TAOI: Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

The architecture of information:

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is a popular web video series created by and starring Jerry Seinfeld. Originally published through Crackle, the series recently moved to Netflix.

Most Netflix video series are grouped in numbered “seasons,” mirroring the way TV shows have been released in the past. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is also grouped in batches, but these are not called seasons. Instead, they’re called “collections,” and they have quirky names:

This approach reinforces the show’s theme (coffee) and silliness. It also raises interesting issues. The Netflix UI relies on the user knowing what seasons are, so there’s no need for additional labels for season selectors. This is not as clear given this show’s quirky labels:

Another issue is that season-based shows have an explicit sequence: shows produced in season one precede those in season two. I don’t know if that’s true in this organization scheme. These labels hint at themes for each collection; I expect shows in “Light & Sweet” to be, well, light and sweet.

Ultimately, the underlying “grouping by season” structure remains; what varies is the labeling of individual collections. Streaming services such as Netflix aren’t beholden to the traditional constraints of TV publishing. This show’s taxonomy hints at a different way of consuming TV content, one that eschews sequential order in favor of the exploration of themes that span multiple episodes.