Sponsored by Vandelay Industries (NBC Promos and TV Spots)
"Puffy shirts," "beached whales," "faking it" and "shrinkage"... there is no TV on DVD funnier
than this! This hilarious 4-disc set includes all 22 original network episodes from the award-winning
fifth season, meticulously remastered in high definion for the best possible
picture and sound quality.
Still on a creative roll, Seinfeld: Season Five brought viewers some of the most memorable
moments ever, including Jerry's Today show appearance in the now infamous
Puffy Shirt; George's "shrinkage"; Jerry's deaf date who could read lips;
George's new job with the Yankees' George Steinbrenner and Elaine's admission that she
"faked 'em all." Season Five was also highlighted by Michael Richard's second Emmy
Award win for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
Seinfeld would inherit Cheers' timeslot of 9PM on Thursdays beginning
with Season Five (1993-94). The show would jump from #25 to #3 in the Nielsen ratings
with a 19.4 rating. It would remain #1 or #2 for the next four consecutive seasons.
Jerry Stiller makes his debut as Frank Costanza this season. He replaced John
Randolph who left the show for reasons nobody seems to really know. Recurring cast members
included Estelle Harris as Estelle Costanza, Len Lesser as Uncle Leo, Wayne
Knight as Newman, Danny Woodburn as Mickey Abbott, Barney Martin as Morty Seinfeld,
and Liz Sheridan as Helen Seinfeld.
Season Four had to be my favorite season, but Season Five is not that far behind. A lot
of the episodes seem to make references to episodes from past seasons.
This was a strong season from start to finish with many memorable episodes. When Jerry
learns Elaine faked orgasms with him, he pleads for another chance in bed in "The Mango."
During dinner with Kramer's low-talking girlfriend, Jerry unwittingly agrees
to wear a puffy pirate shirt for his upcoming "The Today Show" appearance
in "The Puffy Shirt." George starts dating
an old classmate when Jerry tells her that George is a successful marine
biologist in "The Marine Biolgist." En route to a dinner party, Elaine and Jerry
pair off to buy a babka in "The Dinner Party." Jerry meets his girlfriend's father,
Poppie, and loses his appetite in "The Pie." George decides to do the opposite of
his instincts and everything falls into place, even a job with the Yankees
in "The Opposite."
More big name guest stars made appearances as the show gained popularity.
Bryant Gumbel appeared as himself in "The Puffy Shirt." Rance Howard, Ron Howard's
father, played the Blind Man in "The Glasses." Christa Miller guest starred as Ellen in
"The Sniffing Accountant." Marlee Matlin appeared as Laura in "The Lip Reader."
Rudolph Guiliani appeared as himself in "The Non-Fat Yogurt." Jennifer Coolidge
played Jody in "The Masseuse." Al Roker appeared as himself in "The Cigar Store
Indian." Jami Gertz guest starred as Jane and Dan Cortese was Tony in
"The Stall." Rosalind Allen appeared as Diane and Carol Kane was Corinne in
"The Marine Biologist." Reni Santoni appears as Poppie for the first time in "The Pie."
Courteney Cox played Meryl in "The Wife." Judge Reinhold plays close talker Aaron
in "The Raincoats" (Parts 1 & 2). Jon Favreau appeared as the Clown in "The Fire."
French Stewart plays the Manager in "The Opposite." Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford
appear as themselves in "The Opposite."
Seinfeld - Season 5 (Volume 4) contains all 22 episodes from the award-winning
season. The outer box is a purplish blue and has the Seinfeld logo at the top
with a photo of Kramer, Elaine, George, and Jerry at the bottom. The photo
seems about right for the fifth season. The back of the box gives a listing
of the many special features and other technical details of the set. The main dvd
box slides out from the bottom and features the same photo as the cover - only it is
There are four individual slim cases found in the inner box. They feature
a large photo of an individual cast member and the Seinfeld logo. Case #1 features
Jerry, #2 has Elaine, #3 has George, and Kramer is featured on #4. The slim cases
have the same look and color theme as the earlier releases. The back of the cases list the episodes
with a small individual photo, short episode summaries, and special features.
The summaries are not as detailed as I would like, and it would have been nice
to see the original airdates and guest stars listed as well. The inside
of the cases have a view of Jerry's kitchen. The discs feature a small
Seinfeld logo with an individual cast member on each. Disc 1 pictures Jerry
and has episodes 1-5 from Season 5. Disc 2 features Elaine and has episodes 6-10.
Disc 3 has George pictured with episodes 11-16. Kramer is shown on disc 4 which
holds episodes 17-22. A small, 6-page booklet is included that lists the episode
titles broken down by disc with the main actor and writing/directing credits.
There is a photo from "The Puffy Shirt" episode and some notes about the shirt's
donation to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
Menu Design and Navigation:
If you have the first four seasons, you've seen some very creative menus. That
trend is continued here as each disc has it's own theme related to the show.
The main menus show different video clips from the episodes, and then the theme music
is looped. The first disc features Jerry's apartment and his couch on the main menu.
There are 3 sub-menus on each disc for Episodes, Set Up, and Extras.
Disc 1 sub-meuns feature a bowl of cereal with a milk carton, a scale with dental floss,
and some videotapes. Disc 2 has a shot of the booth at Monk's on the main menu.
The sub-menus feature a toilet paper roll in a bathroom, a dry cleaner receipt
with pancackes and syrup, and a fire extinguisher. Disc 3 features the Costanza's
living room. The sub-menus include a rainbow-colored TV Listings Guide,
a Latvian Orthodox Bible, and a coffee table book about coffee tables. Disc 4
has a picture of the patio in the Hamptons. The sub-menus feature a bag of tomatoes with
sun lotion and a snorkel, a baby's cradle, and a red t-shirt. For the Episodes
sub-menu, there is a "Play All" button. There are chapter stops within the episodes,
but no separate menus for scene selections. You can choose the language and
sub-titles in the Set Up Area. The Extras section lists all the special features
in one convenient area on each disc.
Video and Audio Quality:
All episodes have been digitally remastered and newly enhanced in high-definition
to provide the best picture and sound quality possible. The episodes appear in
their original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Some of the episodes have a tiny bit of grain,
but for the most part these look great. The picture is very sharp and crisp.
The outdoor scenes, in particular, have
great color. The audio is a Dolby 2.0 Digital track.
The volume is at a good level, and the dialogue is easy to hear.
These episodes are the original NBC network versions, and not the syndicated versions you see on
cable or local tv stations that have 1-2 minutes edited out. There are 2 language
tracks offered: English (Stereo) and French. It appears the Spanish option, which was
on previous sets, has been dropped for this release. Subtitles are available
in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. Commentary subtitles are available
in Spanish and Portuguese. Notes About Nothing subtitles are offered in English,
Spanish, and Portuguese.
The episodes appear to be in their original production order (the order in which they
were made) and not the original broadcast order. Since the episodes are loosely
interconnected, this is the order they were meant to be viewed. Here is a breakdown
of the episodes by disc with their running times:
5-1. The Mango (22:55)
5-2. The Glasses (22:51)
5-3. The Puffy Shirt (22:51)
5-4. The Sniffing Accountant (22:51)
5-5. The Bris (22:21)
5-6. The Lip Reader (22:55)
5-7. The Non-Fat Yogurt (22:46) *
5-8. The Barber (22:52)
5-9. The Masseuse (22:51)
5-10. The Cigar Store Indian (22:52)
* Alternate Version is 22:52
5-11. The Conversion (22:45)
5-12. The Stall (22:51)
5-13. The Marine Biologist (22:47)
5-14. The Dinner Party (22:51)
5-15. The Pie (22:51)
5-16. The Stand-In (22:50)
5-17. The Wife (22:51)
5-18. The Fire (21:52)
5-19 and 20. The Raincoat (Parts 1 & 2) (42:39)
5-21. The Hamptons (22:53)
5-22. The Opposite (23:22)
You will be hard-pressed to find more special features than Seinfeld on any tv show on dvd
release. Once again, there are approximately 13 hours worth of all-new special features.
I will list the extras by episode below and then describe the other special features later.
Inside Looks are several minute short features that have interviews
with the cast and creators that give some behind the scenes details as the episodes
were created and filmed. There are a total 8 audio commentaries (Yada, Yada, Yada) on select episodes from the cast, creators,
and writers. In the Vault features some deleted scenes that didn't make the final cut of the episodes.
