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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be bored to death...
Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) is a freelance writer with one novel under his belt, a 447,000 rating on Amazon, and serious writers' block. He writes the occasional article for his friend George Christopher (Ted Danson, in a hilarious role), the bored-to-death editor of an Esquire-type magazine. Meanwhile, his buddy Ray (Zak Galifianakis)is a frustrated graphic...
Published on October 29, 2009 by J. A Bowen

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars don't skip season 2
I'm ambivalent about season 1. a little too Raymond Chandler/cartoony. but I did watch most of it so I started watching Season 2 which is the most hilarious tv show I've ever seen. Ted Danson is sure not the same one-note sitcom character he used to be. All three of the main characters and great and the guests are great and the writing is wonderful. so watch season 1...
Published on November 15, 2010 by kathleen


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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be bored to death..., October 29, 2009
This review is from: Bored to Death: Season 1 (DVD)
Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) is a freelance writer with one novel under his belt, a 447,000 rating on Amazon, and serious writers' block. He writes the occasional article for his friend George Christopher (Ted Danson, in a hilarious role), the bored-to-death editor of an Esquire-type magazine. Meanwhile, his buddy Ray (Zak Galifianakis)is a frustrated graphic novelist, comic-strip artist trying to hawk his work, with meager results. Zak's girlfriend Leah controls his every move, while Jonathan's girlfriend Suzanne moves out after Jonathan refuses to clean up his act according to her straight-edge wishes, i.e., no drinking, no pot smoking.

After losing his roommate/lover, Jonathan is unable to write, and suffers from a serious case of the doldrums. He mopes around his apartment, doing very little but reading Raymond Chandler novels and getting smoked up. Schwartzman is very good at conveying this bright-guy-turning-into-a-loser character. Apparently inspired by the Chandler novels, he decides to try his hand at being a private eye himself. Despite having no background whatsoever in police work, he figures he has nothing to lose and advertises on craigslist as an "unlicensed" private detective. He hopes that by doing this he will pad his bank account, as well as find inspiration for his writing. Thus, the hilarity ensues.

The series is stylish, with lots of allusions to Raymond Chandler potboilers, complete with gorgeous, troubled dames, topcoats, hats, and all the Chandler-esque parafernalia. Jonathan hasn't a clue as to what he's doing, but somehow his escapades all work out, with George and Ray as his Keystone cops sidekicks. Each episode is done tongue-in-cheek, requiring a large dose of literary license from the viewer. If the viewer has a sense of fun and enjoys a well-crafted farce, this isn't hard to do. I hope this series catches on, because in my household, this is half an hour of very entertaining television. All the actors do a fine job, my favorite being Ted Danson, who seems to thoroughly enjoy acting a fool and probably getting paid enormous amounts of money to do so. Some of the scenes are sidesplittingly funny; others have a Woody Allen-ish charm, as Schwartzman is exactly the kind of appealing nebbish that Allen always played. I hope for more "Bored to Death" episodes of this caliber in Season 2.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Writer turned Gumshoe, July 23, 2010
By 
James Ferguson (Vilnius, Lithuania) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Bored to Death: Season 1 (DVD)
Fun series but you have to wonder about the sticker price as it only ran for 8 episodes. Fortunately, HBO plans to air another season, so if I were a shrewd customer, I would wait to see how it pans out. The show has a lot of potential, but had barely warmed up before it was over. Really love the interplay between Danson, Schwartzman and Galifianakis, especially in episode 6 where they stake out the beautiful blackmailer. Some fun cameos as well, such as Jarmusch making a surprise visit in episode 3: The Case of the Missing Screenplay. Bebe Neurwith pitches up in three episodes. Oliver Platt appears as Danson's rival and the lovely Laila Robins as Danson's ex in the closing two episodes.

