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.

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.

b to d
Zach Galifianakis and Jason Schwartzman.

I’ll always remember the Ted Danson on Cheers but I think his character on that show has been eclipsed by the wide-eyed, eager beaver gentleman on Bored to Death.

Bored to Death
Ted Danson co-stars.

Still, you couldn’t really enjoy this show if you weren’t a fan of Jason 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.

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?

Marie Antoinette
Jason Schwartzman in Marie Antoinette.

 

 

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