot of political content AIDS, NAZIs, local NY politics, office politics, foreigners, homophobia, political opinion vs compatibility, etc. It was a plot premise in most of the episodes in one way or another.

Le Stain du Poop said...

"The most infulential series in TV history" a commenter asks.


Serious question from one who does not watch TV (not because he's better, but because he is weirder)

Do TV shows actually influence you morons?

Harsh Pencil said...

Netflix has not gone completely left wing. Bill Burr's latest hour long special, Paper Tiger, is fantastic and hilarious, and more scathing than even Chappelle's latest (also on Netflix). I recommend both highly. (As well as Norm Macdonald's Hitler's dog.)

Ann Althouse said...

"I'd agree with that as a strategy too, but Netflix sure begs to differ. They're going full left with ALL of its original content. They co-opted David Attenborough to perpetuate leftie lies. Another Life is a LGBTQ orgy disguised as sci fi. Oh, yeah- the Obama's are producers now, too..."

But that's a different subject. The subject discussed in the article linked in the post is the truly exorbitant amount — like $500 million — paid for an old TV series that has the power to determine who buys which subscription. All these little series are smaller things that are produced for the service.

Ann Althouse said...

"Did they teach American History back when Althouse went to school?"

Say something more amazing — by which I mean truly weird and bizarre — that ever happened.

Harsh Pencil said...

Seinfeld himself is probably not that left wing. On Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, I've heard him say at least twice that he has earned every penny he has and deserves to keep most of it. On abortion, from his show with Ricky Gervais

(after talking about the death penalty)

Ricky Gervais responds, "I really think the death penalty's too depressing to even think about. I don't ... I mean, I don't agree with it, but ... The state can show that sort of form of violence."

Seinfeld asks, "Well what about abortion? Do you agree with that?"

"Yeah, but that's different, isn't it?"

"I guess you can just arrange things the way you like them," Seinfeld responds in an almost sinister tone. "When you're rich, famous, like you."

Ann Althouse said...

I considered 9/11, but 9/11 was a terrorist attack and the potential use of hijacked planes was an understandable risk. Donald Trump becoming President was considered something that couldn't possibly happen... even after it DID happen. What else is like that? I say it takes the cake.

Andrew said...

One of my favorite blogs is by Ken Levine, who wrote for Mash, Cheers, Frasier, etc. His insights into Seinfeld and Friends make enjoyable reading. The comments are entertaining too.

http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/2006/08/seinfeld.html

http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/2018/02/the-one-where-i-praise-friends.html


Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

Slavery technically employed a lot of people, too. Tell us about the quality of those jobs, how easy it is (esp. for Trump's uneducated and low wage base) to get by on one rather than two of them, how the housing trends you want to get excited by are different from the trends that excited you in 2007, why the manufacturing "boom" is basically the high-end beer brewing "sector," and how farmers are enjoying not being able to sell their products abroad - along with the mudslides, droughts, fires, floods and pests that his anti-science policy is unleashing on them.

Also, does Trump intend to stop technology from laying off truckers, the way he forced utilities from buying new and cheaper energy resources as a way of keeping coal plants opened? Interesting way to run an economy and an energy policy.

Also, how are the uninsurance numbers going? Oh, that's right. Your hoax president believes the only proper medical care involves orange face paint and a tanning bed.

Ann Althouse said...

I read that Jerry has said more than once that he believes he is on the autism spectrum.

Drago said...

HoaxPPT sees a great deal of fault in the dems not bothering to speak about the economy much during their hilarious debates.

I wonder why the dem candidates aren't listening to HoaxPPT?

LOL

Yes HoaxPPT. These are dark economic times! The economic walls are closing in!! This time you've got Trump! This time for sure!

Ann Althouse said...

"Donald Trump becoming President was considered something that couldn't possibly happen... even after it DID happen."

I myself have rewatched the election returns coverage at least 5 times over the years. I need to relive it, because it wasn't real enough the first time. One reason I'm as standoffish as I write about Trump's critics is that something happened that was, at the time, incomprehensible. I have respect for reality, and I know there was something about reality that was beyond my grasp. I look at what happened with awe.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Ann Althouse said...
Say something more amazing


The North went to war with the South over an abstract principle - 'all men are created equal'.

Trump is just another minor president in the arc of US history.

Ann Althouse said...

"http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/2018/02/the-one-where-i-praise-friends.html"

I like the gentle disrespect for Courtney Cox.

