Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything
Simon and Schuster 2016
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in CommunicationsNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Popular CultureNew Books Network August 13, 2016 Rebekah Buchanan
Seinfeld is often referred to as the greatest television show of all time. Although this may be debated, there few who would argue that it holds a prominent place in television history and popular culture. In her new book, Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything (Simon and Schuster, 2016), author Jennifer Keishin Armstrong presents the history of Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld’s “silly little show” from its struggling beginnings to its life today beyond the screen. Keishin Armstrong brings readers behind-the-scenes of Seinfeld’s inception and into the world of a show which blurs the lines between television and reality. Well-researched and thoughtfully written, Seinfeldia introduces readers to the many levels of Seinfeld’s success. From David and Seinfeld’s unorthodox way of running a television show and the writers’ negotiating for their bit in a script to the myriad of ways Seinfeld is still relevant in todays popular culture, Seinfeldia presents a thorough and easy to read history of a show that has impacted television, culture, and fandom even almost 20 years after it first aired on network television. Those who fans will appreciate Keishin Armstrong’s commitment to showing all the details that went into such classic episodes as “The Junior Mint” and “The Contest” and those who are not may start to learn a little about why Seinfeld has such staying power.
Rebekah Buchanan is an Assistant Professor of English at Western Illinois University. Her work examines the role of narrative–both analog and digital–in people’s lives. She is interested in how personal narratives produced in alternative spaces create sites that challenge traditionally accepted public narratives. She researches zines, zine writers and the influence of music subcultures and fandom on writers and narratives. You can find more about her on her website, follow her on Twitter @rj_buchanan or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.