Preview – Bored to Death 1×1-1×2

When nice people try to get hard-boiled

Bored to Death

In the US: Sundays, 9.30pm, HBO. Starts 20th September

Looking for the one – 30? (Manhattan)

Date: 2009-09-16, 7:36AM EDT

Nice looking, gentle, Jewish non-practicing Vegan, writer, stuck on second novel, just separated from girlfriend. Bored. Will offer services as unlicenced private detective to find missing persons, check on fidelity, etc, for $100/day. Looking for like-minded women for friendship, more? Must like pot, white wine, Raymond Chandler’s Farewell My Lovely.

  • Location: Nyc residents
  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 9376906382

Jonathan Ames, a young Brooklyn writer, is feeling lost. He’s just gone through a painful break-up, thanks in part to his drinking, can’t write his second novel, and carouses too much with his magazine editor. Rather than face reality, Jonathan turns instead to his fantasies — moonlighting as a private detective — because he wants to be a hero and a man of action.

The offbeat comedy series ‘Bored to Death,’ created by Jonathan Ames (author of several books, including the acclaimed graphic novel ‘The Alcoholic’), follows the misadventures of a fictional Jonathan Ames as he pursues his quixotic dream of emulating his heroes from classic private detective novels.

‘Bored to Death’ stars Jason Schwartzman (‘The Darjeeling Limited’) as Jonathan Ames; Ted Danson (‘Damages,’ HBO’s ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’) as George Christopher, a high-profile magazine editor and Jonathan’s boss; and Zach Galifianakis (‘The Hangover’) as comic book illustrator Ray Hueston, Jonathan’s confidant. BORED TO DEATH was created by Jonathan Ames; executive producers, Jonathan Ames, Sarah Condon, Stephanie Davis, Dave Becky and Troy Miller; co-executive producer, Tracey Baird; producers, Mark Baker and Anna Dokoza.

Is it any good?
Well, the obvious temptation here is say, “I was bored to death by Bored to Death,” so I won’t. But I will say this: it’s a bit one-note.

Seemingly picking up on the vibe put out by one of HBO’s other hit comedies, Flight of the Conchords, Bored to Death inserts the fluffy, timid, pathetic hero into a variety of hard-boiled situations and sees what would happen – assuming, of course, that everyone else was almost as fluffy, timid, and pathetic as he is, despite appearances to the contrary.

And that’s more or less the whole joke of the series. Our hero bumbles from situation to situation, as nice as nice can be, desperately trying to find a new girlfriend and inspiration for his novel, and discovers that everything is nicer than previously suspected.

To add some variety, he has two friends, his rich, pot-addicted boss (Ted Danson) and his comic book illustrator pal (Zach Galifianakis – Tru Calling) who throw in his direction various curve balls, such as colonic irrigation and the need to be punched to cover up a herpes scab. But these aren’t very funny curve balls – maybe with a bit more pot, they’d seem more entertaining.

But, beyond the occasional good one-liner, this is a a single-note comedy that doesn’t even have the benefit of the Conchords’ songs to help it. In future episodes, his friends will be joining in the ‘action’, too, so maybe it will perk up, but I’d say, unless you really did the Conchords/Wes Anderson approach to comedy, this isn’t worth tuning in for.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

    View all posts