The Serenity Now
|"The Serenity Now"|
|Episode no.||Season 9|
|Directed by||Andy Ackerman|
|Written by||Steve Koren|
|Original air date||October 9, 1997|
The 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 the phrase was meant to be yelled.
Via an instructional tape, Frank Costanza is advised to say "serenity now" every time he gets angry in order to keep his blood pressure down. Jerry's girlfriend Patty observes that she has never seen him get angry. When Elaine goes to her old boss Mr. Lippman's son's bar mitzvah, his son Adam tries to kiss her. Meanwhile, Kramer is inspired to turn the hallway area outside his apartment door to resemble the front porch of a house in "Anytown, USA", complete with barbecue grill, lawn chairs, potted plants, American flag, wind chimes, and screen door.
Frank hires George to help him sell computers from his garage along with his childhood rival, Lloyd Braun. Lloyd makes many sales, while George sells none. After Adam tries to kiss Elaine, she becomes so popular with Jewish boys she is invited to six more bar mitzvahs. When she returns to the Lippmans to talk Adam out of his attraction for her, Mr. Lippman himself tries to kiss her. George tells Elaine that it's because of her "shiksa-appeal", that Jewish men are attracted to non-Jewish women because they "don't remind them of their mother." Elaine goes to a rabbi for further advice but he ends up coming on to her as well.
After Jerry's girlfriend encourages him to show his anger more, it results in a release of other emotions. He repeatedly tells George and Kramer he loves them and he asks Elaine to marry him, but he unleashes too much anger on his girlfriend and she dumps him. George is so determined to sell more than Lloyd, he pretends decides to pretend to sell computers, but instead stores them in Kramer's apartment. He at first intends to store them in Jerry's apartment, but is disturbed when he witnesses Jerry's proposal to Elaine.
Lloyd is fired when George appears to outsell him. Before he leaves, Lloyd tells George the "serenity now" mantra is actually harmful, as it bottles up emotions, even blaming it for driving him to insanity ("serenity now, insanity later"). Kramer fights with the neighborhood kids of "Anytown, USA." He tries to use Frank's relaxation method of chanting "serenity now" but eventually his pent-up anger finally releases and he takes it out by smashing all of George's computers.
With the destruction of the computers, George is inspired to release his own emotions, which disturbs Jerry so much he reverts to his normal self. Elaine decides she and Jerry should get married, but he is no longer interested. Frank discovers that Lloyd Braun is actually still mentally disturbed, hadn't been selling any computers, and hadn't even plugged his phone in. Frank and Estelle fight over his use of the garage as an office and, at George's suggestion, tries to use a new relaxation phrase "Hoochie Mama" when an angry Estelle tries to park in the garage.