She really is the weak link in the group. Why isn't she funny? All the others are funny!

Ann Althouse said...

"The North went to war with the South over an abstract principle - 'all men are created equal'."

The Civil War was in the works for a long long time. I don't think anyone was *amazed* when it happened.

Key word: amazing.

Stick to my word and your attempt at disrespecting me is bad.

Ice Nine said...

Some of us didn't find it incomprehensible and actually predicted it a year ahead of time. All I had to do was watch those MAGA rallies to see that something incredible was happening. Just like I'm watching them now and predicting a Trump landslide in 2020. I'm not alone. It's a much easier call this time around.

Ann Althouse said...

If the Civil War were amazing, we'd have lots of accounts of how so many OTHER things seemed as though they would happen and then this crazy thing from out of the blue happened. That's not the history! I've never read any such thing. There's even very little discussion of how the war could possibly have been avoided. Therefore it was absolutely not amazing.

Ann Althouse said...

I recommend rewatching the video compilation of everyone saying Trump couldn't possibly win (except Ann Coulter who is treated like a giant idiot for saying Trump had the best chance).

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Ann Althouse said...
One reason I'm as standoffish as I write about Trump's critics is that something happened that was, at the time, incomprehensible.


Nate Silver had a Trump victory at 29% on the day of the election. While not fabulous odds, a Trump victory was hardly incomprehensible, given the level of antagonism to Clinton.

Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

Nice job being a hoax pundit. There are other things for normal people in America to talk about than how well Trump's Wall Street chums are doing but by all means, how could one be a flag-waving fascist in hoax populist clothing like yourself if he didn't pretend to be beneath confusing the needs of the average bloke with those of the billionaire!

Your spin cycle is so amateur that I'm not surprised even the RNC couldn't hire you for one its lowest-level positions. And yet you still have enough of a mind to work in the non-partisan part of the private sector? Stuffing envelopes?

rehajm said...

Netflix is going to lose most of their major syndicated content. Seinfeld they get to keep. Disney and WarnerMedia, Friends, The Office are all going away to competitors. Netflix is going to have to rely on its own original content to maintain subscribers. The majority of Netflix original programming is left oriented. (Someone mentioned Burr and Chappelle but comedy shows aren't 'big shows' a network forefronts)

rehajm said...

One reason I'm as standoffish as I write about Trump's critics is that something happened that was, at the time, incomprehensible.

Where have you gone, Mick?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Truman defeating Dewey is at least equally 'amazing' by the standard being applied here.

Drago said...

HoaxPPT is very very very upset that wages are rising beyond expectations and long term unemployed are coming back into the workforce in record numbers.

LOL

Hey Hoaxie, you better get this critically important information you have to your dem candidates!

Ken B said...

At the time the Soup Nazi was probably apolitical. Now it describes cancel culture.

CWJ said...

Lyssa,

Just spitballing, but how about "Roots."

Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

wages are rising beyond expectations

Whose expectations? Wall Street's? Yes, I know those are the folks whose expectations you'll bend over backwards for.

But for the cities and states that have raised minimum wage way over and above previous levels and the usually shrill objections of the right-wing, it's no surprise that this would leave wages "rising beyond expectations." Wages have been low for as long as the right-wing war on the poor and a living wage has been the political SOP.

Sounds like Pseudo-Pundit Drago can go back to stuffing envelopes. Some low-info voter surely needs even more propagandizing out there, and by golly, he'll be the one to find them and do it to them!

Yawn.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I have respect for reality, and I know there was something about reality that was beyond my grasp. I look at what happened with awe.

The proles revolted. The political class is running the country for the benefit of large, globalist corporations. Trump promised to run the country for the benefit of the proles. Its not complicated at all.

It all began when the banks got bailed out in 2008, but Joe Blow who bought a house at the peak of the bubble got foreclosed on.

Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

Low-Info Drago, the Pseudo-Pundit. He doesn't even know enough to propagandize effectively.

What a disappointment for such a veteran envelope-stuffer as himself. He's really letting his voting precinct captain down!

Gunner said...

Tubi is a free Netflix that has The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice. Even the stinky Arnold season.

Xmas said...

@Ann,

I go through my Facebook posts from election night every once in a while. I wasn't pro-Trump, but I was mildly, anti-Hillary going into the election. Since I live in Massachusetts, I knew there was no way my vote would make a difference no matter how I voted.

