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Seinfeld: The Van Buren Boys | Episode 148 Recap Podcast

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Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur continue their journey to watch every Seinfeld episode as they discuss Season 8, Episode 14, “The Van Buren Boys.”

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Seinfeld Post Show Recaps: The Van Buren Boys

Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur won’t make you flash a special gang sign to listen to the new Seinfeld Post Show Recap. This time, they discussed “The Van Buren Boys “, which first aired February 6, 1997 as part of season eight. The episode was written by Darin Henry.
Jerry’s Storyline - Jerry is dating a new woman named Ellen that is seemingly perfect, but strangely chose to have their first date on her birthday, rather than spend it with friends or family.  Perplexed by people’s perception that she’s a loser, the gang doesn’t help when they are leery of him dating her.  Still not convinced, he flies in his parents for the day, just to meet her and give him their opinion.  When they love her, he realizes she’s too good of a person, and might prefer the woman from Vegas his parents said they hated. Grade: Akiva – B, Rob – C

George’s Storyline - George has been tasked by the Ross Foundation to find a scholarship recipient.  After countless interviews, he comes across a lying, shifty young man named Steven who would like to become an architect, much like George’s fake persona.  George awards him the scholarship, and just when the board was going to object, Steven wows them with dreams of becoming a city planner.  This bothers George enough to pull the scholarship, leading to Steven getting help from the Van Buren Boys to intimidate George. Grade: Akiva – A-, Rob – B+

Elaine’s Storyline - J Peterman has decided to write a memoir, and he chooses Elaine to ghost write it.  When she shows up at his apartment, she realizes he doesn’t lead the exciting life he writes about in the catalog, leading to Peterman deciding he’d like to buy an interesting story she told about Kramer.  Despite not thinking Kramer had anything good to share, Peterman ends up hating her embellished stories, preferring the mundane parts of how Kramer told it. Grade: Akiva – B-, Rob – B-

Kramer’s storyline - Kramer is accosted by a local gang called the Van Buren Boys.  When Elaine retells the story to Peterman, he decides he wants to buy it from Kramer, along with any others that might help spice up his memoir.  Kramer tries telling one of his stories with a group of friends, but Elaine stops him, since Peterman bought the rights.  Desperate, Kramer buys some lousy bunion stories from Newman, then ultimately decides he needs his back from Peterman, who gives them back for free since he thinks he no longer needs them.  Grade: Akiva – B, Rob – B

Episode Ranking – 81

Emails - Jeff pointed out the presidential reference of the episode coincided with the episode airing around President’s Day.  Greg, who has binged the podcast over the last few months shared some of his favorite highlights so far.  Johnny De Silveira pointed out how the actress playing Ellen would go on to marry Jerry Stiller’s son Ben.  Lindsay asked what animal they would pick if asked that scholarship question, and how much would they sell their life story for.  Mike asked if Akiva would pay any money for Chester’s stories.  Brett shared how he got his Blockbuster store to put employee picks on the wall based on this episode.
Craig pointed out how Kramer continues to botch people’s names, calling Peterman Mr. Peterson.  Matt thought George should have followed the Seinfelds to avoid trouble with the Van Buren Boys.  Jason offered his services as a sports correspondent for the upcoming Izzy Mandelbaum episode.  Amir thought Peterman’s intentions with the book made no sense.  He also thought it implausible that a street gang would roam around the Upper West Side.  Finally, Chester shared some spreadsheet information on the facial hair of presidents.  He also admonished the scholarship contestants for not dressing formally for their interviews.  Lastly, he shared how Van Buren tops his list of ugliest presidents.
Special thanks to Mike Moore for writing this week’s episode summary.
  • Craig

    I understand what your going through Akiva. I’m under the weather too right now. I had to leave work early today, and I never do that. It’s really zapping my strength.

    I am actually a dog hater. In fact I am against all pet ownership. I just don’t get it. I mean why would anyone want to own an animal? People say love, compassion, blah, blah, blah, I don’t get it. This was actually a huge discussion that I had with someone just a couple of days ago. She just could not understand how I don’t like pet ownership, and especially dogs.

    Here are some good answers for favourite animal. Turtle, tarsir, wallaby, koala, owl, and also Akiva’s answer of rabbit.

  • Hornacek

    The reason the audience isn’t told what is wrong with Jerry’s girlfriend is to put us in the same viewpoint as Jerry. He doesn’t know what’s wrong with her and neither do we. He never figures out what’s wrong with her and neither do we.

    Rob mentions George’s line about every group having a loser but he left out the best part, which was Jerry’s silent reaction. He thinks about saying something, then shrugs as if to say “What’s the point?”

  • Wutz

    What Hornacek said, but more than that, this is all a joke about how sometimes the people in your life see the person you’re dating differently than you do, and whether or not you allow that to change how you feel. If your friends say the girl you’re dating is awful, do you break up with her even if you think she’s the best, or do you ignore them