by Ted S. McGregor Jr.
As Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David release season after season of their brilliant sitcom, it begs the question: If you're just going to own one season of Seinfeld, which one should it be? I say the show's best was its third season (1991-92). Sure, they're all good, but I think the first two were hit-and-miss, while four and beyond could get too far-fetched. These 22 episodes contain, by my count, six all-time classics.
The Library: Philip Baker Hall may be the show's best-ever single-episode guest, as Bookman, the investigator who brings delinquents like Jerry to justice. His speech when he calls Jerry "Joy Boy" is hilarious writing, perfectly delivered.
The Pen: When Jerry and Elaine visit Jerry's parents in Boca, America knew it was watching one of the best sitcoms ever. Jerry is given a fancy pen ("Take the pen!"), which sets off a chain of controversy. I like how the writers split up the characters (George and Kramer do not appear), but the special features reveal that Jason Alexander threw a fit about it. Too bad, because it showed that Seinfeld wasn't afraid to break the rules.
The Parking Garage: I never get tired of watching the gang spend an entire show trying to find Kramer's car in the mall parking garage. Elaine pleads with passersby for help, Jerry and George urinate in a corner and Kramer carries an air conditioner around with him. It hits the kind of modern American existentialism that Seinfeld became famous for.
The Red Dot: George tries to buy Elaine a nice gift, but he can't escape his own cheapness as he picks a discounted white cashmere sweater with a tiny red dot on it.
The Pez Dispenser: Never before has a Pez dispenser placed on a theater seat elicited such laughter. Come to think of it, never before -- or since -- has a Pez dispenser been placed on a theater seat in a sitcom. Thus is the genius of Seinfeld.
The Boyfriend: This hour-long episode features Jerry making a new friend, baseball star Keith Hernandez. It also has one of the best-ever George storylines, in which he dates the unemployment manager's daughter to keep his benefits. The writers also incorporate a clever send-up of Oliver Stone's JFK.
The best part of the many special features is an inside look at Kramer, who was based on Kenny Kramer, the real-life next-door neighbor of Seinfeld co-creator Larry David.