Connect with us
Image: Netflix


Seinfeld on Netflix Draws Aspect-Ratio Controversy

On October 1, Seinfeld made its long-awaited jump to Netflix, with the entire nine seasons and 180 episodes arriving on the streaming service after several years on Hulu. 

Almost immediately, the first big controversy emerged of Seinfeld‘s Netflix era, one involving its aspect ratio. 

An aspect ratio is, of course, the width of an image. Most TVs, for the entirety of Seinfeld‘s run, had a 1:33-1 aspect ratio, while ever since the rise of HDTV, TVs have been much wider. That means when older shows are broadcast or streamed, the producers need to either must place black bars on both sides of the screen or somehow stretch or manipulate the image to make it fit. 

That sort of controversy has now happened with Seinfeld on Netflix. 

Image via The Verge/Netflix

According to The Verge and other outlets, while the show has been upgraded to 4K, Seinfeld is being shown on Netflix in a 16:9 aspect ratio, which in some cases entails cutting out parts of the image, sometimes on the bottom. 

Fans found some particularly egregious examples of places where jokes were lost in the transfer, such as the pothole not being visible in Netflix’s rendering of the episode “The Pothole.” 

There was a similar controversy with The Simpsons landed on Disney+ back in 2019, with Disney eventually making the original aspect ratio of the episodes an option for viewers. 

That Seinfeld was available in that same aspect ratio back when it was on Hulu, the aspect ratio controversy barely made the news, so it’s not like Netflix made the problem worse. But it’s worth knowing for Seinfeld fans that just because they can now watch all of Seinfeld doesn’t mean they’re getting ALL of Seinfeld

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist and film critic based in the Philadelphia area. He is the co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle and a Rotten Tomatoes-listed critic since 2008, and his work has appeared in New York Press, Philly Voice, The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Tablet, The Times of Israel, and In 2009, he became the first American journalist to interview both a sitting FCC chairman and a sitting host of "Jeopardy" on the same day.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



2001: A Space Odyssey 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: Clarke and Kubrick’s Odyssey of Discovery


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 movie review Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 movie review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Caps Off the Trilogy With a Heartfelt Bang (Mostly)


Deep Impact was a serious look at the end of the world Deep Impact was a serious look at the end of the world

25 Years Later: Deep Impact was a Serious Look at the End of the World 


The Best Movies of 1973 The Best Movies of 1973

The Golden Year of Movies: 1973


The Zone of Interest The Zone of Interest

Cannes 2023: Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest is a Manicured Vision of Hell


Jeanne Du Barry review Jeanne Du Barry review

Cannes 2023: Maïwenn’s Great Hair Goes to Great Lengths in Jeanne Du Barry


Black Flies Gripping Black Flies Gripping

Cannes 2023: Black Flies— Gripping Descent into the Underbelly of New York’s Urban Misery 


Asteroid City: A Gimmicky Vanity Project Asteroid City: A Gimmicky Vanity Project

Cannes 2023: Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City is a Gimmicky Vanity Project


La Passion de Dodin Bouffant: La Passion de Dodin Bouffant:

La Passion de Dodin Bouffant: Surfeit Cooking Drama Most Inane Film at Cannes


BlackBerry movie review BlackBerry movie review

BlackBerry Is a Wonderfully Canadian Account of a Dying Tech Dream


The Mother Jennifer Lopez and Lucy Paez The Mother Jennifer Lopez and Lucy Paez

Jennifer Lopez’s The Mother is Eerily Similar to Enough, But That’s Not a Bad Thing


Godzilla 1998 Godzilla 1998

Godzilla at 25: When Hollywood Made a Manhattan Monster Movie, with Disastrous Results


10 Best SummerSlam Matches 10 Best SummerSlam Matches

10 Best SummerSlam Matches


The Matrix Reloaded The Matrix Reloaded

20 Years Later: The Matrix Reloaded was Underwhelming, but Still Underrated


Discovery channel Discovery channel

The Head-Scratching Moves Discovery Has Been Making


Sean Connery Sean Connery

60 Years Later, Dr. No Remains the Paragon of Bond