Just in case that headline gave you psychological whiplash, let me try to explain. Nothing, Forever is an AI-generated Seinfeldlike (originally a direct parody, but those days are long-gone) that runs forever. Its earlier incarnation was banned from Twitch after it made a transphobic joke, after which it returned with a new cast of characters who were… less peppy than their counterparts.
Less interesting, too. At the time of writing, the neutered show has only around 100-200 viewers, a far cry from those halcyon glory days of its initial release where those numbers reached the thousands. Larry was swapped out for Leo Borges, the world's dullest blogger, and we were left with a hollow shell of what once was.
Then, as spotted by 404media, the show fell into even further ruin. Twitter user AnimeSerbia documented this decay: "The long forgotten AI Seinfeld Reboot is now down to 18 viewers. Both characters don't even say anything anymore and just stand still in complete silence," they write. "There is a strange orange man that patrols the house silently. He disappears for minutes at a time only to reappear sitting on a couch."
But that was just the start: Things quickly evolved from surreal and weird to 'something has gone terribly wrong'. 404media's Jason Koebler wrote, "The characters of AI Seinfeld have been walking into a refrigerator on a loop for at least five days. Creators are MIA … this is what the show is now, on loop."
This is what the show is now, on loop: pic.twitter.com/JIbKF1wfapOctober 30, 2023
This gave the stream a fleeting rise in viewership, with old fans coming back to eulogise the once-great AI Seinfeld empire's decline, believing this to be its swan song—thinking it livestream abandonware. Shortly after, however, the gears started turning again—though as my adventures today can attest, it's an unsettling place to visit.
The cast doesn't interact with its digital world so much as it drifts through it. I tuned in to see one damned soul convulsing gently in a chair. Another asks: "What if we're all having different conversations in different timelines right now?" An uneasy silence stretches over the following seconds. Finally, like someone trying to keep the last candle in the world lit, a co-star chimes in: "I got lost in the library trying to find the philosophy section. Perhaps time ate it."
Then there's the weather screen, which serves as an in-universe forecast (and a way to thank Patrons). The music choice is haunting. It sounds like the dirge that plays in some indie RPG after you've accidentally doomed the world. All it's missing is a ticking clock.
Nothing, Forever's inhabitants aren't trapped in fridge purgatory any longer, but they do get tangled in each other's hitboxes from time to time, able to come close to one another but never actually touch. The background ambiance is hollow and mournful, punctuated only occasionally by canned laughter. Existential dread and looping time is the topic in nearly every scene.
I'm ultimately adding a lot of significance to something that's completely random here, but Nothing, Forever has gone from weird experiment to a fascinating ruin. There's an echo of a concept, and this recent steer into existential dread may very well be on purpose—but I'm not sure it'll be enough to restore it to its former glory. It's Limbo given digital flesh.