Monday, August 26, 2013

Season 2, episode 7: The Phone Message

“For me to ask a woman out I have to get into a mental state like the karate guys before they break the bricks.” – George

This is one of those George episodes where he’s somehow able to put himself together long enough and found the right amount of confidence to successfully acquire himself a date for an evening that doesn’t end completely in disaster. But his overachievement can’t last forever and he spends the last 20 minutes of the episode trying to save a relationship that for him is clearly a lost cause since he cannot possibly maintain the high level competence that got him the date in the first place. Only here there’s a twist…

The fall here begins at the end of the date when his girl, Carol, asks him up for ‘coffee’. Now, any man with only rudimentary social skills would know what this meant. George, however, turns down the invite for coffee since it would keep him up. Seconds after Carol gets out of the car, George makes the connection between coffee and sex and proceeds to beat himself up over it.

Later when George is in Jerry’s apartment recalling this moment he reflects, “people this stupid shouldn’t be allowed to live.” After some encouragement from Elaine he decides to call her for another date. He kicks everyone out of Jerry’s apartment and makes the call. Upon getting her machine he leaves a rambling, stammer filled awkward message that runs on and on that he is immediately unhappy with.

4 days and 4 increasingly agitated, aggressive and angry messages later George learns that Carol has been in the Hamptons and never got his messages. So George decides to implement a plan, with Jerry’s help, suggested by Elaine; switch the tapes. So the two meet Carol outside her apartment. In the apartment George distracts Carol while Jerry switches the tapes. After Carol checks her messages she tells George that her neighbor had already played her messages for her over the phone. But thinking George’s messages were hilarious she says, “I just love jokes like that.”

I don’t know about this ending. In spite of himself George comes through as clean as a whistle which is very un-George like.

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