“Bored To Death” is a little show with some big-name actors that is getting talked about. The actors by themselves were reason enough for me to start watching this show (Jason Schwartzmann, Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson) but as it’s gaining momentum halfway through the season, I can’t resist the desire to talk about it anymore.
Jason Schwartzman could sit in front of a camera reading obituaries and somehow make it interesting. The actor, who is known for starring in such classic films as “Slackers” and “Rushmore,” makes the jump to the small screen to play writer/detective Jonathan Ames. We meet Jonathan in Brooklyn just as he is being broken up with by his girlfriend (Olivia Thirlby, “Juno”) who says he drinks too much (“But I’ve switched to white wine!”) and smokes too much weed (“It helps fight cancer!”). This is the catalyst for his decision to post an ad on Craigslist saying that he is an unlicensed private detective, and there begins his moonlighting career.
Jonathan’s best friend is Ray Hueston, played by Zach Galifianakis of “The Hangover” fame(crazy beard included). Ray is a talented but aimless cartoonist. He’s in a hilariously unhealthy relationship with a mother of two. He spends half of his time walking around in his whitey-tighties and the other half curled up in a fetal position.
“I never should have started dating a woman with kids,” Ray said. “I have to be the only child in a woman’s life.”
Due to the fact that his girlfriend doesn’t want to conceive again, Ray donates his sperm to a couple of nice lesbians who are fans of his artwork. Ray is Jonathan’s sidekick for all intents and purposes. He completely disapproves of Jonathan’s unconventional detective tactics, but always tags along.
And finally, we have my favorite character, George Christopher, played by Ted Danson. George is the wealthy, over-the-top editor of “Edition” magazine for which Jonathan sometimes writes. George is incredibly affectionate, narcissistic and open-minded. He will do whatever it takes to make his magazine succeed, even to the point of trying out homosexuality so he can better connect with his feminine readership. George finds Jonathan’s life fascinating and often clears his schedule to join Jonathan on his escapades.
Thus far, the plot of “Bored” has put Jonathan, Ray and George in some interesting places, including a Russian night club, but it’s the character interaction that keeps me coming back. Fans of “The Hangover” will love to watch Ray wallow in self pity, muttering hilarious one-liners. Fans of “Cheers” will be glad to see that Danson is doing a hell of a lot better than Kelsey Grammer, who is currently starring in the dud “Hank.” And fans of Schwartzman will love watching him play this meek, doe-eyed, ballsy intellectual wearing a khaki peacoat.
This is the type of show where you’ll be hushing your friends’ laughter so you don’t miss the next hilarious line. Just make sure you DVR it, because you’ll want to watch it more than once.
“Bored To Death” comes on Sunday night at 9:30 on HBO.