'Bored to Death' continually restores my faith in TV
Image Credit: Barry Wetcher/HBOI usually don’t have my act together enough to watch Bored to Death on time (HBO, Sunday nights, 10-10:30 ET). This week was different! So here I am posting about “Forty-Two Down,” which guest-starred Kristen Wiig as a wino wackjob and Kevin Bacon as his “highly evolved” (because he can’t grow a beard) self.
Bored to Death is a true delight. All of it. ALL THE TIME. I get so wrapped up in the details — thoughtful cinematography, my own neighborhood used as a romping ground (can’t hurt!), a never-obtrusive score — that when it all wraps up, it just seems to me like the entire episode was a perfect 30-minute symphony … and that I’ll be much more likely to mentally cope with Monday because of it. Last night, I marveled most at the unexpectedly sweet asides among the characters. This happens all the time — Bored to Death operates on a Wes Anderson-esque plane of refined absurdity rarely achieved in real life, let alone on television. This week’s episode just had so many of these subtle, often non-verbal moments:
++Jonathan after George told him he’d just written his best column: “Oh, that’s wonderful!”
++Zach Galifianakis’ eyes guiltily scanning crazy Jennifer (Wiig)’s body as he began to break up with her: “I hate to … spring this on you, but …”
++Jonathan to his client’s husband (Ajay Naidu), whom he followed into a diner: “Well, I just met you, but you don’t seem like such a nincompoop to me.” And the fact that his conversation-starter was A CROSSWORD PUZZLE!
++The wistful sideways gaze Jonathan gives just after ruining this man’s life, as the host of a wacky Indian restaurant asks him, “Table for one?”
++The way George followed up his devastatingly bleak “Print … is … dead” speech to Jonathan’s writing class with a soft, pensive “Questions?” (He’s so theatrical, like traveling motivational speaker Mark Twain!)
++George’s impromptu life lesson for Jonathan, delivered almost as an afterthought: “Oh yeah. In life, when in doubt, never meddle. It only causes problems.”
++George’s delighted look of approval for the man who just held him at gunpoint after hearing that the gun wasn’t even loaded and had been in the bottom of a drawer for years.
Maybe I’m going overboard a little here. Whatever! Since when am I in a good mood about television? Go with it!
Oh, one more thing, since I clearly can’t get enough of Ted Danson’s George Christopher. My favorite moment of his was when he answered a call on his land line while using a cell phone, then hung up on the wrong person — it was excellent foreshadowing for his later admission that sometimes, when he’s stoned, “the left and right sides of my body just don’t … communicate with each other.” To die for.
I am dead.
Who else is loving Bored to Death this season? Are you happy about Ajay Naidu joining the cast as George’s driver?
Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett