Seinfeld

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Seinfeld TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Yadda, yadda, yadda -- a classic for teens and up.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 25 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 65 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

There's not a lot here in the way of positive messages. Characters are petty, selfish, and often shallow, and lying, cheating, and gossiping are frequent plot elements.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters are purposefully drawn as selfish and often amoral in order to develop funny situations. Some Jewish stereotyping. No main or recurring characters of color.

Violence

Some slapstick pratfalls and physical violence -- nothing serious, and always played for laughs.

Sex

Lots of discussion about dating. Plenty of innuendo and funny discussion of sex (sometimes veiled, sometimes less so). One episode centers on a birth control device; another on masturbation (though it's never referred to directly). One episode revolves around trying to guess a woman's name that rhymes with a part of the female anatomy (possibilities include "Mulva" and "Dolores").

Language

Words include "damn," "ass," "hell," "bitch."

Consumerism

Some mention of specific brands, especially candy (Junor Mints, Jujubes, etc.). Jerry uses an Apple computer and is a breakfast cereal fiend.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasional wine drinking in restaurant or party scenes. Cigarettes appear in some episodes, though usually for comic effect (Kramer smokes and drinks at the same time in one episode). Speculation about drug use, but none shown.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Seinfeld is a famous sitcom that's become a permanent part of the pop culture lexicon. It purposely portrays characters who are selfish, amoral, and not always likeable. Lying, cheating, and gossiping are frequent plot elements. Episodes often center on characters' dating dilemmas and include discussions of contraception, masturbation (though the word is never uttered), and personal habits. Teens and parents who enjoy smart humor will find much to celebrate in this series, though younger viewers may be bored or confused by the adult dynamics.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byyuri13 October 13, 2014

mature content

PG-13:Crude humor include sexual references and some language
Parent Written byT.O.poet January 5, 2011

A classic to stand the test of time

I've been watching this show since I was 9 years old, and even then I knew it was brilliant. It was a defining influence on my comedic development, and a d... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byThreeDaysGracesGirl October 17, 2010

What's wrong with you, Common Sense Media?

This show's amazing... Common Sense Media's just over reacting... yet again... over and over, as with everything they rate.
Kid, 12 years old October 6, 2013

funny but inappropriate

I think the show is fine but some episodes (the handicap spot, the contest, the non-fat yogurt, the sponge etc) are inappropriate. They talk a lot about having... Continue reading

What's the story?

SEINFELD, the smart, immensely popular '90s sitcom, follows the lives of four single urbanites living in New York City. Jerry Seinfeld plays an approximation of himself: a comedian with a cleanliness obsession whose love life rarely gets off the ground due to his tendency to turn tiny issues into huge disasters. Jerry's best friend is George Costanza (Jason Alexander) is neurotic, whiny, and cheap and has terrible luck in relationships, partly due to his own reluctance to commit. Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is Jerry's ex-girlfriend, a self-involved, occasionally bitter writer/editor who, much like Jerry, is in constant pursuit of good-looking dates. And, finally, Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) is Jerry's wacky neighbor, whose wild hair and bugged-out eyes match his broad physical comedy style -- most frequently demonstrated when he flies spastically into Jerry's apartment unannounced.

Is it any good?

While most sitcoms that came before it revolved around families or workplaces, this was one of the first to deal with the relationship between friends and was, famously, a show about "nothing." Seinfeld was created by comedy writer Larry David and stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld, and the show's characters are based on the two men and their close associates.

The four main characters spend much of their time in Jerry's apartment or at the corner diner complaining, obsessing, and over-analyzing others' behavior. While each character pursues and dates others, the group has a way of unintentionally warding off interlopers and keeping their foursome intact. And somehow, despite each of the four's unpleasant personality characteristics -- no one in the petty, selfish quartet is in any way an ideal role model -- their continuing follies are delightfully appealing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the situations and characters in Seinfeld. Are the situations realistic? What makes the characters appealing, even though they're often mean and selfish? Do you consider any of them role models?

  • What kind of judgments do the main characters make about the others in the show? What do these judgments say about the characters themselves?

TV details

For kids who love comedy

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