George Costanza’s Breaks Ups Let me count the ways…
Spencer Flynn MCS 351
Who, What, Why? A, “Short, stocky, slow-witted, bald man,” “Lord of the idiots.” Tracing his lineage he says, “I’m a great quitter. It’s one of the few things I do well.” (8.10; 2.8; 4.18) This is Seinfeld’s (1989-1999) George Costanza (Jason Alexander) in a self-described nutshell, constantly moving between jobs screw-ups, and women. It may come as quite a shock to hear that over the nine seasons, George has no less than 43 different girlfriends. But what is even more interesting is the reasons that led to the end of the relationships between George and these women. In almost every case George finds a way to put the cause of the breakup on the woman. This creates a personal image for George as “perfect” with no faults, one that he employs throughout his life in Seinfeld.
The Women of George Costanza, and What Went Wrong !
Marlene Offense: Her phone conversations are too long, she forced George into the relationship, she seduced him, he had no choice but to go along with it “I wanted to love her, I tried to love her, but I couldn’t”
Patrice Offense: She is too pretentious for George “Who so belongs only to his age references only poppinjays and mumbo-jumbos.”
Audrey Offense: She is too pretty for George, even though her nose helps even them out
“If she had a smaller nose I never coulda gone out with her in the first place. She woulda been out of my league with a smaller nose”
Cheryl Offense: She enjoys George too much, giving him no room to move up after the first time they meet “In a way it was too good, I’ve got no place to go but down.”
Betsy Offense: She sits on the right side, George can only make the moves when a woman is on his left “Know what the problem is, I like her too much.”
Daphne Offense: She is boring, there is nothing to talk about, and she knows George isn’t committed to the relationship “I can’t break up with her now. I’ll get married if I have to.”
Karen Offense: She fakes her orgasms, or, does she? “You seem like you really enjoyed your risotto. Are you satisfied?” “I’m very satisfied”
Gwen Offense: She uses George’s line on George when breaking up with him, which infuriates him. “I invented ‘its not you it’s me,’ if anything it’s me”
Robin Offense: She doesn’t understand George’s justifications for his actions “I was trying to lead the way, we needed a leader, someone to lead the way to safety” “What kind of a topsy turvey world do we live in where heroes are cast as villains, brave men, as cowards”
Julie Offense: She takes credit for buying Elaine the “Big Salad” by making the handoff “George, all I did was hand someone a bag.”
Nina Offense: She is thin, beautiful, and has a healthy appetite “Well, I heard a noise!” “You know, blagh.. from the bathroom” “Of course I’m concerned, I’m paying for those meals, it’s like throwin money down the toilet.”
Offense: 1st She has a male roommate 2nd She is boring “It’s a huge problem Jerry, the hardest part about having sex with a woman is getting her back to your place, he’s already got that.” “It’s just a matter of time until they realize, hey, we could have sex”
Denise Offense: She is too picky about the men she dates George is confused about her being picky on the men she dates, considering she is bald
Paula Offense: She likes George, but not because she finds him attractive, only for his personality “I’d rather be hated and attractive than liked and ugly”
Siena Offense: Doesn’t reciprocate the “I Love You” when George says it not once, but twice
“You can’t have a relationship where one person says I love you and the other one says ‘I’m hungry lets get something to eat’.”
Marcy Offense: She is a criminal. This is one time where perhaps it isn’t George’s fault the relationship doesn’t work. "She was getting shoes for the wedding, yada yada yada, I'll see her in six to eight months."
Celia Offense: She is getting out of Prison and then breaks out
George doesnâ€™t want her to get paroled because it is easier for him to keep the relationship up
Janet Offense: She looks too much like Jerry, especially after her haircut "Just because they look alike, that doesn't mean you're secretly in love with Jerry."
Tara Offense: Doesnâ€™t appreciate cured meatâ€Ś in the bedroom
Vivian Replaces Tara "I find that pastrami can be the most sensual of all cured meat."
The Exceptions Victoria
! Why It Works: George is doing everything opposite of how he would normally do it. Either he isn’t looking for her fault, or he doesn’t notice one. Whichever is the case, because George isn’t himself, the relationship works
Susan Why It Works: The relationship begins with George not being himself, he is attempting to make a change in his life. After he proposes, George becomes George again. But since he isn’t given an out, he has no way to take himself out of the relationship like he has done with every other woman, by placing the blame on her. Eventually he kills her, on accident, by simply being himself and buying cheap stamps
Why It Works: George isn’t himself from the start, much like his relationship with Victoria. Mary Anne thinks he is a tourist from Little Rock, Arkansas. Again, just like the other two relationships that work, since he isn’t himself, he does not find a fault in the woman.
So What? We’ve seen 23 of the “Lord of the idiots’” (2.8) girlfriends, along with the reasons why the relationships didn’t work. You will notice it was always the woman’s fault. Never does George take responsibility for the breakup, for he is perfect. But something interesting to think about, George is based on writer Larry David. Perhaps this frame of mind that George has, is really Larry David’s. As he is both writing the scripts, and the basis for the character, I think that this is highly likely. Upon further investigation of David in his more recent show Curb Your Enthusiasm this vision of perfection continues. Just as George never does anything wrong in a relationship, the “fictional” Larry David is never at fault, never admitting he is wrong, and always placing the blame on those around him.
David, Larry. "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Curb Your Enthusiasm. HBO. 15 Oct. 2000. Television. Seinfeld, Jerry, and Larry David. "Seinfeld." Seinfeld. NBC. New York, New York, 5 July 1989. Television. Episodes: 2.1 3.2 3.9 4.15 4.19 5.1 5.6 5.16 5.19 5.22 6.2 6.11 6.12 6.16 6.20 6.23 7.1 8.8 8.11 8.19 8.21 9.4 9.13