THE PLOT THUS FAR
Meet Jonathan Ames: writer, romantic, unlicensed private detective. Moonlighting from his job as a novelist and writer for a New York magazine, Jonathan is looking to jettison some heavy emotional baggage (his girlfriend just dumped him, okay?) through an unusual second career of cracking cases of missing persons, espionage and infidelity in the Big Apple.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
Struggling New York novelist Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) pushes procrastination to new heights when he jettisons his writing duties in favor of taking on cases as a self-styled private eye. With the unlikely help of his editor George (Ted Danson) and pal Ray (Zach Galifianakis), the pot-smoking gumshoe investigates missing sisters, cheating boyfriends, stolen skateboards and other cases. After losing his roommate/lover, Jonathan is unable to write, and suffers from a serious case of the doldrums. He mopes around his apartment, doing very little but reading Raymond Chandler novels and getting smoked up. Schwartzman is very good at conveying this bright-guy-turning-into-a-loser character. Apparently inspired by the Chandler novels, he decides to try his hand at being a private eye himself. Despite having no background whatsoever in police work, he figures he has nothing to lose and advertises on craigslist as an “unlicensed” private detective. He hopes that by doing this he will pad his bank account, as well as find inspiration for his writing.
New York City becomes a wonderful noir background as Jonathan begins to pick up cases as a private investigator. He’s warned off of the new gig by Ray, a comic book illustrator who, despite drawing superheroes all day, is alarmingly resistant to excitement. The show is funny and engaging. With a ridiculous premise the show functions because of the superb writing and truly inspired casting decisions. Schwartzman, Zach Galifinakis and Ted Danson all fit their roles perfectly and deliver in ever episode of this first season. Part detective spoof and part literary dream Bored to Death feels like one of the freshest new shows on television, without disappointing from the premiere on.
The Blu-Ray comes with a making-of featurette for the show. There’s even a detailed look at Jonathan Ames’s Brooklyn and its literary connections. Add onto that a ton of deleted scenes that were cut for a very good reason. They made the slower bits of the show drag on forever. There’s also audio commentaries on each episode. While it might not be the greatest HBO show, it’s strong enough to stand on its own merit. I’d recommend a rental before you make the purchase.
RELEASE DATE: 09/21/2010