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Jerry Seinfeld Wears Out His Welcome in Netflix’s ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’

Too many tone-deaf comments sink the celebrity interview show

A scene from the Alec Baldwin episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

This post originally appeared on July 6, 2018, in “Eat, Drink, Watch” — the weekly newsletter for people who want to order takeout and watch TV. Browse the archives and subscribe now.

This week, Netflix added new episodes of two big food shows to its library: Somebody Feed Phil and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Here’s everything you need to know about the new season of Seinfeld’s interview series. And for more on what to expect from Phil Rosenthal’s travel show, plus a roundup of the week’s food entertainment news, please head over here.

‘Comedians in Cars’ Needs a Tune-Up

Jerry Seinfeld with Ellen Degeneres on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

Like Phil Rosenthal, Jerry Seinfeld is another wildly successful sitcom creator who has a show on Netflix where he eats meals with his friends, but unfortunately, his TV endeavor lacks the warmth of Somebody Feed Phil. The latest season of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee features several moments where perfectly pleasant conversations are undermined by tone-deaf remarks that indicate just how out of touch Seinfeld is with the rest of the world.

“What I like the most about the Harvey Weinstein story is how perfectly cast he is in the role,” Seinfeld says casually to Dana Carvey, seemingly forgetting how many people were hurt by the Hollywood mogul. “The look, the voice, the name, the weight. If he walks in the office you go, ‘You got it, you got the part… It’s perfection.’” Later in this episode, at a music store, Seinfeld stops Carvey from playing his guitar to say, “Why do I feel like a girl and you’re hitting on me? I just feel so uncomfortable right now. You’re looking me right in the eye and you’re playing a guitar. This is gay — we’re gay.”

In a later episode, Seinfeld also interrupts another one of his straight friends to tell him that he’s picking up gay vibes. “The waves of gayness that wash through you from time to time are amazing,” Seinfeld says to Alec Baldwin, in the middle of their meal. “You’re like one of the last men; you really have a manliness about you. But every once in a while, there’s like a vanilla-fudge marbling of homosexuality, just a ribbon of it, that flashes through.”

And in the Tracy Morgan episode, Seinfeld is perplexed when the server, a woman named Caritza, introduces herself at the start of their meal. He turns to Tracy and says, “Caritza? That’s unusual. You ever heard that name before? Why do people keep making up names?”

Another baffling part of the Comedians equation, apart from Seinfeld’s condescending remarks about the people directly in front of him, is the shameless product placement for Lavazza coffee that permeates every single episode. In several cases, the B-roll of coffee being poured into two Lavazza-branded cups is completely incongruous with the action on screen. Considering how much money both Seinfeld and Netflix have, you’ve got to wonder: Do they really need to keep this sponsorship deal alive? It’s distracting.

Comedians in Cars is long overdue for a tune-up. But if you’re curious about this new season, consider taking the Kate McKinnon, Hasan Minhaj, Zach Galifianakis, or Ellen DeGeneres episodes for a spin — these are seemingly nice people who keep the mood light and lively during their chats with glib old Jerry. All 12 new episodes are now streaming on Netflix.

The Very Best Episodes of Jerry Seinfeld’s ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’ [E]