January 28, 2014

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

Jerry Seinfeld, 2012-
Jerry Seinfeld's personal creation is a fine display of what is possible in the world of independently-produced internet-based content. He doesn't need to bow to advertisers (though he has sponsors like Acura but their presence isn't overbearing). He can choose how long each episode is. He decides what direction he wants to take it. Literally. He decides where they're going to eat. He decides what they are going to talk about. But although he has a certain formula to it all, it all feels very organic. He gets in a different car each episode (with each car outfitted with multiple dash-mounted Go-Pro-like cameras) to pick up his buddies, whether they be long-time collaborator Larry David, fellow comedian Brian Regan, or even longtime friend Michael Richards hoping to strike some comedic vein and see what flows out. All in between close-up shots of steaming coffee and mouth-watering diner-porn. There's a certain deconstructionist approach to his lunch dates. He likes to hear what his friends think is funny. But he also wants to know what they do when they get up in the morning. What they eat for lunch, and why they eat it and why have they been eating it for so long. There's comedy in all of it. After all, he's made a career with observational humor and why stop now? And what's great about it is it's not over-edited. The fat hasn't been completely trimmed to the point where there are no awkward pauses or jokes that didn't land. That sense of purity is the charm to the series. You could argue its a new incarnation of a show about nothing. And Jerry presumably has enough cars in his garage and enough comedian friends that he can do this for a long time. Or at least as long as he wants to.

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