A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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 & Scariness
Some slapstick pratfalls and physical violence -- nothing serious, and always played for laughs.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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").
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Words include "damn," "ass," "hell," "bitch."
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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