Seinfeld star weighs in on divisive finale
Julia Louis-Dreyfus has weighed in on the Seinfeld finale which continues to divide fans more than 20 years later.
In the last ever episode which aired in May, 1998, George, Kerry, Elaine and Kramer were sent to prison for failing to help a man being carjacked.
The four were found guilty after a trial in which all the characters they'd wronged in the past, including The Soup Nazi, Babu Bhatt and Marla Penny (aka the virgin), testified against them.
More than 76 million people in the US alone tuned into the finale which was panned by critics, with Entertainment Weekly describing it as "off-key and bloated" and NewsDay writing that it was "stupid" and "such a terrible let-down".
But what did Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who played Elaine Benes on the legendary show, think of the finale?
"I understand why people maybe had an issue with it," the actor told Bill Simmons on The Ringer podcast. "But you know what? Think of all the people that watched that thing. F**k it, you're not going to appeal to everybody, and no one wanted to see the show go off the air anyway."
Despite the harsh reviews the episode received, Louis-Dreyfus told Simmons that she had a ball filming the show's finale.
"I look back on that particular episode so fondly because when we were sitting in that courtroom, it was like we were watching our show," she said. "All of these guest stars came parading through and doing their bits and it was just all we could do to keep our sh*t together, we were just howling laughing."
Louis-Dreyfus isn't exactly the first Seinfeld star to comment on the show's divisive finale over the years. Here's what the others have said.
Michael Richards (Kramer): "While we were making the show, I certainly knew it would be interesting," he told Variety. "I don't know if it deserved the critique it got. Everybody had huge expectations - God knows what they're fantasising - but I thought the overall idea was brilliant. It reminded me of the end of Fellini's 8 ½ where all the characters come out and they're in full circle."
Jason Alexander (George): "I thought was a very appropriate ending, but what do I know? I never would say to an audience member, 'No, you're wrong - that was the perfect ending!' I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect ending. What I always loved about the episode were things that the audience wouldn't have the same appreciation of. I love that Larry found a way for everybody that was meaningful for us to come back. I love that the last line of the episode was the first of line of the pilot."
Jerry Seinfeld: "I was happy with the Seinfeld finale because we didn't want to do another episode as much as we wanted to have everybody come back to the show we had so much fun with," he wrote during a Reddit Q+A. "It was a way to thank all of the people who worked on the show over the years that we thought made the show work. I don't believe in trying to change the past but I'm very happy with it."
Larry David: "I think the thing about finales is everybody writes their own finale in their head … They go, 'Oh, well this should happen to George, and Jerry and Elaine should get together,' and all that," the co-creator told Bill Simmons a few years ago. "They've already written it, and often they're disappointed, because it's not what they wrote. … I was not interested in an emotional ride, and neither was Jerry. No wonder why (people) would dislike it."
How do you feel about the Seinfeld finale? A fitting farewell or a disappointment? Let us know in the comments section below.