HBO is the source of tonight’s pair of premieres. First up is “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which has been gone for almost two years but is coming back in a big way, with most of the season centered on a reunion of the “Seinfeld” cast.
After “Curb” is the new series “Bored to Death,” from writer Jonathan Ames. Jason Shwarztman stars as a fictional version of Jonathan Ames, a writer who, dealing with a break-up and bit of writer’s block, decides to jump start his life by moonlighting as a detective, via an ad in Craigslist, of course. Zach Galifianakis costars as Ames’s best friend, and Ted Danson as his boss.
It’s risky titling a show with a phrase that could be used to criticize it, but the thing is, I was a little bored watching the pilot. Not bored to death, sure, but still…at least bored to semi-consciousness. The show is about a writer who smokes too much pot, and is written by Ames, a writer who often writes about smoking too much pot. Maybe if I was stoned while watching the show, it would have been a lot funnier and exciting, but while sober? It’s not very funny, and is pretty plodding. When dealing with a character who freely admits he’s boring and uninspired, it’s a bad idea to give him an alter ego that’s also boring and uninspired. This fictional Ames may be investigating potential mysteries, but his venture into the world of hard boiled detectives does not make him any less dull.
Of course, this is just based on the pilot, and some shows just don’t find their comedic grooves until a few episodes in. I hope that’s the case with this one, because there’s a lot of talent here, (Galifianakis is very good in the pilot), and the premise has promise. But for now, it’s off to a deathly boring start.