Notes About Nothing are little factoids with behind the scenes scoop and production notes that scroll on the
screen as you watch the episodes. There are notes for every episode. Even if you've watched
the episodes 50 times, I'm sure you'll learn something new with the notes. I find
it's best to watch the episodes first and then watch the commentaries combined with
the notes as there can be some downtime in the commentaries.
5-1. The Mango - Inside Look (2:06) has interviews with Executive Producer
Larry David, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Kenny Kramer. They talk about how the idea
of the episode was pitched. Deleted Scene (1:10) - An extended scene of
George and Karen talking at the restaurant. Commentary with Julia Louis-Dreyfus,
Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards - They give their general observations
of the episode and how this was the first to air in Cheers' old slot.
5-2. The Glasses - Inside Look (2:35) has interviews with Jerry Seinfeld and
writers Max Pross & Tom Gammill. Jerry talks a little bit about the new
writers on the show and how it got a second wind. Deleted Scenes (2 Scenes - 1:39) An
extended scene of Elaine and Jerry at the air conditioner, and Kramer tells Jerry he
needs money. The second scene is of two people kissing that may surprise you.
Commentary with Writers Tom Gammill and Max Pross - This was the first episode
that they wrote. They tell how some of their ideas came about like Elaine's
dog encounters and give some interesting trivia tidbits. I think these writers' commentaries were the most interesting
and insightful on the set.
5-3. The Puffy Shirt - Inside Look (10:22) features interviews with Larry David, Jerry
Seinfeld, Costume Designer Charimaine Simmons, Jason Alexander, Director Tom Cherones,
Jerry Stiller, Casting Director Marc Hirschfeld, Estelle Harris, and Michael Richards.
They talk about how they got the idea for the episode, the design of the puffy shirt, and how
Jerry Stiller got the job. There is also a clip of Jerry Seinfeld donating
the puffy shirt to the Smithsonian's Museum of American History on November 18, 2004.
Deleted Scenes (2 Scenes - 2:17) George, Kramer, and Jerry are at the apartment,
and Jerry gets a call from Mrs. Costanza. The second scene is of Jerry, Kramer, and Elaine
talking about the puffy shirt.
5-4. The Sniffing Accountant - Inside Look (4:15) includes interviews with Jerry Seinfeld,
Wayne Knight, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Larry David, and Michael Richards. Jerry talks
about he got the idea based on his real-life accountant. Wayne Knight mentions his
previous profession which may surprise you.
5-5 - The Bris - none, only has the Notes About Nothing
5-6 - The Lip Reader - Inside Look (2:35) has interviews with Writer Carol Leifer, Jason Alexander,
Julia-Louis Dreyfus, and Tom Cherones. They talk about how they got the idea for the episode,
about the scene of Jerry and George trying to hide their lips, and about guest
star Marlee Matlin. Commentary with Writers Peter Mehlman and Carol Leifer - This
was the first episode script that she had produced. She talks about pitching the idea.
This commentary is mostly Carol. It would have been nice to hear from Peter a bit more on this
5-7. The Non-Fat Yogurt - Inside Look (4:29) includes interviews with Jerry Seinfeld, Tom Cherones,
Producer Tim Kaiser, Larry David, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Phil Morris.
They talk about how they shot two versions of this episode as they didn't know who
would win the election for New York City mayor. Giuliani did his scene
the day after he won. In an alternate version, Phil Morris played Dinkins' spokesperson.
He would later, of course, play Jackie Chiles on the series. Alternate
Mayor Dinkins Version (22:52) - This episode has never been seen before this
dvd release. It's basically the opposite of the version which aired with the Giuliani
and Dinkins' references swapped.
Lloyd Braun is a Giuliani advisor, Mayor Dinkins blood is tested, and it has a Dinkins'
press conference with Phillip Trout (played by Phil Morris).
Deleted Scenes (2 Scenes - 1:37) - A scene of George, Estelle, and Frank with
Frank and Estelle talking about Lloyd. The second scene, which was cut for time,
shows Lloyd at the yogurt shop at the end talking to everybody.