I discussed which states to watch and what times their polls closed. And, as the results came in, I pointed out results that seemed to be bad signs for Hillary (the only good sign that night was her winning New Hampshire, but that result came after some troubling signs in PA and VA).

I found the NY Times election page after Hillary's blue wall started collapsing and the odds for Trump winning had jumped to 99%.

Anyway, I go back to look to see the contemporaneous vitriol from my friends who were utterly taken by surprise by Trump's results.

Ken B said...

On ARM's side of the argument here are a few tidbits

Chester A Arthur as president
A sitting Vice President shooting a man for the second time
A teacher of rhetoric saving the biggest battle of the civil war with a charge by almost unarmed men
Over 200 ballots in the house to decide a presidential election

Still, Trump's election is pretty spectacular and I confess I laughed at the idea once.

rehajm said...

But for the cities and states that have raised minimum wage way over and above previous levels and the usually shrill objections of the right-wing, it's no surprise that this would leave wages "rising beyond expectations."

Minimum wage laws are not responsible for wage growth. Pro growth policies like cutting corporate and personal income taxes and reducing regulation are.

Raising the minimum wage represents an economic burden to places that hire workers and forces them to lay off workers and/or forego hiring and/or reduce employee hours and benefits.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I was listening to NPR yesterday and there was a segment on a a guy who was president of the local democratic club being seen on television coming out of a Trump rally in 2016. It was hilarious. To me anyway, I don't think that was NPR's intention. A lot of the club's members acted about how you would expect, insane.

The thing is, most of Trump's policies, control the border, bring manufacturing jobs back to the US, fair trade vs free trade . . . were policies championed by the left and unions back in the 80s and 90s. I remember, I was there. A lot of rank and file Democrat opposition to Trump is pure partisanship. If he had been able to run as a Democrat the rank and file would love him. Trump is a liberal New Yorker who doesn't buy into globalism.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

After his first two years Clinton's policies favored corporations. NAFTA was seen as a betrayal by the unions. Bill Clinton's policies were to the right of Trump's. Bill Clinton favored mandatory minimum sentences. His wife used the phrase "super predator" when referring to black youths.

rehajm said...

Bill Clinton was lucky enough to preside over the internet bubble and leave before it popped...

Yancey Ward said...

Seinfeld is timeless in the same sort of way The Honeymooners is. I don't know if Friends will still be popular a quarter century from now, but I feel Seinfeld is sure to be.

I kind of use my parents as indicators in this sort of thing- they both love/d Seinfeld, but didn't particularly like Friends. They also both really, really like/d Big Bang Theory, and so I think that show also will likely be hugely popular a long time from now.

As for the The Apprentice- sure, the streaming services don't want to piss off half their audience, but that isn't really the point- they don't mind pissing off half the audience, they do mind pissing off the left half of it. In any case, The Apprentice was never all that watchable anyway, nor does it have anything other than the appeal it might have rewatching it now knowing where Trump ended up.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Althouse said ...
One reason I'm as standoffish as I write about Trump's critics is that something happened that was, at the time, incomprehensible.


It would seem to me that there are more logical reasons available to attack Trump's critics than one's own failure to adequately consider all possible outcomes in a two horse race.

Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

Minimum wage laws are not responsible for wage growth.

Who told you that? Some guy who earns a salary working at a propaganda "think tank" instead of a wage? Some guy living off his trust fund saved by cutting the "death"/inheritance tax? LOL!

Pro growth policies like cutting corporate and personal income taxes and reducing regulation are.

I hate to break the news to you, whiz bang. But corporations don't earn "wages." Also, show a single study that links higher (or really, rising) net corporate profits with rising wages. I'll be waiting.

I understand you hate the environment (planet getting in the way of nation or corporation, and all), but making it sustainable and protecting workers from hazardous workplaces are not some holy grail for worker satisfaction, let alone a trade-off they'd seek for higher wages. If they could earn more they'd choose less shitty workplaces.

Raising the minimum wage represents an economic burden to places that hire workers and forces them to lay off workers and/or forego hiring and/or reduce employee hours and benefits.

Save it for your Chamber of Commerce keynote or a speech to be given at David Koch's grave, sister.

rcocean said...

"Say something more amazing — by which I mean truly weird and bizarre — that ever happened."

I'd put Pearl Harbor in the that category. No one expected the Japs to send 6 A/C across the Pacific and attack the US Pacific Fleet, while they were in peace negotiations, and when we had 10x their industrial capacity. They basically committed national Hari-Kari.

