Monday, November 15, 2010

Bored to Death: Season 2

In Season Two of HBO's Bored to Death, the series maintained the same level of literary wit, straight male silliness, and thought provoking story lines. When I first heard about Bored to Death, I was a little turned off. I adore Jason Schwartzman (playing novelist Jonathan Ames), but Ted Danson I think of as so-so and Zach Galifianakis who I only think of as loud and boring. I wasn't sure how these three were going to mix together and create an entertaining series.

In Season One, we learn that Jonathan Ames is having money problems and writers block. In order to solve both, he puts out a detective agency ad on Craigslist. The first season goes back and forth with the detective story. Usually every other episode dealt with a case and the other in between episodes dealt with the characters story lines. In Season Two, it wasn't quite as back and forth, but a much better mix of the two.

The series brings an incredible list of guest stars: Oliver Platt, Mary Kay Place, Jenny Slate, Kristen Wiig, Jim Jarmusch, Kevin Bacon, and F. Murray Abraham. I always find guest stars to be an added bonus to any half hour sitcom when they are used correctly. And, in Bored to Death, the guest stars usually represent those who need Jonathan for a case.

Earlier I complained about Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis, but after this series I no longer feel the same way. I find Ted Danson annoying, but necessary on Curb Your Enthusiasm. On Bored to Death he is more than necessary. At times, he makes an entire episode a million times better. In this season, he deals with a cancer scare and takes up a lot of pot smoking. And, Zach Galifianakis is added slapstick and is used to add a little bit of a heart. I have grown to really enjoy both characters.

Sunday night marked the final episode of Season Two. And, I must say, it was an incredible season. Season One was successful for its setup of a quirky show and its cast of characters, but Season Two was successful in making us care more about the characters and keeping us entertained. Nothing felt old or recycled. I think this has something to do with the 8 episodes a season format. I feel a series is much better experienced when written and shown in smaller increments (none of this 22 episodes a season craziness).


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