Pilot Review: Bored to Death

What a great name for the show, because pretty much everything in the show did exactly as it said on the tin. Call me peculiar, but I have a requirement that the very least a comedy should do is make me smile, optimistically it should make me chuckle, in an ideal situation, I’d actually laugh. This failed to do any of those and at times in fact was pretty damn depressing.

The primary concept is that the lead character (whose name I can’t be bothered to remember) is a writer struggling to write his second novel, he’s slightly obsessed with Philip Marlow who gets a job as a private detective. He’s really bad at it and sort of “charmingly” both solves and screws up the case. One of the opening lines is someone asking the lead character if he’s “another one of those self-hating New York Jews” to which his slightly ashamed answer is “yes”. If you’re Woody Allen, this is a decent set up for a character, Jason Schwartzman is not Woody Allen.

There’s all sorts of other stuff going on in and none of it works. There’s a best friend who wants to be an artist but is being pressured by his girlfriend to get a ‘proper job’. Ted Danson plays Schwartzman’s boss who bums pot off him and is utterly wasted (pun intended) in the 45 seconds or so he’s on screen. There’s an ex-girlfriend and at least two other women who could potentially be regular characters but they don’t have enough character to earn the title. There’s an obsession with Philip Marlow, but there’s no real effort made to make this like a noir spoof or anything that elegant.

The best thing about this is some nice graphic design in the title sequence, but I really can’t recommend doing more than watching that first 30 seconds.

Links: HBO Official Site, imdb, TV.com.

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