November 23, 2010

NetPix: Bored To Death, Season 1

I haven't had a good NetPix in a while as I haven't really seen any good movies on DVD.  I've been mainly watching a lot of TV in my queue.  But a newish show that I recently saw was last year's freshman season of "Bored To Death".  This HBO series starring Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifanakis and Ted Danson, is one of the funniest shows I've seen in quite a while.  It's unique brand humor treads that fine line between the sublime and ridiculous, like the original "Seinfeld" did though in a much more subdued manner.

The series is centered around a Brooklyn writer named "Jonathan Ames" (who also happens to be the real-life scribe behind the show) who becomes an amateur detective after placing an ad on Craigslist.  It's a simple setup for some complicated story lines which often lead to hilarious shenanigans.  My favorite episode was one in which Jonathan attempts to retrieve a married man's sex tape and enlists his friends for a long, loopy night of adventure in New Jersey. Ted Danson, playing a magazine editor who is a bit of a senior stoner, is fantastic as he yearns for adventure after tiring of his wealthy, A-list, Manhattanite existence.  It seems that he, more than Jonathan, is the one who is bored to death.

Another charm of the series is its mixture of real-life and fiction, especially when it comes to the Ames character.  Jonathan is very much a TV doppelganger for the author's publicly stated interests and obsessions, such as boxing, Brooklyn and beer (or wine or vodka).  There is even an interesting collaboration with Zach's character, who is a graphic artist, which mirrors Ames' work with Dean Haspiel on their incredible graphic novel "The Alcoholic".  The show's focus on Brooklyn is unique as well, with a number of famous (Brighton Beach) and not so famous (Prisoner's Monument) local spots showing up and looking gorgeous.  The show is a true love letter to the BK and all it's quirky charms.

Season 2 just finished its first run on HBO recently.  It almost makes me want to get cable so I can watch it on-demand.  Almost.  I am dying (ha) to see what happens to this happy gang in the next go-round.

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