A Show About ‘Nothing’?
Two of the most beloved, recognizable, and influential sitcoms of all time, Seinfeld and Friends were the defining TV shows of the end of the 20th century.
If you had to explain it to someone who asked what the shows were about, what would you say? Seinfeld has become known as “the show about nothing,” but isn’t it actually about a little bit of everything? Or, if you had to describe it further, you might have said it’s a show about a peculiar group of friends and their idiosyncrasies. But you could describe the eponymous Friends the same way. No wonder people associate the two shows so much.
But are the shows more than just similar? Are they perhaps identical?
Jerry Seinfeld seems to think so…
The Best Shows Ever
There’s a reason Friends and Seinfeld are still so popular today: People love to watch them, again and again and again.
Running for ten and nine seasons, respectively, the two sitcoms captured the zeitgeist of New York City and society at large in their times, often focusing on interpersonal relationships as well as everyday topics than were transformed through humor from mundane to absurd.
On a list from The Hollywood Reporter, Friends (1994-2004) was ranked the best TV show of all time while Seinfeld (1989-1998) was given the number five spot on the list.
Do you agree with the ranking?
Seinfeld on Seinfeld
Recently, on The Hollywood Reporter‘s “Awards Chatter” podcast, Jerry Seinfeld addressed the relationship between the two shows.
Firstly, he denied that Seinfeld is a “show about nothing,” stating that the media developed that idea after the show-within-a-show Jerry was called that. He did admit, however, how he and Larry David conceptualized the show: “‘Let’s do a show like this. Two comedians. Nothing to do. Walking in and out of places in New York. Talking about stuff.’ That was it.”
When it came to one of TV’s other great sitcoms, however, Jerry couldn’t help but comment on the questionable similarities…