Thursday, August 8, 2013

Episode 25 - The Tape

The Plot:  The first of only a handful of episodes that centers around Elaine.  Jerry is performing his comedy routine at a club one night and uses a tape recorder in the back of the room to record his set and critique his performance the next day.  As a goof, Elaine anonymously leaves an erotic message on the tape recorder. Upon hearing the message, he, George, and Kramer become obsessed with the voice on the recording. After several days of the guys drooling over the message, Elaine finally admits to George that she was the sexy voice on the tape. George is shocked to hear this and suddenly becomes attracted to her, but does not tell Elaine about it. Elaine makes George promise not to reveal her confession to Jerry or Kramer. Jerry, determined to get in touch with the woman who left the message, finds out who sat near the tape and gets her number. After his date with her, he tries to kiss her, but gets the "pull-back", and concludes that she is crazy.

In a secondary plot line, George orders a cream from China after watching a commercial that claims that it can cure baldness. At Jerry's apartment, George makes a call to the company in Beijing while Jerry mocks George for being gullible enough to believe that the cream actually works. George is unable to communicate with the people on the other side of the line, since they don't speak English; meanwhile, this is when Elaine decides to stop by and Kramer decides to start making his own home videos by recording whatever Jerry, George and Elaine are doing. This includes a fake interview with Elaine, portrayed as a porn star, and she says the sex is never simulated with George, arousing him. Finally, the Chinese delivery boy, Ping, delivers the take-out Kramer orders and George convinces Ping, who speaks Chinese, to talk on the phone and help him order the cream. It takes longer than expected, because as George jokingly deadpans, Ping was speaking to a relative.

As the episode winds down, George finds it hard to control his obsession with Elaine and finally admits to Jerry that he is attracted to her. Jerry wants to know why, but George tries to keep Elaine's secret by not telling him. He finally cracks and tells Jerry that Elaine left the message. She comes in later and tells her secret to Jerry, but Jerry says George already told him. George then confesses that he is attracted to Elaine. She finds this news disturbing and then realizes that Jerry and Kramer have become attracted to her too. Freaked out, Elaine immediately leaves Jerry's apartment. At the end, the three fight to hear the tape again.

Fun Facts:

  • The first episode to feature Ping, the delivery boy, who would recur in several future episodes.
  • The Tape was used by a research team at Dartmouth in a wide study of brain activity connected to humor.  The researchers found that, “during moments of humor detection, significant brain activation was noted in the left posterior middle temporal gyrus…and left inferior frontal gyrus.”
  • The first episode that did not feature Jerry doing standup at the end of the show.

Favorite Quote:   

George: What do the Chinese have to gain by faking a cure for baldness?
Jerry: If it was real ,they would never let it out of the country. No baldness , it'd be like a nation of Supermen.

Favorite Scene:   

George: Huh. Excuse me (to Ping) Hum... Do you speak chinese?
Ping: Chinese....Yeah.
George: Look...humm..I'm on with Beijing with the hair restoration clinic. Could you talk to them for me and tell them I'd like to place an order.
Ping: Gwen , Ayon. Wonche son thai gettin my chon fai yu.
George: They got a billion people over there and he found a relative.
Ping: Ah Fuka suma. If you send money they send cream.
George: They send me? Aw right ..ask 'em Does it really work?
Ping: Gym a gun sen tokomo. Chin che .They say you grow hair, Look a like Stalin
George: Ask' em Are there any side effects?
Ping: Dowe o futo yum.... Impotence. ....( makes a just kidding gesture)
George: Aw! Funny he's a funny guy.

The Lesson:  Once again, there are a couple of quick and easy lessons (don’t believe everything you hear), but I think the best lesson from this episode is that there are very rarely shortcuts to success.  George wants to take the easy way out by buying a cream that will help him grow hair.  He is like the poor infomercial sucker who truly believes that he/she can lose weight by taking a pill or wearing a belt, all while sitting on the couch and eating potato chips.  Those miracle hair restoration products and the amazing weight loss products rarely work as advertised (check out the FTC’s Consent Decrees related to such claims).  No, weight loss almost always requires a combination of exercise, improved diet and fewer calories.  In other words, it takes hard work and discipline.  The same elements that are almost always present in successful startups.  Rarely are there shortcuts or quick fixes to launch a company to prosperity.  To truly reach your business goals (and your weight loss goals) you need to put in the work, develop good habits and avoid the temptation to rely on the quick and easy option.

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