Network: NBC
Air Dates: July 5, 1989–May 14, 1998
Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander

You know they're awful people. You wouldn't have them as your friends' friends. The four main characters of Seinfeld were joined together in miserable neuroses, in a bizarro world of uncompromising (but unfathomable) ethics, with codes incomprehensible to the people outside the circle. (This must be how the show, though just as white as Girls, is celebrated without question, even today—probably it has nothing to do with having a man as the star.)

You know they're hilarious, too. They filled American culture with shorthand we can't escape. Man hands. A puffy shirt. Sponge worthy. Man fur. Candy line-up. That's to name a few and forget a score, so all the more reason to return to the episodes, where four terrible New Yorkers cut funny paths through their city, the strands eventually crisscrossing. For a time, it was the standard. —RS