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Bored to Death: Season 1

4.0 out of 5 stars 2,180 customer reviews

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(Sep 21, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Meet Jonathan Ames: writer, romantic, unlicensed private detective. Moonlighting from his job as a novelist and writer for a New York magazine, Jonathan is looking to jettison some heavy emotional baggage (his girlfriend just dumped him, okay?) through an unusual second careerof cracking cases of missing persons, espionage and infidelity in the Big Apple.

DVD Features:
Audio Commentary


The male consciousness, in all its neurotic, demanding, self-deluding glory, runs amok in Bored to Death, an unusual and charming sitcom from HBO. Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman, Rushmore) is supposed to be working on his second novel, but instead he places an ad on the Internet, offering his services as an unlicensed detective. The promise of reasonable rates draws in cases: a kidnapped sister; an unfaithful boyfriend; a blackmailing one-night stand; a stolen skateboard; a long-lost love. His investigations are sometimes helped, sometimes hindered by his best friend Ray (Zach Galifianakis, The Hangover), a sexually frustrated cartoonist, and his boss George (Ted Danson, Cheers), a successful editor who's questioning the value of his career. Bored to Death is steeped in literary slacker quirkiness--hardly surprising, given that it's created by comic writer Jonathan Ames (whose novel The Extra Man is being turned into a movie), who's named the main character after himself. But while the show has a bit of a shaggy dog quality, it's more endearing than arty or precious. Schwartzman's nebbishy intelligence fits his role perfectly, and both Galifianakis and Danson have a field day with the contrasting narcissisms of their characters. The female characters aren't so well drawn, despite the presence of such engaging actresses as Olivia Thirlby, Kristen Wiig, Parker Posey, Bebe Neuwirth, and others. (Male guest stars include Patton Oswalt and Jim Jarmusch, which is about as hip and New York as you can get.) While male self-obsession can be intolerable in real life, as a subject for comedy it's rich material. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

Making of Bored to Death
Jonathan Ames' Brooklyn
Deleted scenes
Audio commentaries

Product Details

  • Actors: Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifianakis, Ted Danson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: September 21, 2010
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,862 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bored to Death: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: 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.
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