So the mini-“Seinfeld” reunion that caused such a stir for about 15 minutes? Given that the show was famously about nothing, it’s perhaps appropriate that the follow-up should really be much ado about nothing. Mostly, Jerry Seinfeld’s Super Bowl stunt was a crafty promotion for his Crackle series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” in which he pals around with another comic for however long it takes to generate 20 minutes worth of usable banter. Only in this case, it was six minutes of semi-scripted banter with “George Costanza,” his fictional friend through most of the 1990s, as played by Jason Alexander.
At first blush, it was sort of fun seeing the two back together again, engaging in the usual inane obsessing over minor trifles, like using a couple’s master bathroom at a party. (The entire clip, all six minutes of it, is available here.)
After a while, though, the whole thing feels like a bit of a cheat, and something of a sellout. Besides, the main point of “Comedians in Cars” is to see what Seinfeld and other comics can conjure in casual conversation (Howard Stern, incidentally, is his next guest), so seeing Seinfeld and Alexander actually talk as people probably would have been more interesting, even for fans of the show.
Indeed, one got an illuminating taste of what made “Seinfeld” tick back when Larry David arranged a sort-of reunion within the context of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” albeit with all the key players approximating versions of themselves.
In short, while Seinfeld’s coy use of his billion-dollar sitcom hit to market his fledgling Web venture is certainly shrewd, it probably worked out considerably better for him — and certainly for Crackle, basking in all the reflected media interest — than it did for those anticipating something genuinely akin to a “‘Seinfeld’ reunion.”
For anyone really hungry for more “Seinfeld,” in other words, just turn on the TV and wait about 10 minutes. Odds are, you’ll find one of its reruns. And if that sounds unfair, with apologies to the show’s disappointing finale, given “Seinfeld’s” enormous success, it’s a prison of its own making.