Seinfeld: The Outing Essay

1612 words - 6 pages

In the Outing Episode, the two main characters of the show, Jerry and George, are "outed" in the newspaper by a reporter even though they really aren't gay. The reporter incorrectly discovers that they are "gay" by means of a hoax, and then whenever Jerry and George try to deny it, their "stereotypical" actions convince the reporter again and again that they are gay. The episode plays on two standard gay stereotypes, first, how gay people act and what they look like, and two, the politically correct way to talk about gay people.
The show represents how our culture perceive that gay people look and act, how straight people react to being accused of being gay, how their friends and relatives act upon learning they are gay, and what the politically correct response to learning someone is gay is supposed to be.
As with all Seinfeld episodes, the show is clever in all of the subplots that run through it. The show opens with Jerry, George and Elaine at a restaurant together. The director uses a long shot to display Jerry and George sitting next to each other on the same bench, this portrays them as touchy and comfortable with each other. They are waiting for an NYU student reporter, that Jerry has never met, to come to the restaurant to interview him. The reporter and Jerry cannot find each other therefore he walks off to call the reporter from the restaurant's pay phone and while that is happening, George and Elaine have a quick conversation about what they are going to buy Jerry for his birthday. George has bought a pair of Broadway tickets to Guys and Dolls, in which he plans to accompany Jerry to the play. That is the first hint of the subject matter of the show and the first representation, that gay people like Broadway shows because they are a release and recreation from all the scrutiny they go through (Kenrick 1). There are also many examples in media today of gays either being actors of loving musicals. Those examples include big time shows such as The Simpsons, Glee, and Modern Family (“All Gays Love Theater” 1). The media needs to start showing the other side of the stereotype as well. Next, Elaine says that she bought Jerry a "two-way" phone. That phone would lead to more trouble later. As Jerry returns from the phone call, unbeknownst to him, George, and Elaine is that the reporter is sitting in the table right behind Jerry and George. The reporter also is unaware the Jerry is right next to her.
Nevertheless, the reporter and her friend overhear the crazy conversation between the three friends and Elaine realizes this and tells Jerry and George. Then, as a prank, she says, "You know, just because you two are homosexuals, so what? I mean you should just come out of the closet and be openly gay already." George does not mind playing along with the prank but Jerry is not. Therefore, here is a representation that straight people do not want to be accused of being gay. In the film, “Being Gay: Coming Out In the 21st Century” they discuss how...

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