Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bored to Death, "The Case of the Beautiful Blackmailer": Because they got high

Quick spoilers for tonight's "Bored to Death" coming up just as soon as I dispute my Amazon.com ranking...

"The Case of the Beautiful Blackmailer" did two very wise, albeit well-overdue, things: it let George in on Jonathan's double life as an amateur private eye, and it put Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis together. Danson and Galifianakis are from two different generations, and have two different styles of comedy, but funny is funny, and the two of them getting baked together was an inspired, hilarious sequence.

The one downside of the pairing is that it hung a lamp on how much the two sidekicks are carrying the show, and how little I care about Jonathan as either neurotic singleton, struggling novelist or bumbling private eye. He's as oblivious about his shortcomings as Jason Schwartzman was as Max Fischer in "Rushmore," but Max had a bravado and unswerving belief in himself that compensated for how inept he was at most tasks. I don't like Jonathan, nor do I find him especially funny most of the time, and watching the Ray and George scenes, I started imagining an alternate version of the series where Ray and George accompanied Jonathan on cases, but they - and we - never got out of the car.

What did everybody else think?

21 comments:

Andrew said...

Don't feel bad, Alan. "Stop Being a Hater and Learn to Love the OC" is currently ranked 906,676 on Amazon...

This should have been the second or third episode. A good case that actually managed to create some tension and have some twists, plus the phenomenal scenes in the car and the spy gadget shop. "I'm going to do all of my shopping here from now on."

I was expecting good things from Galifinakis in this show, and he has delivered the last few episodes, but I am finally coming around to Ted Danson now. He was coming off as such a space case at first, and it just didn't make me laugh. But I feel like I and, to an extent, the writers have found a better voice for him than his original characterization, which was bored rich guy wants to get high. While he still encapsulates all of that, there seems to be a richer layer of sadness to him that I am really responding to.

Best episode to date.

LA said...

"I'm on marijuana minutes."

Alan Sepinwall said...

Don't feel bad, Alan. "Stop Being a Hater and Learn to Love the OC" is currently ranked 906,676 on Amazon...

That high? Really? Wow. All things considered, that ain't as low as I was expecting.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused why you seem to be enjoying this show even though you admit that the characters are either very broadly drawn or not at all engaging and that half of the stories don't really seem to go anywhere, yet you're considering dropping Flas hForward already for basically the same reasons.

Bitsy said...

Alan said:
"That high? Really? Wow. All things considered, that ain't as low as I was expecting."

It's available for a hefty penny, too. Maybe it's the pink cover. Pink is a hostile color. Next time push for seafoam green.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Maybe it's the pink cover. Pink is a hostile color. Next time push for seafoam green.

Cover's more red or orange than pink. Must be a bad photo.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I'm a little confused why you seem to be enjoying this show even though you admit that the characters are either very broadly drawn or not at all engaging and that half of the stories don't really seem to go anywhere, yet you're considering dropping Flas hForward already for basically the same reasons.

Because at least some of the time, it makes me laugh, whereas FlashForward elicits no kind of emotional reaction from me whatsoever. As I so often say, funny forgives a lot.

Anonymous said...

dude whos the hot chick.. the blackmailer girl.. shes smokin

Bitsy said...

"Cover's more red or orange than pink. Must be a bad photo."

Yes, the palm tree implies the entire book is about The O.C. Something that appeals to the common man might have been more successful, like a five patty bacon cheeseburger, or a democrat on fire, or a television. Or three televisions. With a seafoam green background.

Steve Wirzba said...

This was the funniest episode so far for me.. Also, Allan I think you hit one out of the park with that idea! Or at least some show thats some alternate version of that idea, where we witness only what would seem the alternate/menial side of whats going on.

rcobeen said...

I just sent a copy of "Stop Being a Hater..." to my daughter at college. Hopefully I helped its ranking.

Lili DiVita said...

What are the lyrics to Bored to Death, (caught?) mad and lonely? (cut?) mad and lonely? Bodred to death (but?) mad and lonely.

lilic7@gmail.com TIA

Lili DiVita said...

I love the Jonathan character... he's vulnerable, likeable... sweet, but not a wuss... he's *so* vulnerable, and *so* honest, and therein lies his strength. The paradox is sexy, imo.

George and the cartoonist are funny as sidekicks. All three share a sort of pathetic, yet endearing quality.

rafa said...

I've laughed more at this episode that in all the others together.

Anonymous said...

I kept expecting George to offer Ray the job as his assistant instead of Johnathan, which would have immediately upped the awesome on this show.

olucy said...

What are the lyrics to Bored to Death, (caught?) mad and lonely? (cut?) mad and lonely? Bodred to death (but?) mad and lonely.

It's bored to death, cut, mad and lonely. Try watching with you CC turned on. The lyrics show up there.

dumneazu said...

Danson broke the sound barrier in this episode: he is worthy of being the icon of the aging hippy generation. I'm tolerant of a bland episode now and then, but I agree - the sidekicks are the focus, and that comes off as a fresh approach that makes this show something special. Let it mature and expand in that direction and we can perhaps expect a few seasons more.

olucy said...

This was the best ep to date, especially George's glee while shopping in the spy store and George and Ray in the car.

And I do understand your point about Jonathan being the weakest link. But if I used that criteria when watching Seinfeld, I would have stopped watching far earlier than I did (two years before the show ended). Because Jerry Seinfeld was easily the weakest character/actor on his own show, and yet he was the glue that held everything together.

Same thing with whiny Ted on HIMYM.

M.A.Peel said...

Hey fans, we are having an event at the Paley Center with Jonathan and Jason, and Ted Danson is now coming. Bored to Death: Raymond Chandler meets Craigslist 11/2
http://tinyurl.com/yf8ewjv

ellen said...

IMO, best episode to date. And I'm actually enjoying Jonathan's character.

Mr. said...

HBO must agree that Danson's carrying "Bored to Death", because their latest promo for show is All Ted All the Time.