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A Siren in a Poached Egg: Quick Thoughts on Season Two of HBO's Bored to Death

HBO's deliciously madcap comedy Bored to Death returns Sunday evening for a second season and not a moment too soon.

Created by Jonathan Ames, the noir-tinged comedy revolves around another Jonathan Ames, a failed writer moonlighting as an unlicensed private detective, played to perfection by Jason Schwartzman.

In an even more improbable meta twist, the real-life Ames guest stars in one of the second season's early episodes as, well, a naked man. If that's not a metaphor for the sort of zany navel-gazing that Bored to Death excels at, I don't know what is.

With its return, the series ushers in a hysterical and absurd second season that's far more focused on the triangle of friendship existing between Schwartzman's Jonathan, comic book writer/illustrator Ray (Zach Galifianakis), and pothead magazine publisher George (Ted Danson). While the troika spend the first half of the freshman season split apart, the writers have wisely thrust all three into a group dynamic, with Jonathan acting as the common thread that binds them together.

As we pick up with Jonathan, his second novel has been rejected by his publisher and he's resorted to teaching a night school class between detective gigs. While the gigs themselves are part of the overall fabric of the series, they're really more the means to an ends, an opportunity to examine our own expectations of modern society through the prism of hard-boiled detective novels.

In the first three episodes alone, this unlikely trio will confront mortality, morality, polyamory, adultery, kidnapping, penis pains, dungeons, yoga, night school students, cabaret, rental cars, and economic downturn.

In other words, Bored to Death is still anything but boring. Do yourself a favor and check out the weird and wonderful world of Ames and Company.

Season Two of Bored to Death premieres Sunday evening at 10 pm ET/PT on HBO.

Comments

A said…
I had the good fortune to attend a screening last night in a small cafe in Boreum Hill, Brooklyn. There was a Q&A with Ames, the comic artist that creates Ray's drawings (I forget his name, sadly) and Jenny Slate.

A fantastic evening, and a brilliant episode. Ames is every bit as hilarious in real life as his scripts would indicate!

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