And while a terrorist attack was not amazing. The way it was done WAS amazing. Who ever believed someone would go on a death ride and pilot Boeing 747's into the World trade center. Or that the buildings would collapse as a result?

Drago said...

HoaxPPT: "But for the cities and states that have raised minimum wage way over and above previous levels and the usually shrill objections of the right-wing, it's no surprise that this would leave wages "rising beyond expectations."

LOLOLOL

minimum wage increases for service workers in dem controlled urban areas only reduces overall employment in those areas, chokes off entry level job opportunities for communities that require them desperately and most importantly, has ZERO effect on the increasing wages in manufacturing, engineering etc.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Bizarrely and disturbingly, I actually agree with ARM here. Trump is no more improbable than a good third of America’s Presidents (including his immediate predecessor). It’s only the saturation of modern communication that makes him seem so. If he was some 19th century pickle baron and regional party fixer no one would bat an eyelash at his ascension to power.

rcocean said...

I was thinking about "amazing" politics. And Trump's victory is the only one I can think of. Mostly, its no surprise who wins the POTUS election. Truman in '48 was a surprise to some, but even there large numbers of people expected Harry Truman to win.

I wonder if Trump even thought he would win. And it was close run. "a damned nice thing — the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life" as Wellington said of waterloo. A couple votes in Penn, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan and trump loses.

JAORE said...

Didn't one of the characters have a fling with another character's mom, portrayed by Morgan Fairchild?

Not that there's ANYTHING wrong with that.

Yancey Ward said...

ARM, Silver did what he always does- gives you a last minute black box number so that he can always claim to have not been completely wrong if the result doesn't quite turn out the way he predicted it would. In other words, he is cautious to protect his brand- he certainly isn't an idiot. Every other pollster/analyst were less cautious and more idiotic, and used the polls to predict Clinton winning with greater than 95% certainty- the non-black box number. Silver understands something the others didn't and probably still don't understand- if Clinton had won, no one would have even noticed Silver's 29% odds of Trump winning- he would have gotten full credit for being right- along with all the other 95% people, but when Trump won, Silver got to salvage his reputation by being able to point to, and have others do so as well, that he wasn't all that sure of his Clinton prediction. You prove the point.

rehajm said...

I hate to break the news to you, whiz bang. But corporations don't earn "wages." Also, show a single study that links higher (or really, rising) net corporate profits with rising wages. I'll be waiting

You've misread what I said, probably intentionally. Go back and re-read.

..and stop with the name calling, too. It weakens whatever straw man argument you're trying to make.

rcocean said...

"Seinfeld is timeless in the same sort of way The Honeymooners is. I don't know if Friends will still be popular a quarter century from now, but I feel Seinfeld is sure to be."

Yeah some are timeless - others aren't. All in Family and most of the Lear crap has been completely forgotten but Andy Griffith Show and I love lucy seem to live forever. I think Cheers, the Simpsons, and Seinfeld will last. Not sure about any of the other sitcoms (USA) from the 80s and 90s.

Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

Low-Info Drago the Pseudo-Pundit just confused wages with employment. Not a surprise but hilarious nonetheless.

Again, yawn.

And again, which manufacturing sectors are seeing increased employment under Trump? Name them. And make sure it's one that employs more than Arby's.

HAHAHAHA.

An entire energy employment policy based on the dirtiest, most moribund resource and it can't even employ more than a single fast-food restaurant chain. Can anyone imagine an entire American economy based on a string of roast beef sandwich shops? You can't make this stuff up.

Bob said...

I think I would pick the American Revolution and founding as the most spectacular event. A nearly hopeless war with defeat following defeat followed by final triumph, a philosophical founding unparalleled in world history, and a constitution which survives and is revered today.

The revolution in fact was the commencement of all the incredible events which followed, up to and including the remarkable election of the most improbable president in the country's history, Donald J. Trump.

Yancey Ward said...

The real differences between the 2016 election and the one in 1948 is that, (1) we didn't have the internet or television endlessly promoting the expected outcome, and (2) if Dewey had won, the losing side would not have gone bonkers- Dewey was a mainstream as it comes in presidential candidates. Even though Truman won by a healthy percentage, the election was much closer than that made it appear- Truman won close votes in California and Ohio, states that would have cost him a direct victory if they had just swung the other way. In any case, I doubt the Truman victory would be considered a surprise but for the error the Chicago newspaper made in going to print too early- that is what really drives the narrative that it was a surprise result.

Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

..and stop with the name calling, too. It weakens whatever straw man argument you're trying to make.

Try bringing some facts to your argument, first. Three-year olds can make arguments. The facts don't care about your arguments.

And also, maybe try coming up with an argument that's not just the same recycled Koch Industry bought-and-paid-for boilerplate that we all haven't heard a billion times no matter how anti-worker the policy it's been used to promote has been.

I'm off to enjoy the day.

rehajm said...

I'm off to enjoy the day.

Good call backing out...

...anyways, since I was asked, here's a few 'links' that discuss the positive connection between pro growth policies and higher wages, and provide evidence to dispel myths of causation between minimum wage laws and higher wages...

https://taxfoundation.org/jobs-wage-effects-corporate-rate-cut/

https://www.econlib.org/hidden-costs-of-the-minimum-wage/

https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=52552

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/24/upshot/why-america-may-already-have-its-highest-minimum-wage.html?module=inline

https://www.cato.org/publications/economic-policy-brief/bad-economic-justifications-minimum-wage-hikes

Drago said...

Newest weird standard for HoaxPPT: pay increases for employees in any industry with fewer than 80,000 employees dont count. Further, pay increases across multiple industries, some with more than 80,000 employees and some less than 80,000, also dont count because...reasons.

Quick aside: dems want to shut down beef production so Arbys was an interesting example for lefties to point to....

Rusty said...

Which manufacturing jobs? All of them. Skilled labor is a sellers market right now. From cad to the shop floor. Even the machine feeders are in demand. No experience necessary. This area is big in injection molding for the electronics industry. The companies keep having to raise wages to keep people. We would order a couple of tons of steel on Monday and have it delivered Tues. Now , if we're lucky, They'll drop it off the following Monday. Steel warehouses can't keep inventory.

James K said...

There's almost no serious social or political issue. Can you even remember one?

In addition to the AIDS ribbon episode, there was the "Not that there's anything wrong with that" episode, essentially also about political correctness. But yes, for the most part it was refreshingly apolitical.

Larry David has a knack for ridiculing liberal sensitivities, despite (or maybe as a consequence of) being a left-winger himself. This showed up in Curb Your Enthusiasm as well.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...
Bizarrely and disturbingly, I actually agree with ARM here.


The first time is always the most painful.

Jim at said...

Seinfeld not binge-worthy? To each his own, I guess.

We had power - but no cable - during a snow event last February. Put Seinfeld season four on the DVD and let it run all day. It was perfect.

Patrick Wahl said...

Seinfeld famously supposed to be about nothing, but David and Seinfeld debunked that idea. It's about social norms and customs, partly. I don't think it has worn as well as Friends because the characters are neurotic, selfish, and self centered, it just gets a little tiresome.

rcocean said...

Dewey's lost was a surprise for two reasons. First, he lost mid-west states he'd won in 1944. Partly this was due to his failure to pick a VP from the Midwest, and his complete lack of interest in farm policy. Second, everyone expected Wallace to get about 10% in the big electoral states. All of it coming out of Truman's pocket. Instead of 10%, Wallace only got: 5% in California, 8% in New York, was kept off the ballot in Illinois, and got less than 2.5% almost everywhere else. Nationwide he only got 2.37%.

Robert Cook said...

"I don't think it has worn as well as Friends because the characters are neurotic, selfish, and self centered...."

In other words...just like real people!

vanderleun said...

"I don't think it has worn as well as Friends because the characters are neurotic, selfish, and self centered...."

In other words...just like real people!

More like the unreal demprogs of the present day.

Bill Peschel said...

vanderleun: You are actually correct. I was listening to an interview with some of the scriptwriters, and they said someone would come in with a bad-dating story from the past weekend, and they'd use that as a jumping-off point for an episode.

Of course, it's "the version of reality as experienced by neurotic Los Angeles show-biz people," but it's a start.

Bill Peschel said...

John henry: I forget who recommended it here but I took a chance and 5 minutes in was hooked. Thank you

I thought it was me, because I watched it on Lileks' reccie and have written online about it, but it looks like "eddie willers" got here with it, in an Althouse post about the Marvelous Mrs. Maisie.

