The idea such a demented debate can gather legitimate steam seems another nod to our culture of slippery facts and ill-defined absolutes. If I asked the internet, “Which one was better: Millionaire Hot Seat or Twin Peaks?”, I wouldn’t be surprised when a stream of nincompoops came vouching for Eddie McGuire. But at some point, we need to put a foot down.
It seems ridiculous to mount a serious defence against such blatant blasphemy towards Costanza and crew, but I’ve got a word count to fulfil so what the hell.
For starters, Seinfeld was completely unique, proudly disregarding sitcom traditions of the past; it offered delightfully unrepentant antiheroes who’ve spawned countless followers (The Office, You’re The Worst, etc); and it spun life’s familiar, dreary minutiae – a whole episode spent queuing at a Chinese restaurant, or looking for a car in a parking lot – into something comically sublime.
Friends gave us: “Smelly Cat”, “We were on a break!”, “How you doin’?”, and that fist-slamming thing Ross does instead of flipping a middle finger.
The odd debate also reveals how fandoms can surprisingly develop across generational lines. Friends, with its recent proliferation on Netflix (which, notoriously, last December spent $US100 million for its streaming rights through the end of this year), has become a rediscovered hit among young streaming viewers: according to Neilsen data, viewers spent 32.6 billion minutes bingeing the ’90s sitcom last year, trailing only repeat viewings of The Office.
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