Here's a list of the episodes:

Episode 1: Stockholm Syndrome
Episode 2: The Alanon Case
Episode 3: The Case of the Missing Screenplay
Episode 4: The Case of the Stolen Skateboard
Episode 5: The Case of the Lonely White Dove
Episode 6: The Case of the Beautiful Blackmailer
Episode 7: The Case of the Stolen Sperm
Episode 8: Take a Dive
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bored to death, got mad and lonely..., May 19, 2010
This review is from: Bored to Death: Season 1 (DVD)
If "Bored To Death" were a rotten series, it would be SO easy to make a joke about the title. Fortunately, Jonathan Ames' HBO comedy series dodges the bullet -- its mix of comedy, mystery and Ames' own personal experiences is hilarious, the writing is excellent, and Jason Schwartzman heads a brilliant little cast that manages to charm you as they make you laugh.

Writer Jonathan Ames (Schwartzman) is depressed when his girlfriend moves out. So after seeing a Raymond Chandler novel, he goes onto Craigslist and advertises himself as a private eye: "I'm not licensed, but maybe I'm someone who can help you."

Surprisingly, there are some takers. Ames ends up taking on several small-time cases, mostly centering around people/things that are lost or stolen -- a sister who vanished, a boyfriend who may be cheating, a script he accidentally lost himself, a stolen skateboard, a Russian convict who wants to find his true love, a blackmail tape, and lesbian con-artists who are... well, stealing something rather personal.

And while he does all this, Jonathan is dealing with the problems of his own life, such as his lingering love for his girlfriend and his stalled second novel. His friend Ray (Zak Galifianakis) is struggling with his controlling girlfriend Leah and his graphic novel career. And Jonathan has to babysit his insane boss George (Ted Danson), the owner of the magazine he writes for, who has his own set of weird personal problems (and frankly he doesn't seem to live in the same world as the rest of us).

"Bored to Death" is one of those comedy shows that doesn't really resemble anything else on TV -- it has a distinctly arty, New York flavor, but avoids seeming pretentious just because its lead characters are so earnest. And while there are plenty of hilarious situations (George and Ray attacking a blackmailer... armed with toys), it manages to never quite cross the line into total absurdity.

And the writing is really, really clever. Without resting too long on any one joke, the writers dabble in humor from colonics, therapists, sperm donation, vegans, pot, the Russian mafia and plenty of subtle literary references. It has plenty of hilarious lines ("I've always been intrigued by Stockholm Syndrome. Makes me think of my childhood") and funny dialogue, particularly between George and ANYBODY ("How long has Jonathan been in there?" "I don't know. I'm on marijuana minutes"). But the writers also include some powerful character-building moments, such as George's lingering love for his ex-wife (and what he does because she asks him).

Schwartzman is charming as a rather dweeby writer who is desperately seeking some kind of happiness in his life, but isn't entirely sure how to find it -- so he tries to help other people. Galifianakis is plenty of fun as his big hairy pal in dissatisfied maleness, and there are some great smaller turns by Bebe Neuwirth (as Ames' editor), Parker Posey and Oliver Platt. And of course, Ted Danson is ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT as Ames' world-weary, mildly insane boss.

