Seinfeld

Common Sense Media says

Yadda, yadda, yadda -- a classic for teens and up.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 
EmmyGolden Globe

What parents need to know

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

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.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this famous sitcom, which has become a permanent part of the pop culture lexicon, 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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

While most sitcoms that came before it revolved around families or workplaces, Seinfeld was one of the first to deal with the relationship between friends and was, famously, a show about "nothing." The show 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the series' situations and characters. 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

Cast:Jason Alexander, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards
Networks:NBC, Syndicated
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD
Awards:Emmy, Golden Globe

This review of Seinfeld was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byLialay January 16, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Basically the best show out there for teens and adults.

I'll admit, there is some inappropriate content in the majority (if not all) of the episodes to some extent. But the humor overrides any concerns I may have had. "Gotta' love the Sein!" :)
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Teen, 14 years old Written by♪♫music♪♫ March 12, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

hilarious show!!!!!!!

i have watched this show ever since i was really really little and i didnt uderstand a majority of the jokes. now that im older i do but when i was a kid i still laughed at the non sexual jokes.... i think teens should be able to watch it as well as little kids who will get nothing out of the inappropriate jokes that DONT make up the whole show
What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 10 years old March 22, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Watch this show, too funny to watch!

I watch it sometimes and I like alot of the jokes they make. Lots of funny episodes and things they say.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models

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