Commentary with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards -
they comment only on the originl version. They talk a little about Llyod Braun and
how they shot the two versions.
5-8 - The Barber - Inside Look (2:33) has interviews with Writer Andy Robin and Composer
Jonathan Wolff. Andy talks about the inspiration for the episode. Jonathan discusses
the non-traditional music that they used.
5-9 - The Masseuse - Commentary with Writers Peter Mehlman and Carol Leifer.
They talk about where some of the ideas came from such as the vomitless streak.
They also discuss some of the controversy about Kramer's line about people being adopted and
5-10 - The Cigar Store Indian - Commentary with Writers Tom Gammill and Max Pross.
This was the second episode they wrote. They talk about how they got the ideas
for things such as the TV Guide collectors and coffee table book about coffee tables.
They tried to get four separate stories that worked as one.
5-11 - The Conversion - Inside Look (1:49) - Writer Bruce Kirschbaum talks about
George's made up religion of Latvian Orthodox which later surprised him.
Deleted Scenes (3 Scenes - 3:36) - Jerry talks to his girlfriend about the cat, Bonkers.
Alternate Ending #1 - Elaine talks to her boyfriend. Alternate Ending #2 - Jerry
and his girlfriend in his car. Elaine's boyfriend looks in Elaine's bathroom.
5-12. The Stall - Inside Look (3:54) - includes interviews with Writer Larry Charles,
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, Tim Kaiser, and Michael Richards. They talk
about where some of the ideas of the episode came from, and how some of the mountain
climbing scenes were shot. Deleted Scene (1:03) - Elaine and Tony
on the mountain.
5-13 - The Marine Biologist - Inside Look (7:07) - has interviews with
Michael Richards, Tom Cherones, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tim Kaiser, Jerry
Seinfeld, and Jason Alexander. They talk about Kramer's interest in golfing,
how they originally intended to shoot the scene with the whale, and George's
classic story about the
fish mammal. Deleted Scenes (3 Scenes - 2:11) - George
talks on the phone about being a marine biologist. Kramer vacuums sand. Jerry
and Elaine talk to Testikov. Commentary with Director/Producer Tom Cherones and Production
Designer Tom Azzari - They talk about how they had different colored logos for each season.
They also discuss the Superman and Porsche references and their original plans
for the scene of George saving the whale. I've always enjoyed the commentaries
on the production of the sets.
5-14 - The Dinner Party - none, only has the Notes About Nothing. I'm surprised
this episode didn't have an Inside Look or Commentary as it seems to be a fan favorite.
5-15 - The Pie - Inside Look (3:14) includes interviews with Writers Max Pross & Tom
Hammill, Reni Santoni (Poppie), and Jerry Seinfeld. They talk about how the story ideas were
developed. Reni talks about being recognized from the show. Deleted Scenes (2 Scenes - 1:36) -
Jerry talks to Audrey about moving walkways. Jerry confronts Audrey and Poppie
about the pie. Commentary with Writers Tom Gammill and Max Pross - This was
the third episode they wrote. They talk about where the idea came from, about the mannequin
that looked like Elaine, Reni Santoni, and the swooshing and whooshing of George's suit.
5-16 - The Stand-In - Inside Look (4:54) has interviews with Larry David, Danny Woodburn (Mickey
Abbott), Marc Hirschfeld, Michael Richards, and Julia-Louis Dreyfus. They talk
about the inspiration of the episode. They discuss the casting of Mickey and Michael Richards'
5-17 - The Wife - none, only has the Notes About Nothing
5-18 - The Fire - Inside Look (3:29) has interviews with Larry Charles and
Michael Richards. They talk about where some of the ideas of the episode
came from. Deleted Scenes (3 Scenes - 1:14) - Jerry interrupts Toby. Jerry tells
elaine about the heckling to Elaine. Kramer finds the pinky toe and puts
it in a Cracker Jack box with ice.
5-19 and 20 - The Raincoats (Parts 1 & 2) - Inside Look (4:02) includes interviews
with Jerry Stiller, Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
They talk about Steven Spielberg being a big Seinfeld fan and Judge Reinhold
as the close talker. There is a reenactment clip with Larry David as Rachel's
father. Deleted Scene (1:09) - Jerry and Elaine are at Monk's, and Jerry confronts
Newman about the movie.
