Fans of Seinfeld are starting to sound like Frank Costanza as they may call out for “serenity now!” after Netflix uploaded the series with a screen ratio that takes away from the show’s entire context. The sitcom, created by Larry David and titular protagonist Jerry Seinfeld, exemplifies the day-to-day life of New York City’s Jerry Seinfeld and his neurotic friends – this time, on a scale that can’t meet fans’ expectations.
The show finding its new home on Netflix may be interpreted as a replacement for similar series such as The Office or Friend. Both series regained enormous amounts of popularity once being re-released to the masses. Seinfeld‘s release on Netflix had every intention of being a positive move for the franchise as it would remind newcomers of how it still remains relevant today as its snappy writing and sharp attitude remain timeless. However, its major drawback is not its content but its ratio. The problem comes from the show now being broadcast at a 16:9 ratio compared to its original 4:3 formatting.
All 180 episodes are uploaded onto Netflix, though key jokes that give Seinfeld its personality are being cut off: literally. An episode in season eight titled The Pothole loses its punchline as the specific pothole in question is out of frame, and without it being physically in view, every gag is suffering from a loss due to the inconsideration of the new ratio. Fans have taken to the internet for their own airing of grievances, pleading for Netflix to return Seinfeld to its original state, claiming that the series is “unwatchable” when not in a 4:3 ratio.
Seinfeld made the leap from Hulu to Netflix after a $500+ million purchase was made by the streaming service. “Seinfeld is the television comedy that all television comedy is measured against. It is as fresh and funny as ever and will be available to the world in 4K for the first time. We can’t wait to welcome Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer to their new global home on Netflix,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said when welcoming the show onto the platform. The Simpsons fell victim to a similar visual hit when added to Disney+’s library and was altered from 4:3 to 16:9. In turn, there was a similar resound of asking the platform to take action and fix the formatting.
Netflix released a trailer to promote Seinfeld‘s arrival. While the show hasn’t truly premiered since 1989, the video is marking the premiere to the platform. The rights to Seinfeld give Netflix five years to host the show on their website, meaning that there’s plenty of time for the show to re-embrace the initial success that it first earned, with ten primetime Emmy awards tangibly boasting its praise. Seinfeld himself has lent his own stand-up specials to Netflix and is now creating a featured film based on a joke featured in his most recent comedy: the Pop-Tart joke. Seinfeld has written, presented, and sold Unfrosted to Netflix, which he will direct, produce, and star in. There’s hope that this time, Netflix can nail their ratio, or at least take care of Seinfeld first.