Season 8 Episode 15

The Susie

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Feb 13, 1997 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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  • Elaine is mistaken at work for a woman named "Susie" and her efforts to correct the situation only make it worse; meanwhile Jerry gets involved with a bookie and George- anticipating Steinbrenner's ball- avoids his girlfriend who's trying to break up with

    Seinfeld began to slide after their golden Fourth Season. Although the show would still occasionally achieve greatness the episodes were becoming broad and silly... as a viewer I found myself laughing at the outrageousness of the contrived premises and not at the premises themselves. "The Susie" is among the worst five episodes of Seinfeld.

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a weak comedienne at best, is at her worst here. When her office co-worker Peggie mistakenly refers to her as "Susie," Elaine decides not to correct her but to play along. Dreyfus, whose only method for expressing anxiety was to cough weakly, allows Peggy to call her Susie and badmouth "this Elaine Benes character." We're supposed to be laughing at the impossible mix-up... the trouble is it isn't funny.

    Kramer for no apparent reason decides to abandon daylight-savings time- a premise that is as rich as it is funny. Jerry runs into a freakish bald dwarf who years earlier called him "phony" and learns the man's become a bookie. George, anticipating Steinbrenner's upcoming Yankee formal ball, is avoiding his unhappy girlfriend so she won't be able to break up with him before the big event. As usual at this point in the series the subplots are little more than labored setups for a finale in which they all intertwine to middling effect. Kramer "represents" George's girlfriend and breaks up with George, Jerry wins a significant amount of money from the dwarf bookie who is unable to pay, and Kramer- as a result of his hilarious time change- is early.

    This is all window-dressing to the main plot which features the unfunny Elaine leading a double identity at work as both herself and the nonexistent Susie. J. Peterman, clueless as ever, calls all three women- Elaine, Peggy and Susie- into his office to get the problem straightened out. What follows is a scene so stilted that all humor is drained... somehow Elaine is able to fool both Peterman and Peggy about the existence of Susie by talking in freakishly strange third-person sentences.

    What finally caps off this terrible outing is the finale. Elaine feels that the Susie situation has gotten out of control, so she decides to "kill her off," and hold a fake funeral for a woman who never even existed. A casket is purchased, a memorial service held... and dozens of mourners show up to honor a woman who was never real. Elaine gives the eulogy, unfunny and overwrought, and J. Peterman rises to confess to having slept with Susie during a moment of unbridled passion. Is he a liar? Insane? It's never explained because the dwarf bookie bursts in, broken thumbs in a cast, convinced that Jerry is a master criminal and had Susie killed. The episode was so bad I was actually embarassed for everyone involved.

    Jerry Seinfeld once said, "When you're working on a TV show suddenly bad ideas start to seem like good ideas..." I think that's the only way to explain this episode. It's dumb, it's unfunny and it's cartoonishly absurd. I'm a die-hard Seinfeld fan, but there were moments when even I could not deny how low the show had sunk... this was one of those times.
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