Bored to Death: Season premiere makes for cheap stab at title

It’s a dark and murky night in a dingy area in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Dressed in a tan trench coat in what appears to be an attempt to emulate a real-life detective, Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) leaps off of a fire-escape and begins to sprint down the block.  After dodging an abundance of flower pots being flawlessly thrown at him from the apartment in which he escaped from, he ducks for cover underneath an overpass.  Whilst trying to catch his breath, Jonathan calls a woman to confirm that her husband is indeed cheating.

And so season two of Bored to Death begins.

What’s new:

  • Jonathan is now teaching an evening “Metropolitan Writer’s Workshop” in lieu of his second novel being rejected by his publishers (for those expecting a “Yo Teach” mention, here it is.) He is also now dating Stella – the hipster weed-smoking chick he met at the Food Co-Op last season around the same time Jenny Slate (who plays Stella) dropped the F-bomb on Saturday Night Live (which subsequently lead to her demise on that show). Lucky for her she can now curse all she wants on HBO.
  • Edition Magazine is in a financial rut and is cutting down on substantial editorial content, which means even less [potential] work for Jonathan.
  • For this “very Brooklyn show,” this New York borough took a backseat last night. In fact, 90% of the episode took place in Manhattan. Even Central Park got a moment to shine. Was Prospect Park too busy to accommodate the shooting schedule that day?

What’s the same:

  • Ray (the slapstick best friend played by Zach Galifianakis) is still having issues with his over-bearing girlfriend, which erupts into something more significant towards the end of the episode (you’ll just have to watch).
  • George (Edition magazine editor-in-chief and sometimes-boss to Jonathan played by Ted Danson) still manages to reference old rendezvous he once had whether people want to hear it or not (apparently he does not understand the too-much-information code of conduct, but who cares? He’s hilarious.)
  • Jonathan – albeit a mediocre detective — still successfully completes each assignment, but not before an amusing escape. (Three words: S&M snorkeling outfit.)

Although the first episode of this half-hour HBO comedy had many elements that made the first season so charming (action, neo-noir, great cameos, quick-witted dialogue, Zach Galifianakis in very tight-fitted shorts, etc.), the episode fell a few Oragina’s flat of being an epic season premiere.

Perhaps it was due to it ending five-minutes early (as if this show needs to be any shorter), or perhaps because there was just barely any storyline progression since we parted ways with the neurotic Brooklynite last November (you would think a lot more has happened in a year); this episode was — with very much pun intended – quite boring.

While season one bordered around Jonathan’s transition into moonlighting as an unlicensed detective (while struggling as a published author), this season will – based on its lackluster development last night – focus more on the character growth of his two ragtag team-members: Ray and George. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take an entire season to get to there.

written by Alanna Slepitsky


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