The Serenity Now
|"The Serenity Now"|
|Episode no.||Season 9
|Directed by||Andy Ackerman|
|Written by||Steve Koren|
|Original air date||October 9, 1997|
Frank Costanza is advised to say "serenity now" every time his blood pressure is in danger of going up, but instead of saying the phrase, he shouts it. Jerry's girlfriend gives his Knicks tickets away and comments that she's never seen him get "real mad." George gets Kramer to help him fix his parents' screen door. They remove the old door, which Kramer takes with him. Frank is selling computers in his garage and wants to bring George into his business. Mr. Lippman's son takes advantage of "becoming a man" at his bar mitzvah to French kiss Elaine.
Kramer installs the screen door outside his apartment to provide the "cool evening breezes of Anytown, USA," and turns his hall into a small-town front porch, complete with BBQ grill, lawn chairs, potted plants and American flag. Kramer sits on his porch with "fireworks" (a sparkler).
George's first impulse is to quit but decides it's finally time to take on his arch-rival, Lloyd Braun, who Frank has also hired to sell computers. When Jerry learns how to get mad, it releases all his other feelings, including caring, and another that results in his proposing to Elaine.
Kramer fights with the neighborhood kids of "Anytown, USA." George tells Elaine she's attractive to the Lippman men because of her "shiksa-appeal." The result gets the 2 Lippman men to want to renounce Judaism in order to be with her.
George hatches a scheme to sell more computers: to buy them himself and return them later for a refund; however, continuous use of the phrase "serenity now" has an adverse effect on his sales.
Jerry asks Elaine to marry him. George stores computers in Kramer's apartment. Kramer has a nervous breakdown (due to the screen door bringing more problems than benefits) and destroys the computers. George becomes very upset over this, and Jerry encourages George to release his emotions. However, the release of emotions from George completely disturbs Jerry, to the point where he reverts to normal.
Elaine seeks help from the rabbi to see if she can reduce her "shiksa-appeal" but instead of giving her advice, the rabbi comes on to her. Frank blames George for nearly bankrupting his company, and it is then revealed that Lloyd was insane the entire time; his phone was never plugged in, and hence he never made any sales. He blames his psychiatric problems on Frank's mantra ("Serenity now, insanity later"). Elaine returns to Jerry and accepts his marriage proposal, but since Jerry is no longer as emotional as before, he doesn't want to go through with it. George then tells Frank to say "hoochie mama" instead of "serenity now", which Frank follows when Estelle is about to park in the garage.
- This episode's plot was inspired by real-life events in the life of writer Steve Koren. While driving with his arguing parents, Koren was bewildered to hear his father shout "Serenity now!" at the top of his lungs as part of a rage controlling exercise his doctor had told him about and questioned whether or not the phrase was meant to be yelled.
- The inspiration for Frank's computer business was the 1995 film The Net (to which Frank Costanza refers to starring "that girl from the bus"').
- The sales contest Frank Costanza institutes (where the highest seller is rewarded and the lowest is fired) is a parody of the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross.
- Kramer mentions to Jerry that he was ambushed with eggs by the "neighborhood kids", including Joey Zanfino, whom Kramer previously babysat in "The Wait Out" and shared a karate class with in "The Foundation".