Back in 2009, the seventh season of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm was centered around Larry David agreeing to do a Seinfeld reunion in the hopes of resuscitating his doomed marriage. Featuring appearances by Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, Michael Richards, and Wayne “Newman” Knight, these Curb episodes are the closest thing to a full-fledged Seinfeld reunion to hit the airwaves since that popular series left NBC in 1998 after nine seasons. While viewers never actually got to see a completed Seinfeld episode out of all of this, Curb did provide enough snippets to show what a reunion would have been like, and all of the guest actors got the opportunity to reprise their famous characters. And now, another ’90s sitcom veteran, That ’70s Show’s Topher Grace, has taken those snippets and pieced them together into a nine-minute quasi-episode of Seinfeld. In his Facebook post about the edit, the actor likens the process to sewing and compares the finished product to “a radio play,” since a portion of it is built around audio rather than video. This isn’t Grace’s first foray into imaginative editing; he was also responsible for creating his own one-film-long version of the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
So how does Grace’s cobbled-together Seinfeld reunion play out? Well, the picture quality isn’t fantastic, and some scenes are created from still photographs, but it’s generally a satisfying and funny nine minutes of television comedy. Amazingly enough, despite the piecemeal nature of this project, the plot is still comprehensible. This would actually work pretty decently as a legitimate episode of Seinfeld, even though it’s less than half the length of a real installment of that series. What helps is that the show’s central characters do not really change. Jerry may have donated the sperm for Elaine’s daughter, and George may have made and lost a fortune through his ingenious iToilet app, but these people are fundamentally the same as they were back in the 1990s, still needling each other at Monk’s Cafe and arguing passionately about trivialities.