Thursday, September 12, 2013

Episode 33 - The Fix-Up

The Plot:  Once again, an episode that can be summed up in one line: “My boys can swim!!!”  This episode also was the start of NBC’s crossover actor approach.  This episode features Maggie Wheeler (who was better known as the obnoxious Janice on NBC’s “Friends”) as a friend of Elaine’s.  Jerry and Elaine try to setup George and Cynthia (Wheeler) on a blind date.  George has given up on women because “it’s hard enough to find a woman I dislike, much less a woman I like.”  Cynthia has given up on men because the good one’s know their good and so they don’t want to be tied down and the mediocre ones are so insecure they act like they’re not good enough.  Cynthia is looking for someone who has nothing, because “he just has to appreciate me because he’s so desperate.”  Elaine immediately thinks of George.

In ping ponging scenes, Jerry is describing Cynthia to George, while Elaine is describing George to Cynthia.  This provides great insight into the different characteristics that are important to men and women.  George’s concerns seem centered on finding a low intellectual, but highly attractive date, while Cynthia wants to know if he has a job.  Jerry and Elaine have a “pact” that despite telling George and Cynthia that all details will be kept secret, they will tell each other all of the intimate details they get from the daters. 

 On his way out to the blind date, George is at Jerry’s when Kramer walks in with a brown paper bag filled with colored condoms that he got from Bob Sacamano. George, ever the optimist, takes one just in case.

In a split screen, George calls Jerry to tell him that the date went great and that they had sex on the floor in his kitchen.  At the same time, Cynthia calls Elaine to tell her about the kitchen sex.  Unfortunately her take on it was a little different.  “How good could it be, my head was on a hotplate.”  Despite their previous pact, when Jerry and Elaine reconnect, neither is willing to divulge even the slightest detail.  George, thinking the date went great, continues to pursue Cynthia who has now stopped taking his calls.  George and Jerry begin to argue over the way to address Cynthia’s rejection, prompting Kramer to come into the apartment and break up the fight.  On the way out, Kramer absentmindedly tells George not to use the condom he took as the whole batch was defective.  The next scene finds Cynthia telling Elaine she thinks she’s pregnant.

In one of the greatest show moments of all times, George walks into Jerry’s apartment while he and Elaine are discussing Cynthia’s possible pregnancy, and instead of freaking out, George bursts out in joy, shouting, “I did it!!  My boys can swim.”

The episode concludes with Cynthia not being pregnant, deciding that George is not such a bad date and agreeing to go out with him again.

Fun Facts:
  • The first reference to Bob Saccamano, who will become a recurring but unseen character.
  • This episode won an Emmy for Larry David for outstanding writing.
  • The first of several “Friends” crossovers.
Favorite Quote:   Once again, a couple of classics:

Jerry: How was it? What'd you talk about?
Elaine: Well, you know, the usual; The Federal Reserve, the rainforest. Cynthia thought we should nuke the rainforest, you know, get rid of it in one fell swoop so we can at least eliminate it as a subject of conversation. What about you?

Cynthia: What does he look like?
Elaine: Pardon?
Cynthia: What does he look like?
Elaine: Um, well, he's got a lot of character in his face. Um, he's short. Um, he's stocky.
Cynthia: Fat. Is that what you're saying, that he's fat?
Elaine: Powerful. He is so powerful, he can lift a hundred pounds right up over his head. And um, what else. What else. Oh, right. Um, well, he's kind of, just kind of losing his hair.
Cynthia: He's bald?
Elaine: No! No, no, no, he's not bald. He's balding.
Cynthia: So he will be bald.
Elaine: Yup.

Cynthia: Has he ever been married?
Elaine: No.
Cynthia: Has he been close?
Elaine: He once spent a weekend with a woman.

Favorite Scene:   One of the great scenes in show history.  Jerry and Elaine are arguing a discussing the fact that Cynthia might be pregnant when a stunned George stops cold in the doorway, looking at first like he might pass out:

Elaine: I knew those condoms were defective!
Jerry: How did you know they were defective?!
George walks in.
Elaine: Because! Because she missed her period!
George: She missed her period? Oh my god. I can't believe it! I'm a father! I did it! My boys can swim! I can do it! I can do it!

The Lesson:  The point of the episode from the writer’s standpoint is that the things that are important to men and women when dating are very different.  George and Cynthia are focused on completely different things when evaluating whether to accept the blind date setup.  This is also a great lesson for entrepreneurs.  So often, you are so focused on your company and the process of building it, that you become myopic in your viewpoint.  The things that are important to you about your product or service, may not be as important to your customers.  I’ve seen so many instances where a founder gets consumed with certain elements of the business, that ultimately have no bearing on consumer adoption or revenue.  Steve Jobs has taught all of us that the details in designing a product or a service are important, but they are only important if the customer thinks they are important.  Don’t sacrifice your vision for your company, but don’t be blind to the needs/interests of others, or you may find yourself as desperate as Cynthia and George.

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