5-21 - The Hamptons - Inside Look (2:55) has interviews with Peter Mehlman and Jerry Seinfeld.
They talk about the topless scene and how they wanted the word shrinkage used
as much as possible in the episode. Commentary with Writers Peter Mehlman and Carol
Leifer - This may have been one of the few episodes without any scenes at the apartment. They
talk a little about the guest stars and how one of the songs they used in the episode
cost them a fortune.
5-22 - The Opposite - Inside Look (7:14) includes interviews with Jason Alexander,
Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld, Television Critic Ray Richmond, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and New
York Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner. They talk about the development of this episode
and how they got permission to use Steinbrenner and who did his voice on the show.
Deleted Scenes (3 Scenes - 3:33) - George gives change back to the guy at the movie counter.
George finds $20 that Elaine threw out the window. Tina gives Elaine
the reasons why Elaine is getting kicked out of her apartment. Jerry runs into
Julie after breaking up with Rachel. Commentary with Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David -
This was the last episode to air of the season. They talk about setting up
next season's storyline of George working with the Yankees. Jerry talks
about the use of Buddy Rich lines.
Some of the other special features scattered on the discs include:
Jason + Larry = George (Disc 1 - 25:35) - Discover how Jason Alexander embodied
Larry David's alter ego to create George Costanza. This feature includes
interviews with a ton of people involved with the show. Here is who
interviewed: NBC Executive Rick Ludwin, Executive Producer George Shapiro,
Jerry Seinfeld, NBC Executive Warren Littlefield, Casting Director Marc Hirschfeld,
Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Director Andy Ackerman, Television
Critic Ray Richmond, Writer Bruce Kirschbaum, John O'Hurley (J. Peterman),
Bob Balaban (Russell Dalrymple), Barney Martin, Michael Richards, Castle
Rock Executive Rob Reiner, Writers Max Pross & Tom Gammill,
and Writer Carol Leifer. They talk about the development of the show
and some other actors they considered for the role of George. The character
was based on Larry David. A few clips are shown from sitcoms Jason was previously
on including E/R (1984 NBC sitcom) and Everything's Relative (1987). There
are also clips of Larry David on Fridays and Jason Alexander on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
This was a pretty interesting feature, although some of the material has been given
in other features and audio commentaries. It was cool to see the clips of the
Sponsored by Vandelay Industries (Disc 1 - 3:27) - Original NBC promotional ads and trailers.
10 promos about the show moving to Cheers old timeslot of 9PM Thursdays. They all
feature some combination of Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine. One of them even
featured Jerry as Pat from Saturday Night Live. These were better video quality
promos than what I've seen on previous releases.
"Master of His Domain" (Disc 2 - 7:52) - Jerry Seinfeld in exclusive, never-before-seen stand-up
comedy footage. Material that didn't make it to the show. Very funny to watch
these clips. The audio is a bit low and not as amplified on some of the clips, but
for most part the audio is great.
Easter Egg (Disc 3 - 3:06) - This hidden egg is not mentioned on the packaging. On Disc 3,
go to the Extras menu and then scroll down to the Set Up option. Then push the right
arrow button and you will see a red, squiggly line. This is a feature on the "1994 Northridge
Earthquake." Michael Richards, Julia-Louis Dreyfus, Jerry Alexander, Reni
Santoni, Tom Cherones, and Producer Suzy Greenberg are interviewed. They talk about how the earthquake
shut down their production for three weeks.
"Not That There is Anything Wrong with That" (Disc 4 - 13:17) -
Not quite as many bloopers as some of the other seasons, but there is still a pretty
good amount. The video quality on these clips is generally excellent and not the poor
videotape quality bloopers you sometimes see from other shows. I could watch
bloopers all day.
Giddy-up! Another outstanding release for Seinfeld. If you've seen the first
four seasons, you probably would expect nothing less. The special features,
such as the Notes About Nothing, add so much re-watchability to the episodes.
If I have one minor complaint, it's that all of the episodes should have the
Inside Looks on them. With only 3 seasons left to be released, we should have
the whole series available sometime in 2007. It will be interesting to see if they
release them individually or two of the seasons on the same date.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 5/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 11/24/2005
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