Listen to the Podcast:
Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur continue their journey to watch every Seinfeld episode as they discuss Season 4, Episode 16, “The Shoes.”
Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur would never snub the podcast listeners, as they continue into year two of churning out the Seinfeld recap podcast week after week. This time, they tackle “The Shoes” (another episode title Rob would change), which first aired February 4, 1993 as part of season four. Akiva mentioned how this episode was the first Seinfeld to air on NBC’s highly touted “Must See TV” Thursday, following Cheers. The move immediately vaulted the show into the upper echelon of the ratings.
As always, Akiva had some news. Hulu will have a replica of Jerry’s apartment set up in New York City in honor of the show’s release on the site. Other than that, there has been more chatter about Jerry’s comments pertaining to comedy in this politically correct world. Rob read a story about how Keith Hernandez still receives about $3000 a year in residuals for his appearances on the show.
Jerry’s opening standup was about the timetable for when sex should happen when dating. The episode opens with Jerry and George making great headway on their pilot script, cracking each other up. They realize that they haven’t introduced the Elaine character into the script, and when they try to write some lines, they come up empty. Kramer then comes in to tell Jerry how he saw an old girlfriend of his, and decided to snub her because she wouldn’t even hug Jerry after three dates. Neither Rob nor Akiva had ever snubbed anyone, but both had purposely pretended not to see a person they know. Jerry was quite honored by Kramer’s gesture.
At the diner, Elaine is reading the script, then throws it back at Jerry since there was no mention of her character. Jerry explains that he and George just couldn’t write from a woman’s perspective. Gail, Jerry’s former romance walks in to ask Jerry about Kramer snubbing her. Before leaving, she asks Elaine about her shoes. When she hears they’re from a fancy store Botticellis, she makes an exaggerated comment about that, upsetting Elaine. When Jerry doesn’t understand why she’s upset, he explains to her that is why she wasn’t in the script.
Meanwhile, George is at his therapy appointment where he is excited about everything, until he asks her if she read his script. When she tells him she thought it wasn’t funny, George loses it, telling her the diploma on her wall was a joke, and it must be funny if NBC thinks it is. When George meets up with Elaine and Jerry, he scolds Elaine for ever setting him up with the therapist. Kramer comes in and tells them that he saw Gail again, but this time, he gave her a big kiss, winning her over from the snub. He mentions to Elaine about her shoes, further aggravating her that Gail would be talking about them.
In the next scene, Elaine storms down to the restaurant Gail works at to yell at her for talking about her shoes. During the busy lunch hour, Gail has no time for the conversation, and while leaving, Elaine accidentally sneezes on a plate of past primavera, which ends up being Russell from NBC’s order. Soon after, Jerry and George go up to see Russell at his apartment because he was feeling sick after his pasta primavera. George mentions how his cousin works in a restaurant where they do unspeakable things to the bouillabaisse. Rob wondered why George would choose to mention this.
As Russell is telling them his thoughts on the script, he excuses himself repeatedly to throw up. While waiting for Russell to get out of the bathroom, Jerry and George chit chat about random things when Russell’s 15 year old daughter comes in, played by Denise Richards. As she is kneeling over the couch, Jerry notices her cleavage and nudges George to see. George lingers far too long looking and gets caught by Russell. Akiva and Rob both agreed that leering at a 15 year old, no matter how old the actress actually is, would not fly in 2015, and wondered how it could fly in 1993.
Kramer comes in with Gail, and she asks Jerry what’s up with Elaine bombarding her at the restaurant. When she heads into Kramer’s apartment, Kramer shares that she is so wild that it’s really wearing him out. When he leaves, Jerry gets a call from his agent letting him know NBC cancelled the pilot. They immediately plot an idea to catch Russell leering in the same situation, wondering if Gail would go along with this plan, but Elaine wants to be the one to be leered at. Gail agreed to let them know when Russell shows up, as long as Elaine gives her the shoes.
At the restaurant, Gail calls Jerry when she notices Russell, and they come right down and start talking to him, George explaining that he wasn’t leering, that it was just in his field of vision. Elaine walks up a minute later wearing a low cut dress, but he doesn’t notice her at first. When Russell finally notices, he is entranced by her cleavage, and acknowledges that George may not have been so egregious.
The episode ends with Elaine pitching an idea to them about the very story they just experienced, and while they think it’s a bit broad, they agree that funny is funny. Elaine says she will tell Russell about it on their date. Jerry’s closing standup is a joke about how men are obsessed with cleavage and women are obsessed with shoes.
Akiva felt that more than most episodes, this one holds up if it were to air in 2015. Rob did mention that Gail could have texted them when Russell showed at the restaurant, and she could have bought the fancy shoes online. Akiva had a hard time ranking this episode, since he really enjoyed it back when it aired, but now thinks it a bit broad. He decided to rank it one above “The Visa”, at 89. rob thought he’d rank it outside the top 100.
There were a few emails this week. Craig said he agreed with Rob and Akiva from the podcast on “The Keys” when they said Jerry and George should have used Elaine to help them write the pilot script. He also wanted to know if either had experience with food poisoning and cleavage snooping. Rob did not stare at Heidi and Jenna on Survivor because he was afraid he’d fall off the stoop. Akiva mentioned how he had food poisoning just last week. In his email, Amir noted the theory of a woman being obligated to be intimate in some way after a few dates is a bit outdated. He also said he didn’t agree with the saying that you don’t consider age when it comes to cleavage. Rob and Akiva both agreed that you have to consider age.
Travis emailed in to ask if either have any catsup secrets. Rob thought using a knife to get the flow started is usually a good plan. Lastly, Chester added that he thought it was a terrible episode title. He also had several random gripes. He wondered why George would offer an old Pepto-Bismol to Russell, why anyone would discuss Elaine’s shoes when her clothes are so terrible, why Gail was wearing a hat, since she has to wear a chef hat all day, and how did Gail find Jerry at Monks randomly. He admonished Jerry and George for throwing away the notebook paper when they only wrote one line on it, then questioned why Russell would be eating lunch alone when he is a powerful TV executive. Chester wraps it up wondering why George and Jerry would tell Elaine to get the bouillabaisse when they know it’s being used as a toilet.
Tune in next week as the guys will recap “The Outing”. Send in your questions by emailing [email protected]. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast by going to postshowrecaps.com/seinfeldITunes where you can rate and review the podcast. And as always, you can follow them on twitter @robcesternino and @keev26.
Special thanks to Mike Moore for this episode recap.