Season 2 Episode 11

The Chinese Restaurant

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM May 23, 1991 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

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out of 10
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  • Arguably the first classic episode of Seinfeld. Jerry, George and Elaine are stuck waiting for a table at a Chinese Restaurant and go through a series of mishaps.

    In it; Jerry is getting out of going to dinner with his uncle and then meets a woman who he can't recognize, George is trying to patch things up with his girlfriend but is unable to giver her a call as people won't get off the phone. And Elaine is very hungrey and her aims to get a table and won't quit until she does. To add to the tension the three of then have to eat or they'll miss a screening of the famously bad Plan 9 from Outer Space but it appears that it may not happen. This episode stands for everything that made Seinfeld so ground - breaking as nothing happens but it's still funny and the budget is clearly nothing as it takes place in the same scene for half an hour. The jokes vary from Jerry's hilarious observations, George's misfortunes edging him visibly closer to a complete meltdown and while Elaine isn't given much to do she lights up in whatever one - liner she delivers. James Hong gives a memorable one - time appearence as the Maitre'd. Perhaps the only bad part of the episode is that Kramer doesn't appear, either because he was meant to be agoraphobic or because with the trio's stories there was no room for him but either way it would've been even better to include Kramer's physical comedy in an already excellent episode. All in all The Chinese Restaurant is a brilliant episode of Seinfeld and defines just what the shows meant to us.
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