Personally, I think Detectorists is a little deeper, seeing as how it's about people who travelled the land generations ago, leaving behind little objects, while the living spend their days walking the same fields, and wondering about the stuff we leave behind. They go through quite a few changes over the seasons -- one of them finds an object that is preserved, with his name, in the British Museum -- while the other is worried about keeping his marriage together and dealing with dodgy contractors, a harridan mother-in-law (Diana Rigg!), and a wife who can be equally in love with him and exasperated by him at the same time.

It's a show that also is not afraid to be quiet and let you think, and it can be really funny if you're into the characters. (The episode about the two secondary characters hunting for the mayor's chain of office at *ahem* lover's lane had me laughing out loud.)

The DVDs also feature interviews with the actors that are not about self-promotion, too.

In fact, I think I'll bust out those DVDs for another watch-through.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Another vote for the Detectorists. Most enjoyable show I have watched in years.

Bill Peschel said...

"It all began when the banks got bailed out in 2008, but Joe Blow who bought a house at the peak of the bubble got foreclosed on."

I would push it back to 2000, when Bush won (which a later NYT article, after carefully counting the Florida votes, admitted was correct).

While there's always been hatred by the Democrats towards Republicans, this might have been the first time it veered into insane territory.

For example, in 2004, Jane Smily published a column in Slate that could have been written today. She openly calls out her Bush-voting relatives as idiots and corrupted, all Republicans as God-fearing sheep driven mad by their masters, and believes Democrats have been too nice to let this state of affairs go on.

Here it is.

Andrew said...


"I like the gentle disrespect for Courtney Cox. She really is the weak link in the group. Why isn't she funny? All the others are funny!"

Agreed! The rest of the cast is near-perfect. She always rubbed me the wrong way. Shrill rather than funny.

But overall, I still prefer Seinfeld.

Mark said...

For those still talking about the actual topic of this post --

Seinfeld never took itself seriously. Friends, on the other hand, was quite serious in trying to sell people on the idea that these were the hip and cool kids that everyone wanted to be like.

Mark said...

The message of Seinfeld directed at the characters more than once was "you're awful, horrible people."

CWJ said...

"A teacher of rhetoric saving the biggest battle of the civil war with a charge by almost unarmed men"

Chamberlain and the 20th Maine's defence of the Union's extreme left is justifiably celebrated, but saving the battle of Gettysburg is romantic puffery. The 15th Alabama suffered 50% casualties. They were unsupported and in no condition to exploit a breakthrough even if they had defeated the 20th Maine. That they managed to drag themselves back uphill a 4th(?) time is as amazing as the 20th Maine's determination.

Known Unknown said...

"All in Family"

I think it might be the best sitcom of all time. Lear fucked up. He trusted Carol O'Connor.

Known Unknown said...

"Agreed! The rest of the cast is near-perfect. She always rubbed me the wrong way. Shrill rather than funny."

Also not tremendously gifted at physical comedy, which was a part of the show.

Rory said...

Sergeant York's story is pretty unlikely. Lewis and Clark took Sacagawea 600 miles across Montana, first group of Indians they encountered included Sacagawea's brother.

There are some amazing events related to exploration, both pre- and post-founding.

Rory said...

Without Courtney Cox, friends would have been a very low energy show. A snooze.

Automatic_Wing said...

Every other pollster/analyst were less cautious and more idiotic, and used the polls to predict Clinton winning with greater than 95% certainty- the non-black box number. Silver understands something the others didn't and probably still don't understand- if Clinton had won, no one would have even noticed Silver's 29% odds of Trump winning- he would have gotten full credit for being right- along with all the other 95% people, but when Trump won, Silver got to salvage his reputation by being able to point to, and have others do so as well, that he wasn't all that sure of his Clinton prediction. You prove the point.

Part of it, I suppose, was people being "less cautious and more idiotic", but I think a lot of the Clinton inevitability hype was a coordinated information op designed to depress R turnout. Apparently Nate Silver wasn't on the mailing list for whatever reason.

The only thing I dislike about Silver is the false precision of a 29% chance of winning. He's essentially saying that Clinton will probably win, but maybe not. OK, thanks Swami.

readering said...

The short order victory of the marriage movement is pretty amazing, not that there's anything wrong with it!

readering said...

I recently finished (finally) Battle Cry of Freedom. It must have been amazing that Lincoln finally led the North to victory, only to be eliminated and replaced within days by a slave-holding Southern Democrat.

Unknown said...

