Seinfeld Teases New Car Series
'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' looks very simple -- and that could be what makes it fun.
Yep, that's about the gist of it. And I'm excited for it.
First, I should point out that I'm a big-time comedy nerd. When most people are grocery shopping with their ear buds in, rocking out to a favorite band, I'm the weirdo laughing along to Doug Stanhope, Bill Burr, (the late, great) Patrice O'Neal or Louis C.K. in the produce aisle. So I'm definitely part of the niche demographic that would tune in to see comedians talking to one another -- and that's probably not a huge demographic. But I think the show has wider appeal, and that's exactly because of its simple, no-frills approach. Its simplicity could be its strength.
The past couple years have been a bad time for car shows in the U.S. Adam Carolla's "The Car Show" was axed after 15 episodes, and while American "Top Gear" soldiers on into a third season, it hasn't exactly been a ratings bonanza. Part of the problem with these shows is that they try (or tried) far, far too hard. Because everyone wants to live up to the sublime, original U.K. version of "Top Gear," the stunts tried to be wacky, the (scripted) banter strove for witty and cutting, and the premises had to be both outlandish and somehow illuminating of some deeper cultural truth.
And, for the most part, it all fell flat. Too forced. Or the production value couldn't live up to the concept. The effort showed, which is always slightly embarrassing when it comes to entertainment.
You know from the title that "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" is not going to over-reach. It's not going to pit a Ford Pinto against a goat on steroids in a backward race up a mountain that is on fire. What the show will do (I hope) is take what is a very simple, core strength for "Top Gear," one that is also constantly overlooked -- that is, using interesting personalities to tease out and illuminate the inner soul of a particular vehicle -- and make it the basis of a straightforward show about people and the cars they love.
I want to see who's driving that spotless old Volkswagen Bug in the promo -- and I want to see what that person has to say about that car. Why they bought it. Why they love it. Whether they restored it themselves. Same thing for Seinfeld and his well-known love of Porsches. I want to see what Kramer drives, and the same goes for Larry David -- and I definitely want to hear him complain about it. In short, I want to see the connection between very funny, extremely witty people and the cars that they drive, and I don't necessarily need an exploding ice luge team to do that. Maybe, hopefully, all it takes are a couple of funny people, a car or two, and some caffeine.
"Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" premieres next Thursday, July 19. See comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com for more details closer to the premiere date.
And a longer version:
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