7/13/11

BORED TO DEATH - REVIEW


I bet you never thought you'd see Zach Galifiniakis, Ted Danson and Jason Schwartzman in a movie together let alone an entire TV series! Well, show creator Jonathan Ames clearly had a unique vision and his latest show Bored To Death makes it work seamlessly.

The series follow Schwartzman's struggling writer as he goes through a painful break-up, puts an ad on Craigslist as an unlicenced private detective and becomes just that. Ted Danson is his charming, ever so slightly eccentric boss and Galifiniakis is his bearded, weary cartoonist friend.

The first season focuses primarily on Ames (Schwartzman) leaving little room for George (Danson) and Ray (Galifiniakis) to develop their own storylines. They mostly pop up here and there to make themselves useful and add some quirkiness to the proceedings. That said, the last 3 episodes of the first season finally gives us what we want as our main cast finally unites and everyone is given a fair chance. From the terrific "Beautiful Blackmailer" episode, Bored To Death really starts to get fun.

All three actors have great chemistry together and hardly play against-type giving the show a cosiness rare in comedy shows these days. Although the main inspiration for Bored To Death is film noir and Raymond Chandler novels (and pot), the series definitely have a Blake Edwards feel to them, something which the cute opening cartoon hints at. Ames' detective is very Clouseau in his style of solving cases.

Unfortunately Bored To Death is hardly groundbreaking and shouldn't reinvent television in any way: it is a safe bet with some great talent involved who know exactly what they're doing. But it is very funny, clever and witty throughout and is much too adorable to dislike. There are guest stars along the way but nothing too distracting.

Definitely worth a look, especially if you like the people involved. I guess you could also compare it to Weeds but, again, it is goofier and more cartoonish than that.

A stoner detective show with heart AND brains? Just watch it.

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