Possibly the most perfectly cast sitcom of all time is Gilligan's Island. And it remains perfectly accessible by today's kids. Anytime my eldest neice was feeling down, that's what she wanted.

reader said...

Courtney Cox fills the Bud Abbott role.

lge said...

I have only watched about 15 minutes of "Friends" in all. It just seemed so contrived, so mechanical, to me. I couldn't "suspend disbelief" and get involved in the story. The characters seemed like a lot of clockwork people, in whom I could see the gears and levers turning and watch the contrived, rote story marching along.

rcocean said...

"Possibly the most perfectly cast sitcom of all time is Gilligan's Island. And it remains perfectly accessible by today's kids. Anytime my eldest neice was feeling down, that's what she wanted."

It'll live forever because there's a new crop of 6 year old's every year.

rcocean said...

mechanical is a good description of "Friends". No one seemed real to me. I hated the "Brady Bunch" for the same reason. Faker than fake.

rcocean said...

"i think it might be the best sitcom of all time."

It went way downhill after season 5 when Gloria moved out. Then we got little girl moving in (was she Jewish or Hispanic? I forgot) then we got Edith being raped, and then boom Edith is dead, and its Archie Bunker's place and he has a bar with a guy who's either Jewish or Hispanic (i forgot which).

Ugh. Even when it was good we'd get the heavy handed Liberal propaganda. Like Jewish Defense League Guy showing up and getting blown up by a car bomb. Or Archie going on Strike, or whatever. Or Archie learning about prejudice - 10 million times.

readering said...

Have to agree with unknown.

Unknown said...

Jeeze. Even after all these years my southern children imitate Jerry’s friend - “Ya gotta go see the bay-bee. Let’s all go see the bay- bee”. They do it in their best New York whine. Our babies don’t look like LBJ but to this day and for the next 25 years, at least, they will whine in their most annoying NY accent - “Jerry- ya gotta go see the bay- bee”.

Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

pay increases for employees in any industry with fewer than 80,000 employees dont count.

The idea that actually growing rather than dying industries with many more employees than that should have their cost-effective products forced by the government to be rejected by the utilities that buy them is stupid. But then, this is Trump we're talking about. And he needs a state or two to win by the slimmest of 10,000 vote margins so apparently 80,000 assholes in dead-end industries get to decide the entire nation's energy policy and resource portfolio.

Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

Nice to know that rehajm can't read.

His NYT piece specifically confirms exactly what I said, that state and city minimum wage laws were a cause of that wage growth. Here's the title and first few paragraphs:

Americans Are Seeing Highest Minimum Wage in History (Without Federal Help)
Because of moves by states and cities in recent years, the effective average is almost at $12 an hour.The federal minimum wage rose to $7.25 an hour 10 years ago. It hasn’t budged since.

For Americans living in the 21 states where the federal minimum wage is binding, inflation means that the minimum wage has lost 16 percent of its purchasing power.

But elsewhere, many workers and employers are experiencing a minimum wage well above 2009 levels. That’s because state capitols and, to an unprecedented degree, city halls have become far more active in setting their own minimum wages.


Read the rest of it. It further confirms exactly what I said.

The rest of his sources are the typical propaganda outfits publishing more of the same verbose tracts and thin on evidence. Lots of words to levy assertions and draw conclusions. Far fewer to actually make a quantifiable point.

Better luck next time, loser.

Unknown said...

The North went to war with the South over an abstract principle - 'all men are created equal'.

Historically illiterate comment.

In August 1862, Lincoln stated: "If I could save the union without freeing any slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that."

Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

The HBS paper was not even about wage floors and wage growth at all. And it was about a single industry - the low-end restaurant industry, which it said would experience more closures with wage increases.

Well, we know that for the decent restaurants in economic engines this wouldn't be the case. But rehajm seems to sincerely believe that a nation's economy should be built on the backs of a couple greasy spoons.

That's hilarious. Diners as the drivers of economic growth. Fuck technology, it's about the diners! LOL!

Now you've heard it all, folks.

Unknown said...

The humor of Seinfeld is subliminally subversive of PC culture, and anti-PC in the extreme. That's why so many liberals are uncomfortable with Seinfeld.

New scene - Elaine climbs into the cab of Carl's moving van.

CARL: Hi.

ELAINE: Hi.

CARL: I missed you.

ELAINE: Oh, I missed you!

CARL: I don't remember the last time I felt this way.

ELAINE: Me, either!

