If a sitcom can be judged by the number of catchphrases it inserts into the pop-culture lexicon, then "Seinfeld" must be one of the most successful in TV history.
Sure, "Cheers" had "Norm!" and "Friends" had "We were on a break!" But the "show about nothing" outdoes them all: "Master of your domain," "He's spongeworthy," "No soup for you!" "Maybe the dingo ate your baby," "I'm Art Vandelay. I'm an importer-exporter," "You double-dipped the chip!" "Get out!" and, of course, "Yada, yada, yada."
On Tuesday, fans looking to relive their favorite Seinfeld moments can do just that when the first three seasons of the beloved sitcom become available on DVD for the first time. (And a retrospective with the cast airs on Thursday at 9:59 p.m. on NBC.)
The first "Seinfeld" DVD four-disc set contains 18 episodes that make up the first and second seasons. Included are several episodes that rarely get aired in syndication -- such as "The Stakeout," which explains Jerry's history with Elaine and introduces George's alter ego, Art Vandelay. An alternate version of the 1989 pilot also is included.
The second four-disc DVD set has the 22 episodes of the third season. Highlights include "The Truth," chronicling George's attempts to help Jerry with his tax woes, and "The Library," featuring Philip Baker Hall as the dogged library cop tracking down Jerry's long-overdue copy of "Tropic of Cancer."
Both DVD sets have audio commentaries on selected episodes, cast and crew interviews, behind-the-scenes materials and never-before-seen outtakes. They also boast "Notes About Nothing," an interesting extra that can displays facts, trivia information and production notes on the bottom of the screen as the episodes run.
True "Seinfeld" fans can get all eight DVDs in a special gift set that comes with "Monk's Diner" salt and pepper shakers, "Seinfeld" playing cards, and a script with handwritten notes by writer and co-creator Larry David.
No word yet on when later seasons of "Seinfeld" will come to DVD -- not that there's anything wrong with that.
Seasons 1 and 2 -- $49.95;
Season 3 -- $49.95; Gift set -- $119.95; available Tuesday.
NEW ON DVD
Harry Potter and the Prisoner and Azkaban (Warner Home Video: two-disc DVD $29.95; VHS $22.99; PG; available Tuesday) Daniel Radcliffe returns as Harry Potter for the young wizard's third adventure on the big screen. Bonus features include deleted scenes; interviews with "Potter" author J.K. Rowling, filmmakers and the cast; behind-the-scenes material; Hogwarts choir singalongs; a Potter timeline and more.
Smallville: The Complete Third Season (Warner Home Video: six-disc DVD $59.98; NR; available now) Tom Welling stars as Clark Kent in this television drama portraying the youth of America's most famous superhero. The DVD set contains the 22 episodes of the third season in addition to audio commentary on three episodes, behind-the-scenes material, unaired scenes and a gag reel.
Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman (Buena Vista Home Entertainment: two-disc DVD $29.99; R; available now) Japanese screen legend Beat Takeshi stars in this samurai revenge film from Japan that won numerous international film awards, including best film at the 2003 Venice Film Festival. The DVD includes an introduction by director Quentin Tarantino, interviews with the crew, an optional dubbed English language audio track and comes bundled with "Sonatine," a feature film also starring Takeshi that is being released in the United States for the first time.