Hollywood types and TV observers are fond of bemoaning that there’s no such thing anymore as a Seinfeld-style megahit – the culture has become far too fractured for 35 million people to agree to tune into anything on network television at the same time (save events like the Oscars and the Super Bowl). But watching the first episode of Jerry Seinfeld’s new web series on Crackle Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, I began to spin a highly speculative What If in my head: Had Seinfeld wanted to make Seinfeld in 2012 instead of 1990, would he have made 22-minute episodes for TV? Or 13-minute episodes for the Web?
Given how much fun he seems to be having here, and how much fun I had watching it, I suspect it would’ve been the latter. CICGC’s first episode features Seinfeld picking up his Seinfeld co-conspirator Larry David in a 1952 azure blue Volkswagen Bug, and taking him out for coffee and breakfast at the Los Angeles diner John O’Groats. To a light, jazzy underscore, the two old friends proceed to dither and debate over day-to-day minutiae like the contemplative power of cigars over cigarettes, the freeing quality of boxer briefs over standard briefs, and David’s fastidious dietary philosophy. They occasionally graze past weightier topics – David reveals that his decision to stop drinking coffee helped lead to his divorce – but for the most part, the episode feels like Seinfeld boiled down to its essential spirit: Highly entertaining talk about the trivialities of life, with no silly “plot” to get in the way. David pretty much says as much to Seinfeld at the end of their meal: ”You’ve finally made a show about nothing.”
Check out the full episode below:
There’s a real pleasure in watching good friends enjoy each other’s company so deeply, but it will be interesting to see how this web series develops when Seinfeld is hanging out with someone he’s known for far less time, like Ricky Gervais. What did you make of this first episode? What was your favorite line? (Mine: “You cannot parade in briefs.”) Will you check out the show next week?
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