Just out of a relationship, the frequently intoxicated Jonathan Ames is down and out and doesn’t know what to do. His writing career is failing, and his addictions have gotten the best of him. All he has for inspiration are his old, treasured detective novels.
This is the story behind Bored to Death, HBO’s film-noir-esque comedy starring Jason Schwartzman as Jonathan Ames, a newly evolved private detective (according to his ad on Craigslist), who solves people’s problems in a sort of Sherlock Holmes meets Dr. Phil style, with a little help from his wacky best friend Ray (Zach Galifianakis) and his boss George (Ted Danson) along the way. What could go wrong?
The answer is “plenty”; but hilarity ensues while watching this zany team of men getting in and out of all kinds of ridiculous situations. With witty dialogue and creative storylines, Bored to Death is a must-watch. But what’s truly capturing are the three leading men, who each play their immature alter-egos perfectly.
Schwartzman’s portrayal of the fictionalized Jonathan Ames (Ames is a novelist who is actually the creator of the series) brings naïveté and innocence to this man who finds himself in many strange situations. Although Jonathan is daring enough to throw himself into a world of adventure and unpredictability, it’s hard to pin any wrongdoings on him because he has such a childlike quality. With this, the character is extremely loveable and easy to relate to. He is a grown man living obliviously in an adult world. On top of trying to balance his writing career and please his boss, Jonathan genuinely wants to help others through his unlicenced private detective career, often losing more of his own money in expenses then he gains in return. At the heart of Bored to Death is a very endearing man who makes you care about all of the things he goes through, while at the same time laughing at the comedy of it all.
Supporting Schwartzman in the show are two extremely gifted men, who steal every scene they’re in.
Anyone educated in the world of comedy knows that the combination of Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson is one to die for. The characters they play are similar men, both highly involved in their love of alcohol and pot, but both simply searching for love. Their supporting storylines are always entertaining and add relief to the detective-driven adventures that Jonathan tackles wholeheartedly. The three characters complement each other beautifully, as each struggles through learning that their solution of easy fixes won’t always work in a world that’s more complicated than they think.
The show also stands out for its choice of music. With plenty of jazz and blues to add to the film-noir style, the show is truly authentic, and successfully reaches the atmosphere it strives to achieve. It also has a great theme song, performed by Jason Schwartzman’s own band Coconut Records.
With the first season just recently out on DVD and Blu-Ray, be sure to check out this offbeat comedy that’s filled with heart. Season 2 has just begun on HBO Canada, so don’t miss any more of Jonathan, Ray, and George, because they are anything but boring.