Bored to Death: The Complete First Season
Jason Schwartzman is an actor who I’ve never quite gotten. With every movie he starred in, I just didn’t care for his look, acting style or, by extension, his overall career. So when HBO launched the new series Bored to Death there was a certain amount of trepidation and fear from this reviewer.
The good news is that while I can’t say seeing Schwartzman star as Jonathan Ames, a down-on-his-luck writer who starts a private investigator business to pay the bills, changed my overall opinion of his career, I finally appreciated his off-kilter sense of humor and the show as a whole is perfectly tailored to his, well, oddness that had before been off-putting.
As the first season DVD comes out, just as the second season of the show is launching on September 26th.
Another thing that Bored To Death has going for him is the supporting cast. While it’s great to see Ted Danson on the darker series Damages, it’s even greater to see him get back to his comedy roots as publisher George Christopher.
This is the guy who makes Jonathan’s life both exciting and miserable with his often-juvenile antics. There’s also best friend Ray (Zach Galifinakis), Ray’s girlfriend Leah (Heather Burns) and Jonathan’s ex (Olivia Thirlby) to round out each episode.
While the detective cases Jonathan takes on are not always the most original, it’s the antics of Jonathan and the people in his world that keeps the interest and generates the most laughs. The show does manage to get great guest stars like Oliver Platt, Kristen Wiig, Bebe Neuwirth and Romany Malco.
The first season DVD set is highly recommended to any viewer looking for smart, slightly absurdist comedies with a winning cast. Extras on the DVD include a fun Making Of featurette, Jonathan Ames’ Brooklyn featurette, deleted scenes and a gag reel. None are going to surpass the show itself but they do provide more laughs and insight into this hilarious show.