Bored To Death is one of HBO’s attempts at comedy and went relatively unnoticed by viewers for its first season. The show centers on three characters, a magazine/novel writer Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) his cartoonist friend Ray Hueston (Zack Galifianakis) and his editor George Christopher (Ted Danson).
After a messy breakup, Schwartzman’s character decides that his life is in need of some excitement and places an ad online for an “unlicensed” private detective service. Equipped with only quasi-academic knowledge of investigation, Schwartzman’s character fumbles from case to case often accompanied by his equally bored and unknowledgeable friend and editor.
What makes this show entertaining is how quickly it evolved from the slightly boring and silly idea of a writer who solves real mysteries to a kind of stoner noir filled with marijuana induced revelations and related antics. And Ted Danson has not been this likable on TV since his Cheers days. As well, Zack Galifianakis, (yes the bearded lone wolf from The Hangover) plays the defeated Beta male like a champion, always at the beck and call of the woman he lives with and constantly making vain attempts to reassert his virility. As for Schwartzman, he delivers a stable performance throughout the first season playing the part of a bumbling detective to perfection, often sporting a Columbo-esk raincoat to fit the part. The way Schwartzman keeps retelling the story of how and why his relationship didn’t work out with his ex-girlfriend throughout the first season.
It walks a fine line between being annoying and funny at some points but in the end hearing about how an excess of white wine and weed was the culprit that ended their relationship becomes a funny running joke.
Highlights from the first season’s storylines include: colonics, smoking singles in a public bathroom, Jonathan and George’s strange pseudo father-son relationship and of course Jonathan’s persistent sourness about his ex-girlfriend. In a show where financial earnings are gauged in terms of how many colonics it will score you, you know as the viewer to be ready for a strange ride to come in season two.
Bored To Death is set to return for its second season on HBO September 26th 2010.