BORED TO DEATH premiered on HBO Sunday night, September 20th. It's a whimsical half hour comedy that has great potential, mostly due to the strength of the characters. Jason Schwartzman has the lead. He's Jonathan, a blocked sad sack of a writer in Brooklyn. His girlfriend just dumped him because he's too fond of white wine and marijuana. Schwartzman is an interesting Ben Stiller-esque type. With the right camera angle, he can look almost handsome in a dreamy sort of way. But most of the time he is pure, Grade-A nebbish. In the pilot that aired Sunday, Jonathan decides to become a detective and places an ad on the ubiquitous Craigslist. I guess he supposes being a detective will be easier than writing about one.
Jonathan's best friend Ray is a bearded cartoonist played by Zach Galfianakis. He's very solid in the role, but not nearly as funny as he was in this summer's hit Vegas comedy The Hangover.
The true gem of this series premier is Ted Danson, who plays George, Jonathan's self centered artist boss. He has the best lines in the episode and he delivers them with bemused and slightly stoned panache. Danson is not the only star from decades old TV to reappear in new series this week (Chevy Chase showed up on NBC's "Community"), but he's definitely the best. His character is laugh out loud funny and an absolute scene stealer.
The detective angle is light as a feather but will be substantial enough to place these three funny guys in tight spots so we can watch them wriggle out. Writing and casting for Bored to Death is top notch, and true to HBO form. It's worth a look, you definitely won't be bored.
Here's a taste of the trailer: