Seinfeld, Master of Its Domain: Revisiting Television's Greatest Sitcom

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9780826418029: Seinfeld, Master of Its Domain: Revisiting Television's Greatest Sitcom
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After a slow and inauspicious beginning, Seinfeld broke through to become one of the most commercially successful sitcoms in the history of television. This fascinating book includes classic articles on the show by Geoffrey O'Brien and Bill Wyman (first published in the New York Review of Books and Salon.com respectively), and a selection of new and revised essays by some of the top television scholars in the US — looking at issues as wide-ranging as Seinfeld's Jewishness, alleged nihilism, food obsession, and long-running syndication. The book also includes a comprehensive episode guide, and Betty Lee's lexicon of Seinfeld language.>

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

David Lavery is one of the leading figures of Television Studies in the United States. He teaches in the Department of English at Middle Tennessee State University, and is the author/editor/co-editor of nine books including Full of Secrets: Critical Approaches to Twin Peaks, 'Deny All Knowledge': Reading The X-Files, Fighting the Forces: What's at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and This Thing of Ours: Investigating The Sopranos. Sara Lewis Dunne also teaches at Middle Tennessee State University, and is the co-editor of Studies in Popular Culture.

Review:

"Noted television and pop culture academic and critic Lavery-who has
previously written and edited scholarly texts on such television supernovas
as Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer-has whipped up a
frothy egg cream of an essay collection on Seinfeld for eggheads. Sixteen
essays (some new, some previously published and revised) are divided among
four topical sections with an afterword and supplementary material featuring
a glossary of Seinfeld terms and expressions and an episode guide. The
essays in Part 1 generally give an overview of the show before segueing into
Part 2's exploration of "genre, humor, and intertexuality." Part 3 treats
issues of "gender, generations, and ethnicity," while Part 4 concludes with
essays on "cultural, pop cultural, and media matters." As Lavery notes in
his preface, despite Seinfeld's iconic stature-half of us loved it, and the
other half loved to hate it-only one serious monograph has been published.
This anthology featuring the likes of Geoffrey O'Brien and Eleanor Hersey
will best serve academic media and pop culture collections and serious
readers who like their TV eggs hard-boiled. The recent release of the show
on DVD should increase interest".- Library Journal, February 2006
(-Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., T Library Journal)

"Seinfeld, Master of Its Domain is all aboutinterpretation. In this high-powered volume, academics consider the belovedsitcom in various disciplinary contexts. Even more vital is the collection'sone attempt to stop outside the comedic universe of 'Seinfeld' and consider itas a television production, "From Must-See-TV to Branded Counterprogramming:'Seinfeld' and Syndication," by Michael M. Epistein, Mark C. Rogers and JimmieL. Reeves. This essay, richly researched and packed with broadcast history,details how the show's syndication deal works, and hot it functions in theworld of corporate media."- Newsday.com, February 19, 2006
(Newsday.com)

Readers familiar with academic "cultural studies" aren't likely to tingle
with anticipation when our eyes fall on a scholarly article from the Centre
for Women's Studies and Gender Research at Monash University in Melbourne.
And the title of Joanna L. Di Mattia's essay, "Male Anxiety and the Buddy
System in Seinfeld," does nothing to lighten our mood. We expect to be
rewarded, at best, with the warm feeling of virtue that follows the
performance of a duty requiring heavy lifting.

But it turns out that Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer, whose program
ceased production in 1998 but still circles the planet in endless reruns,
provide as much fun for academics as for the rest of us. With their lives
and their world now sealed off in a 20th-century time capsule, they have
become appropriate subjects for cheeky theorizing in the universities.

Di Mattia's essay, for instance, explores a fascinating question with
persuasive force. While not for a moment suggesting that Jerry and George
be compared to cowboys on Brokeback Mountain, she nevertheless deftly makes
the point that as TV characters they are the perfect married couple.

Her essay appears in Seinfeld, Master of Its Domain: Revisiting
Television's Greatest Sitcom (Continuum), edited by David Lavery and Sara
Lewis Dunne of Middle Tennessee State University. This isn't the first
attempt to provide fodder for Seinfeld studies — earlier works include
William Irwin's 1999 collection, Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about
Everything and Nothing, and Shows About Nothing: Nihilism in Popular
Culture from The Exorcist to Seinfeld, written by Thomas S. Hibbs in 2000.

