THE SHOW "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee"
WHEN | WHERE New episodes begin streaming Thursday on crackle.com
WHAT IT'S ABOUT The first episode of the fourth season of Jerry Seinfeld's web series -- arriving Thursday -- begins very close to home. Jerry returns to Massapequa, where he grew up, with Sarah Jessica Parker in her very own Ford Country Square Wagon LTD, circa 1976. Sights to be seen in Thursday's opener: Francesco's Bakery on South Broadway in Hicksville and the Colony Diner on the Hempstead Bethpage Turnpike, where coffee is served.
MY SAY Crackle offered the first couple of "webisodes" of the fourth season for review -- the second features Aziz Ansari, who has his coffee break with Jerry near Boston -- and I'm happy to report that both are funny, lighthearted, imaginative and even interesting. Yes -- you will learn ephemeral and utterly useless facts about buses and Jurassic-era station wagons.
But absolutely the best of the two is the Parker one. Old pals who just about complete each others' thoughts, Seinfeld and Parker have an easy repartee that subverts or heightens -- not sure which -- the absurdity of the setup: Two world-famous celebrities rattling down the Southern State Parkway in a beet-red bomb that looks like it was salvaged from the set of a 1970s sitcom. At a panel for "Comedians" held last week at the Paley Center for Media, Seinfeld explained the basic premise of "Comedians": "I pretty much engage only with funny people or weird people or 'off' people. Someone who's a little normal? I'm lost."
His instincts are certainly right here: These oddball gems work best when they are at their most ludicrous. Parker may not be (at least conventionally) a "comedian," but she is funny. awkward and wonderfully "off" -- and stars in one off the better "Comedians" yet. Seinfeld even gets a little sentimental -- a word never before used in a sentence about him: "I can't tell you how happy I am driving these streets where I grew up."
BOTTOM LINE Winners -- both Sarah Jessica Parker and her station wagon, that is.