The ’90s were lean times for Apple enthusiasts. The company was making slow, boring computers with a Mac operating system that, while it may have been “user-friendly,” felt like it was falling further behind Microsoft’s ever-more-capable Windows with each passing year. A series of decreasingly competent pencil-pushers occupied the Apple CEO job, a mismanagement parade that culminated with Dr. Gilbert Amelio, world’s least inspiring man:
When Steve Jobs returned in 1997, he trapped Amelio in a cardboard box and shipped him postage-due to Abu Dhabi; from there, Apple’s prospects improved. Before that, though, Apple fans had to take solace in small victories. Beloved television comedian Jerry Seinfeld, for instance, put a Mac on the desk in his TV apartment. He almost never used it, but it was there, and for Apple followers who suffered through so many of the company’s ’90s misfires—like the Newton and Cyberdog and Copland and whatever the hell OpenDoc was supposed to be (nobody knew)—Seinfeld’s tacit endorsement was reassuring in a small, pathetic way.
Hulu apparently does not care about any of this rich cultural history, because in its real-life replica of Jerry’s apartment—recently constructed in New York to promote the streaming service’s acquisition of Seinfeld reruns—the Mac’s hallowed back-corner spot is occupied by some bullshit PC. As Mashable’s Christina Warren notes, visitors to Hulu’s Seinfeld apartment will not savor the classic lines of the Macintosh SE/30, but they will instead bear witness to a horrid DOS box that looks like the last sad leftover from a CompUSA liquidation sale. Unlike a Mac, it does nothing to affect the smug, independent-minded yuppie air that suited Jerry so well on the show.
If they had wanted to get it right, Hulu’s interior designers could have picked up a Mac SE for about a hundred bucks on eBay, or for even less they could have grabbed a Power Mac 6100, another model seen on Jerry’s desk for a stretch. (Jerry also had a PowerBook Duo docking setup and a Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh for some episodes, but both of those are rare and pricey.)
Maybe this isn’t an oversight at all, though. Maybe it’s a clever marketing choice, designed to heighten the buzz around Hulu’s Seinfeld deal by reigniting the endless Mac-PC flamewars that raged on Usenet throughout the ’90s. In any case, it’s a detail that the Seinfeld creators themselves wouldn’t screw up: When Curb Your Enthusiasm aired its Seinfeld quasi-reunion in 2009, Jerry had an era-appropriate iMac on his desk.