For the first episode of the unexpected but totally justified sixth season of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld put down the rolodex and hit speed dial. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the Veep star and only Seinfeld alum to successfully exit the Jerry orbit, was more than happy to climb into a borrowed Aston Martin DB5, but she clearly didn’t feel obligated. The lovefest that ensued was sweet because of what went — for good reason — unspoken: “We made each other, but we don’t need each other.”
The Julia-Jerry vibe in real life (an Acura-sponsored version of real life anyway) wasn’t so different from the Elaine-Jerry vibe on the show. They touch a lot. They seem to care about each other. There is an intensity to the dynamic, but it doesn’t seem fraught or sexual at all. They mock each other constantly in that very specific way that incredibly successful people with massive and deservedly massive egos mock each other.
But they also compliment each other. Julia is a great actress; Jerry is a great writer. Yes and yes. The inverse isn’t true and they never touch on it except in one telling exchange during which Julia brings up Jerry’s idea to make her pregnancy into a Seinfeld arc about her getting fat. She admonishes him for his insensitivity then admits that, “It was a great idea and we should have done it.”
“I regret it,” she adds.
And there you get the sense of why Seinfeld worked. Peers can be honest with each other. And super rich peers who don’t want anything from each other can be even more honest. Jerry frequently comes across as a bit above it all — “you’re nicer than Hitler” is the best Julia can muster — but he almost completely avoids that in this episode. He’s not being good for the audience (one gets the sense he gives zero shits about the audience); he's being good for Julia.
Friendship is cool.