People Are Still Debating The Ending Of ‘Seinfeld’ 20 Years After The Finale Aired

On May 14, 1998, 76 million viewers sat down to watch the finale episode of Seinfeld. Twenty years later, and those 76 million viewers are still debating the polarizing conclusion to one of the 90’s most popular sitcoms.

Known for being a show that didn’t typically follow the normal tropes of television sitcoms, the final episode of Seinfeld abruptly ended the series without any real resolution. The two-part episode saw the quartet on trial for breaking the “Good Samaritan Law” of Latham, Massachusetts and was less about providing viewers with closure. Instead, the show wanted to celebrate its nine seasons of debauchery and nothingness by recapping some of its greater moments in a most unique way.

At the end of it all – spoilers for those of you 20 years behind on your television – Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer are sentenced to a year in prison. Before the credits roll, we see the quartet in a jail cell and Jerry repeating the same dialogue that opened the pilot episode.

For some, it was the perfect ending to the show about nothing. On the 20th anniversary, some users took to Twitter to air their grievances. Users like @brent_waggoner felt the finale was “lazy” and strayed from the theme of the series.

@wichlist is a little less forgiving, calling the Good Samaritan law “terribly silly” and the finale a “colossal disappointment overall.”

Not everyone is as critical of the 923rd and 924th episodes of Seinfeld, as @krelllewis described the finale as “a brilliant hour of television.” 

Critical fans have the opportunity to stop and consider what could have been thanks to a report from The Hollywood Reporter. According to the report, Larry David pushed for several other ideas that included Jerry stating “That’s it,” and the foursome going their separate ways. “Ideas were passed around. In one, they wouldn’t do a final episode. Another involved having them at the coffee shop with nothing to say,” THR writes.

Two decades may have passed since the cast of Seinfeld said goodbye to their devoted fans, but that finale still warrants a healthy debate among viewers. Whether you’re in support of the finale, like @DanPort, who throws shade at Dexter’s series ending, or feel like it was lacking, there’s little denying that it had a lasting impact on comedy television.

H/T: The Hollywood Reporter, Twitter