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10 Awesome TV Shows (With Just One Bad Episode)

9. Seinfeld - "The Puerto Rican Day" (9.20)

Linking nicely from Curb Your Enthusiasm then, is Seinfeld. It's possibly a controversial claim to suggest that there was only one bad episode of the 1990s classic - certainly there are fans who would point to the slow-paced first couple of seasons when the show was finding its feet, or the last two non-Larry David seasons. But personally, I can find redeeming aspects in all those episodes and wouldn't necessarily call them bad. Even the much-maligned finale I would call under-whelming rather than a total debacle. The biggest stinker in the show's run for me, is The Puerto Rican Day. Basing the action in real-time in a single setting, this episode was designed as a callback to the likes of The Chinese Restaurant and The Subway. However, where these earlier shows had sharp, natural dialogue and clever observations that made this format work, this episode has none of this and the restricted setting only accentuates the weaknesses that had crept into the show by its ninth season - the contrived plot devices, cheap jokes and the increasingly cartoonish nature of the main four characters. The show definitely became sillier in its final two seasons following David's departure, but this wasn't a bad thing and the more surreal tone inspired some genuinely hilarious episodes. Unfortunately this isn't one of them. The laser-pen plot with George features loud, ALWAYS YELLING EVERYTHING George at his worst, the infamous flag-burning scene with Kramer feels like it's trying too hard to shock, and a sequence where Jerry, George and Kramer's alter-egos all meet could have been so much more. As the show's 176th and penultimate episode, it's perhaps a sign that the sitcom had lost its lustre and Jerry was right to call it a day when he did.
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Contributor

Northern Irish man living and working in London. Heroes include Ledley King, James Ellroy and whoever invented elasticated sweatshorts. Follow me on Twitter - @MJLowry23