HBO’s “Bored to Death” panel wins the award for Most Likely To Make Me Want To Watch My Advance Screener When I Get Home, but, then again, it’s already a testimony to how freaking busy I was before I left for California that I couldn’t find the time to check out a series that features a triple-threat cast of Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson, and Zach Galifianakis. When the panel kicked off with this trailer, however, I knew that, even though much of my pre-TCA time was spent trying to help my wife put together our daughter’s 4th birthday, I’d clearly spent that time poorly.
By the way, that was obviously a joke about spending my time poorly (the party was a huge success), but I’m completely serious about wanting to watch the screener as soon as I get home. In addition to the trailer, though, every single person on the panel was hilarious…even Schwartzman, who appeared via satellite due to filming commitments on “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.”
HBO’s nutshell synopsis of the series…or, at least, the opening paragraph of the press release for the show, which generally tends to be about the same thing…reads as follows: “Jonathan Ames, a young Brooklyn writer, is feeling lost. Heʼs just gone through a painful break-up, thanks in part to his drinking, canʼt write his second novel, and carouses too much with his magazine editor. Rather than face reality, Jonathan turns instead to his fantasies – moonlighting as a private detective – because he wants to be a hero and a man of action.” The idea of Schwartzman as a man of action is funny enough in and of itself, but then you’ve got Danson as the aforementioned magazine editor, Galifianakis as Ames’s eccentric best friend, and a premise (and cast) which lends itself to high-profile guest stars. Basically, if this show isn’t a hit, then it’s at least destined to be remembered as one of the greatest cult sitcoms of all time.
Oh, and did I mention that Jonathan Ames is actually a real person? True story. He’s apparently a rather prolific author, in fact. (My apologies: I wasn’t familiar with him before this.) Having listened to him chat during the panel for “Bored to Death,” I think it’s fair to say that the stars of the shows are going to be in good comedic hands. Personally, I was convinced of this when he was asked to explain why the show – which would appear on the surface to be anything but boring – was given a name which so readily offers journalists a chance to fire back with snarky punchlines.