Monday, September 28, 2009

"Bored to Death"

"Bored to Death" is the new well-publicized comedy on HBO written by Jonathan Ames as Ames further develops his body of work exploring himself through fact and fiction. In fact the lead character in "Bored to Death" is Jonathan Ames as played by Jason Schwartzman. Based on an Ames short story, Jonathan as a just jilted fledgling private detective, his best friend Ray, and his boss George navigate Brooklyn and Manhattan with their quirks, phobias, and various dysfunctions. George, played by Ted Danson, would win best supporting actor in a comedy hands down if there was a fast forward to next year's Emmy awards.

Looking at the promotion for this series, I thought Ted Danson? Somehow he never stopped playing the guy from "Cheers" or just his own mug, one dimensional it seemed. There was that scene in "Saving Private Ryan". After a mesmerizing first 40 minutes of the horrific storming of Omaha Beach and the climb to the overlooking bluff, Ted Danson shows up in some role as an officer and the spell is broken. How'd the guy from "Cheers" get up here. It was a good film but it never recovered its intensity after that cameo.

Improbably, in "Bored to Death" Danson is incredibly right for the role, written so perfectly for him. Virtually every line he has is worth a laugh, some a guffaw. What a surprise. Then there's Zach Galifianikis as Ray who plays that kind of smart but woeful character that might come and take up residence on your college dorm bed and just hang out, talking about himself, a loyal but hapless friend. He's got the slacker prodigy role just right.

I like "Bored to Death".


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