'Bored to Death' - 'Escape from the Dungeon!': Bring out the Gimp
The private eye parody returns
"Bored to Death" is back for a second season, and while I suspect I'm not going to be writing about it a lot, I have a few thoughts on the premiere and the series in general coming up just as soon as I see the tasting menu...
"Bored to Death" was a show I ran hot and cold on last season. (For a while, it seemed to be following a "Star Trek" movie pattern where only the even-numbered installments were good.) The show seemed to find itself late in season one when George finally got involved in Jonathan's private eye work (and when Jonathan Ames finally realized it might be smart to put Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis together to see what happened). But I've seen four season two episodes, and as with "Hung" - another HBO quasi-comedy that I liked with reservations in season one, then got frustrated when it failed to evolve in season two - I think I may have hit my limit with this show, these characters and this world.
Specifically, I think I may have hit my limit with Jonathan himself. I enjoy George when he's on his own (here sparring with Mary Kay Place as the fixer for his magazine's new Christian right ownership), ditty Ray, and the group when they're all together. But I find myself losing interest rapidly whenever we're just following Jonathan, in either his personal or PI lives.
Some of that's on Jason Schwartzman, who I think fits perfectly inside the archly-constructed worlds of Wes Anderson films, or something like "Scott Pilgrim," but rarely seems like a recognizable human being anywhere else. Ames is going for a slightly-exaggerated type of reality with the way scenes like Jonathan meeting his client at the police stable are shot as a parody of hard-boiled cliches, yet Schwartzman still feels out-of-sync with the other characters in that portion of the show. I don't really believe anything he says, or in him as a character, and therefore none of the comedy around him works - not even Jonathan running through the streets of Manhattan locked into a leather gimp suit.
I don't know how much of the character is based on Ames other than the name, but I think "Bored to Death" is one of those shows like "How I Met Your Mother," where the central character is a weak link but is too tied to the premise and (at least partly) reflective of the creator to go anywhere.
Love the Emmy-winning main titles, dig Danson and Galifianakis, but otherwise find it to be a trifle. If a later episode really tickles my funny bone, maybe I'll do a post on that, but for now it's not gonna be part of the rotation on an absurdly busy night for cable programming.
What did everybody else think?
News From Our Partners
- Meet The New 'X Factor' Judges 5 Women We're Excited to See On TV This Fall How 'Vikings' Leading Man Travis Fimmel Nearly Got Away...
- Daft Punk, 'Random Access Memories' – Album Review Adam Levine Inviting Shakira Over for Sweaty Bikram Yoga Sessions, Sparks Rumors Chris Brown, Demi Lovato + More React to Oklahoma Tornado Tragedy
- Cannes Film Festival: Cannes 2013, Day Six: Michael Douglas plays Liberace in Steven Soderbergh’s swan song, Behind The Candelabra Comics Panel: New releases include an alternative detective story and a new collection examining the collective urban subconscious Permanent Records: The Breeders’ Last Splash is a rallying cry for the weirdos and stereotype-flouters
- Ranking the Blockbusters with Summer Movie Scorecard 2013 RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Last Stand and Side Effects Box Office Guru Wrapup: Star Trek Softer Than Expected at #1
- Seth MacFarlane's Next Film: 'Every Line Is Hilarious,' Amanda Seyfried Swears 'The Wolverine' Trailer: Five Questions It Answered 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Takes Box-Office Crown With $84 Million
- The Telefile - TV on DVD: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 The Telefile - Veep: The Episode's Best Insults The Telefile - Saturday Night Live: Straight Outta 8H
- Microsoft Announces Foza Motorsport 5 as an Xbox One Launch Title '24: Live Another Day': Will Mary Lynn Rajskub's Chloe Return? Xbox One's Xbox Live Services Will Get a Boost
- What to Watch Tonight: SYTYCD, Awkward., and the Finales of Grimm, The Game, and DWTS The Big C Series Finale Review: And They Lived Happily Ever After Warehouse 13 "The Sky's the Limit" Review: Up Up and Away
Will's gift takes an increasing toll; can the bad Dr. Lecter help him?Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Cathy and her family prepare for the end as the Showtime dramedy concludes on a strong noteTuesday, May 21, 2013
Daniel ponders a trip out of town as the terrific first season comes to a closeMonday, May 20, 2013
Some interesting pieces in a new sitcom from the 'HIMYM' guys, but it's a dead show walkingMonday, May 20, 2013