Last week marked 30 years since Seinfeld’s very first episode ‘The Seinfeld Chronicles’ aired. The pilot featured everything we would come to love about ‘the show about nothing’, except for one very important missing piece: Elaine.
Elaine Benes, played by the brilliant Julia Louis-Dreyfus, was added after the pilot episode was shot as NBC executives felt the show was too male-centric and needed a woman as part of the main cast.
This was 1989, and female characters like Elaine – flawed, loud, apologetically sex positive and progressive – were not on TV. She was all of these and more, you know, like a fully rounded human being should be.
Sidenote: Here are some sexist ways your favourite female characters were introduced in screenplays. Insert eyeroll here. Post continues below video.
These days women like Elaine are in so many of the shows we watch, but Elaine is the OG, so to celebrate 30 years of her we’ve taken a look back at some of her best moments.
‘Difficult’: The Package, season 8, episode 5.
When women know what we want – when we’re assertive and confident and not willing to take any sh*t – others love to label us as difficult.
During a visit to the doctor, Elaine finds that her medical file says she’s a ‘difficult’ patient and Elaine is not here for it.
She confronts her doctor, naturally telling him it was absolutely not her fault she was ‘difficult’. The doctor says he’ll erase it from her file… but as Elaine points out, it was written in pen.