CARL: I think about you all the time.

ELAINE: You do?

CARL: Do you think about me?

ELAINE: Oh yeah, all the time, all the time...although, recently I've been thinking about this friend of mine.

CARL: What friend?

ELAINE: Oh, just this woman...she got impregnated by her troglodytic half-brother, and decided to have an abortion.

CARL: You know, someday...we're going to get enough people in the Supreme Court to change that law.

Unknown said...

IOW, Elaine's willingness to trade in her humanity for an abstract principle shows her to be the shallow, ridiculous person she is.

Unknown said...

His NYT piece specifically confirms exactly what I said, that state and city minimum wage laws were a cause of that wage growth.

So your thesis is that all we need for prosperity is a few government edicts raising wages to an arbitrary level.

Not exactly brilliant.

Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

Neither brilliance nor impressing an unimpressive no-name is necessary for stating something that is true.

I didn't know there were right-wingers looking for "prosperity" simply by keeping low-wage earners from starving or slipping further into poverty. Interesting. I guess that explains their economic policies. LOL!

NEO-FIDO said...

I am not impressed with studios and streaming services worried about offending half their demographic.

They work relentlessly to offend my half, so obviously Althouse is incorrect on that front.

dustbunny said...

The two shows are political allegories. People who think Socialism is a Good Idea love Friends. See, we can all get along! Those who have no faith in socialism prefer Seinfeld as no one on that show wants to get along with anyone except to gain an advantage.

rehajm said...

His NYT piece specifically confirms exactly what I said, that state and city minimum wage laws were a cause of that wage growth.

It does not. Did you read it? It says it can account for roughly 1/3 of wage growth while 2/3 comes from pro growth policies like lower taxes and regulation...

...and what that particular study fails to observe is the change in level of employment where government implemented a higher wage floor. As a tradeoff you get fewer jobs as companies opt to invest in equipment upgrades and other productivity gains.

Howard said...

rehajm is полезный идиот for multinational globalist oligarchy

rehajm said...

Keep in mind only slightly more than one percent of the labor force works for minimum wage, and of that small percentage most workers graduate out of that wage level in less than twelve months. It's largely a pointless argument.

Howard said...

The diff between Friends and Seinfeld is GenX versus Boomer, respectively.

Kevin said...

A big difference I think people are missing is that both The Office and Friends tell a story that evolves over time. The characters at the end of the shows are not the same people as they are at the beginning. This is particularly true of The Office where the Jim/Pam story provides a compelling thread to follow, at least for the first critical years of getting hooked on the show.

Whereas Seinfeld doesn’t. There are little plots that carry over between episodes, like X trying to get a job or whatever, but apart from callback jokes nothing changes over time, and you can watch the episodes in any order. An important part of bingability is wanting to know what happens next, and that element is entirely missing from Seinfeld. It’s a great show, but I doubt that it is bingable for many people.

Howard said...

that's womans argument rehajm. a rising tide (eg raising the base level) lifts all boats

rehajm said...

To use your analogy Howard, with a government mandated minimum wage above market equilibrium some boats stop being boats.

rehajm said...

...and I can read the all boats analogy. High wage union labor agreeements are tied to prevailing wages so minimum wage campaigns are really just calls for pay raises for upper middle and upper class workers. That makes you a useful idiot for wealthy organized labor...

bagoh20 said...

If the minimum wage goes up and you get a raise, but I lose my job, then the minimum wage is still higher, so that's a win, right?

sara said...

Is Seinfeld binge-worthy? I think it's very binge-worthy!

My brother (b. 1980) and I (b. 1974) both love Seinfeld. We have seen his stand up multiple times and continue to enjoy his perspective on life. I liked Friends but Seinfeld is far more clever. And like others have said, he and Larry David nailed the ridiculousness of political correctness years ago. Those shows provided a lot of commentary on society and even politics. The series finale addressed the Good Samaritan Laws. Keith Hernandez baseball episodes--> JFK conspiracy...Sue Ellen Mischky, the braless wonder--> OJ Simpson...The Cigar Store Indian--->Cultural appropriation, taboo words...Elaine trying to figure out if a guy she is dating is Black but not being able to address it in a forthright manner because that might be racist...

They made many historical references as well: Neville Chamberlain, Leopold and Loeb, Nixon

I recommend Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee when Jerry interviews Ricky Gervais. It is over two episodes and they address political correctness and comedy.