But this latest book notably differs in tone from standard university
products. Appreciation and enjoyment, combined with wonder at the
cleverness of the program's writers, set the tone. The platoon of scholars
writing the essays understand Seinfeld as brilliant popular art, not merely
a specimen demanding intellectual dissection. This means we can admire
their insights without giving up our love for the best television farce
we'll ever see.
-The National Post, Toronto
(Robert Fulford)

"Noted television and pop culture academic and critic Lavery-who has
previously written and edited scholarly texts on such television supernovas
as Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer-has whipped up a
frothy egg cream of an essay collection on Seinfeld for eggheads. Sixteen
essays (some new, some previously published and revised) are divided among
four topical sections with an afterword and supplementary material featuring
a glossary of Seinfeld terms and expressions and an episode guide. The
essays in Part 1 generally give an overview of the show before segueing into
Part 2's exploration of "genre, humor, and intertexuality." Part 3 treats
issues of "gender, generations, and ethnicity," while Part 4 concludes with
essays on "cultural, pop cultural, and media matters." As Lavery notes in
his preface, despite Seinfeld's iconic stature-half of us loved it, and the
other half loved to hate it-only one serious monograph has been published.
This anthology featuring the likes of Geoffrey O'Brien and Eleanor Hersey
will best serve academic media and pop culture collections and serious
readers who like their TV eggs hard-boiled. The recent release of the show
on DVD should increase interest".- Library Journal, February 2006
(, Library Journal)

Seinfeld, Master of Its Domain is all aboutinterpretation. In this high-powered volume, academics consider the belovedsitcom in various disciplinary contexts. Even more vital is the collection’sone attempt to stop outside the comedic universe of 'Seinfeld’ and consider itas a television production, “From Must-See-TV to Branded Counterprogramming:'Seinfeld’ and Syndication,” by Michael M. Epistein, Mark C. Rogers and JimmieL. Reeves. This essay, richly researched and packed with broadcast history,details how the show’s syndication deal works, and hot it functions in theworld of corporate media.”- Newsday.com, February 19, 2006
(,)

Readers familiar with academic "cultural studies" aren't likely to tingle
with anticipation when our eyes fall on a scholarly article from the Centre
for Women's Studies and Gender Research at Monash University in Melbourne.
And the title of Joanna L. Di Mattia's essay, "Male Anxiety and the Buddy
System in Seinfeld," does nothing to lighten our mood. We expect to be
rewarded, at best, with the warm feeling of virtue that follows the
performance of a duty requiring heavy lifting.

But it turns out that Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer, whose program
ceased production in 1998 but still circles the planet in endless reruns,
provide as much fun for academics as for the rest of us. With their lives
and their world now sealed off in a 20th-century time capsule, they have
become appropriate subjects for cheeky theorizing in the universities.

Di Mattia's essay, for instance, explores a fascinating question with
persuasive force. While not for a moment suggesting that Jerry and George
be compared to cowboys on Brokeback Mountain, she nevertheless deftly makes
the point that as TV characters they are the perfect married couple.

Her essay appears in Seinfeld, Master of Its Domain: Revisiting
Television's Greatest Sitcom (Continuum), edited by David Lavery and Sara
Lewis Dunne of Middle Tennessee State University. This isn't the first
attempt to provide fodder for Seinfeld studies — earlier works include
William Irwin's 1999 collection, Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about
Everything and Nothing, and Shows About Nothing: Nihilism in Popular
Culture from The Exorcist to Seinfeld, written by Thomas S. Hibbs in 2000.

But this latest book notably differs in tone from standard university
products. Appreciation and enjoyment, combined with wonder at the
cleverness of the program's writers, set the tone. The platoon of scholars
writing the essays understand Seinfeld as brilliant popular art, not merely
a specimen demanding intellectual dissection. This means we can admire
their insights without giving up our love for the best television farce
we'll ever see.
                -The National Post, Toronto
(,)

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