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A critic for Canada’s National Post examines the new field of Seinfeld Studies, as it is represented in “Seinfeld, Master of Its Domain,” a recently published collection of academic writings on the cultural significance of the long-running sitcom. Among the theses included: “Seinfeld, Situation Comedy, and the Encounter with Nothingness,” “Seinfeld is a Jewish Sitcom, Isn’t It: Ethnicity and Assimilation on 1990s American Television,” and, inevitably, “Jane Austen, Meet Jerry Seinfeld.” Another essay, “Male Anxiety and the Buddy System in Seinfeld” might as well be titled “Jerry Seinfeld, Meet Jerry Falwell,” as it exposes the latent homosexuality in Seinfeld and George Costanza’s relationship: a nonsexual crush that the author, Joanna L. Di Mattia, Monash University, identifies as “homosociality.”

It’s the National Post’s writer, Richard Fulford, who comes up with the question relating Seinfeld and religion: Are the Seinfeld Four in heaven or hell? The case for heaven: “World crises never intrude, politics is barely mentioned, no one worries about food or lodging, sex is available (if sometimes complicated), and money seldom arises as a serious problem.” On the other hand: “In the Seinfeldian world a great deal happens but almost none of it much matters. In all these ways it closely resembles high school. That answers the theological question. They’re living in hell.”

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