Bored to Death


Every time I chew through another great TV series I fear I’ve come to the end of the line. Having just finished, Stranger Things and Call the Midwife on Netflix, I checked to see what I’d missed on HBO. And there it was: Bored to Death (2009-2011). Jason Schwartzman as a struggling Brooklyn writer, turned unlicensed private detective. Right up my alley.

The show is 30 minutes of dry delight. Wry, self-effacing humour coupled with 21st century narcissism, neuroses and first world problems: dipping into the worlds of literature, publishing, arts and academia – once mighty pillars of society now hanging on by a thread in the wake of social media and self-funded street culture. Brooklyn chill and Manhattan glint.

b to d

I’ll always remember the Ted Danson of Cheers but I think that character has been eclipsed by the wide-eyed, eager beaver gentleman of this show. And who can’t sympathise with the plight of Zach Galifianakis’ character, who suffered through his ex-girlfriend’s weekly fads (yoga, colonics, restrictive diets) – but is still desperate to get her back.

Still, you couldn’t really enjoy this show if you weren’t a fan of Schwartzman. Watch your way through his filmography and you’ll see some of the best indie cinema of the last 20 years; Marie Antoinette may have been panned by critics but is one of my favourite films.

marie an

Schwartzman is always brooding, always bright and in Bored to Death his reckless fearlessness begs a few questions: How is it that average people come to be embroiled in so many conundrums? Why is everyone a little broken in their own peculiar way? Is it better to meddle or let things work themselves out?




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