If you like a clever, quirky little comedy without a laugh track, "Bored To Death" definitely won't live up to its name -- it's weird, funny and somehow endearing. If only I knew when season two was coming out.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars don't skip season 2, November 15, 2010
This review is from: Bored to Death: Season 1 (DVD)
I'm ambivalent about season 1. a little too Raymond Chandler/cartoony. but I did watch most of it so I started watching Season 2 which is the most hilarious tv show I've ever seen. Ted Danson is sure not the same one-note sitcom character he used to be. All three of the main characters and great and the guests are great and the writing is wonderful. so watch season 1 just to get in the swim before you really dive into season 2.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars feels like this show was made for me, May 23, 2011
This review is from: Bored to Death: Season 1 (DVD)
I think you have to be a certain type of person to love this show. Not sure what type of person exactly, I think you have to just try it out and see if it's for you. I love it. After "Firefly" it is my favorite show of all time. There is a lot of pot smoking humor, but I like that. All the characters are kind of pathetic, but in the most lovable way. This show doesn't make me laugh out loud very often, but it does transport me inside someone else's world. It's more engaging than hilarious, although each episode usually does build up to a hilarious conclusion. Also, it's pretty fun to get high when the characters do... if you think you might do that, you will most likely enjoy this show.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I DIG IT, September 16, 2009
By 
RAW (Portland, OR) - See all my reviews
If you have a fine appreciation for noir (Dashiell Hammett, Marlowe, Chandler) and smart writing, then this show delivers. It has clever banter, intriguing characters, with a slight noir twist poured in a shot glass. Jason Schwartzman is perfect as the lead, with a brilliant supporting cast of Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis. Color me impressed, and definitely craving more. HBO once again, has picked a golden goose...or falcon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This show is great., January 30, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you are a Jason Swartzman, Zach Galifinakis, and Ted Danson fan, you will like it. They are all in top form. It's cleverly written and funny. Additionally, the guess stars are great as well. Well casted, well written - a great show. And the theme song is very catchy. I'd check out Jason Swartzman's Coconut Records, as if you are fan of this show, I imagine you will enjoy his music as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clever, snarky and uneven, January 5, 2012
This review is from: Bored to Death: Season 1 (DVD)
Wildly uneven but ultimately quite enjoyable show about a writer whose boozing and smoking cost him his girl and award him a stellar scheme as a private eye. Bored to Death begins with this premise, and spot-on performances by its three leads. The jokes are witty and shrewd, relatively timely with jabs at sperm donation, the modern publishing industry, 'volcano' vaporizers, etc. Early on, cameos from people like Jim Jarmusch add a certain element of hipster street cred, as do references to about a bazillion writers. If there were an award for name-dropping dead white scribes, Bored to Death would take the cake hands-down. Not that this is necessarily bad. For a show about writing, it is assumed that the past informs the present and Jason Schwartzman's Jonathan (as well as his creator, also named Jonathan) has definitely done a great deal of reading. Somewhere around the halfway point, however, the season begins to lag. While earlier episodes clock in at around 30 minutes, a thoroughly lackluster episode entitled 'The Case of the Missing Skateboard' ends at a mere 20 minutes. Very disappointing, given the show's opening promise. These 20 minutes are packed full of Parker Posey looking old and out-of-touch in severely baggy jeans, forming a never-quite-explained or properly-ironed-out relationship with Jonathan and ending with a silly chase scene. Overall, a low-stakes episode that sets the pace for at least the next two episodes. The final two episodes, at last, return to the great wit and malice of the first two, making one wonder whether or not the first season would have been better as a two hour movie, instead of 8 episodes. All things considered, the show is well worth your $20, if only to see Ted Danson as a pot-smoking erudite maniac.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a look, January 6, 2011
This review is from: Bored to Death: Season 1 (DVD)
Not bad. Danson on the ticket got me interested as he's always fun to watch. Schwartzman is kind of a parody of himself as usual but I'm enjoying it. The situation humor is kind of understated, funny in a half tongue-in-cheek easy-going way and there are lots of throwaway bits of rather deep observations on life (and death), love and sex.. and, um, ganga. I like the show. Won't say it's the funniest thing I've ever seen, but amusing or entertaining aptly describes. Glad to see Ted up there again and he's still got it. Was great to see him in Damages as well. Bored to Death obviously isn't the heavyweight show that that one was, but it's great to see him again in the next best Danson comedy to Cheers. Speaking of stars, this one gets a fair few famous guests (Jim Jarmusch has a part in one episode as does Kevin Bacon and some others I recognized).. For a really funny and well-written detective series it's hard to beat "Monk", but if you don't come expecting too much, and enjoy a "dramedy" or a "mysteramedy" of types, you'll probably enjoy "Bored To Death". I plan on catching season 2.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Real name: We will bore you to death!, September 30, 2014
Most appropriate name because it definitely bored me to death, for the second time!!! You see, with so many options in amazon (yeah right) I have to give this a second try. First time I could only hold it for the first 5 minutes or so. Second time I went as far as minute 13. How in hell can someone call this thing a comedy? I assume there must be a few yuppies who identify themselves with this crap.
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