Killer cast makes great comedy in Bored to Death
Bored to Death is the new HBO series starring Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifianakis, and Ted Danson (yes, you read that correctly, Ted Danson). The series takes place in New York and focuses on the life of real-life writer Jonathan Ames (Schwartzman). Jonathan is a novelist who is also a part-time journalist for publisher George Christopher (Danson) and best friends with comic book artist Ray Hueston (Galifianakis).
The pilot episode takes place after Jonathan’s girlfriend, Suzanne, moves out because he won’t stop drinking white wine and smoking pot. His recent breakup, coupled with the fact that he’s struggling to write his second novel (which Jonathan says is always the hardest), gets him to thinking he can live the life of his favorite Raymond Chandler novel. He does so by posting an ad on craigslist. The ad claims he is an unlicensed private detective with reasonable rates. Hours after posting his ad, Jonathan gets his first case: helping a 19-year-old girl track down her sister.
Based on the pilot episode, it appears as if HBO has another winner in its Sunday lineup. It’s a nice faux-noir series with a fabulous cast of characters. Schwartzman is ideal as the 30-year-old lovable loser, something he often seems to do well.
While Schwartzman is very entertaining as the lead, Danson steals the show in the pilot episode. He is hilarious as Jonathan’s high-scale publishing boss who happens to share Jonathan’s problems with alcohol, weed, and relationships. It’s good to see the Cheers star get another good role he can excel with (I know he played Becker for years, but that doesn’t count because Becker was terrible).
The one thing the pilot lacked was Galifianakis. He only has two short scenes and few lines. Granted this was only the pilot and he’s just a supporting character, it would’ve been nice to see him play a bigger part. However, based on the promos for the show, we should hopefully see more of The Hangover star in future episodes of the series.
While it’s still early to see what the public opinion on the show is, with the regular cast of actors and guest appearances scheduled later in the series by the likes of Kristen Wiig, Patton Oswalt, and Jim Jarmusch, Bored to Death is a show that is bound to bring audiences to their death, but with laughter rather than boredom.
Bored to Death starts Sunday Sept. 20 at 9:30pm ET/PT on HBO