Seinfeld it gained popularity by introducing its audience to unlikable lead characters whose punchlines came from awkward social interactions. Jerry was the main character supported by his quirky friends Elaine, George and Kramer. His friendship was largely based on his mutual dislike for others, as they judged people for small social mistakes. Towards the end of the series and after some controversy, the protagonists recognized that they were the real problem.
Despite the abrasiveness of the characters, they frequently came out with new characters, some more memorable than others. George dated over 40 women and rarely managed to make a relationship last more than a few episodes. Susan, his on-again-off-again fiancée, was the only person who endured George’s complicated games before meeting his untimely death. Her relationship patterns with herself and other women in Seinfeld it showed George’s biggest problem: his self-sabotaging actions caused by his insecurities.
Seinfeld made George sabotage potentially good relationships
One of the funniest and most entertaining aspects of George was that he sabotaged almost all of his relationships. He even caused trouble for other characters, but they often didn’t take his behavior seriously. George dated Jerry and Kramer’s ex-girlfriends while he went after some of Elaine’s close friends. While he ruined each of these relationships, the other three main characters still maintained their friendship with him.
George often sought out women who weren’t right for him and sabotaged relationships that seemed positive for his growth. Her unlikely relationship with Susan proved that point because he only wanted to be with her when she didn’t. That was funny because Susan was often confused by her behavior rather than hurt, as she found him quirky and likeable. He had resigned himself to marrying her after many attempts to end the relationship. He could never leave him alone well enough.
George from Seinfeld wanted validation more than a genuine connection
George also looked for validation above the connection. In Seinfeld Season 5, Episode 9, “The Masseuse”, Jerry begins dating a masseuse named Jodi who disliked George. At the beginning of the episode, George had another girlfriend named Karen, who was attractive and had a crush on him. He adored Karen until he met Jodi and realized she didn’t like him. That made him determined to change her mind.
Karen broke up with George over his obsession with Jodi; she spent most of their time together plotting ways to get Jodi’s validation. When Jerry and Jodi finally broke up, George asked Jerry if he could start a relationship with her. Jerry gave him the green light and George was quick to try to win her affections. “The Masseuse” was a stark example of George’s desperate need for validation, which he pursued to destruction. His attempts to prove others wrong led him to ruin the positive connections.
Seinfeld made a jerk out of George
Most people assumed that George’s inability to maintain a relationship was simply because he was a jerk, and they weren’t wrong. He always chose to behave inconsistently, unstable, and unreliably. This lasted so long that his selfishness was expected at a certain point in the series, making him more entertaining than likeable. The public already knew that George would sabotage his new job or relationship just for short-term happiness or validation.
His many flaws and the flaws of his co-stars were part of why Seinfeld it remained relevant throughout its run and after it ended. The series didn’t mind featuring leads that people loved. But even by that standard, George ruined his romantic life more often than not, and it was usually his fault.
Seinfeld is now streaming on Netflix.