Book Review: Seinfeldia by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Author Jennifer Keishin Armstrong offers a nice inside view into Seinfeld’s origins and impact, taking the series from Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David getting to know one another in New York City’s comedy scene all the way through minor-league baseball “Seinfeld” nights and “Soup Nazi” publicity tours.

The book is at its strongest at the series’ genesis, highlighting the co-creators’ ambivalence toward sitcom tropes and traditional measures of success as well as the series’ unusual creative freedom and climb to success. It’s fun to see the cast fall into place and meet the writers who shaped some of Seinfeld’s most memorable episodes.

Structurally, the book feels a little scattered–the chronology seems to double over itself a few times, and not enough time is spend exploring the series at its peak. Armstrong does a good job not just compiling plots and top lines from the series. Still, it would have been nice to focus more on the core of “Seinfeld’s” success and less on cultural phenomenon/career launchpad it became.