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Leave It To HBO To Find The Perfect Role For Jason Schwartzman

Last night, HBO had an hour of television that could become the funniest sixty minutes you will spend in front of the TV for the next few weeks. Last night, the first half was the seventh season premiere of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and the second half was the series premiere of “Bored To Death”. Being a day one “Curb” fan, you may be shocked to know that I actually think “Bored To Death” was way better and has the potential to be a better show in the long run.

You can call him Larry, I'll call him "Life Coach".

You can call him Larry, I'll call him "Life Coach".

The first episode of “Curb” had some loose ends to tie up from season six, in addition to setting up what will become this season’s running theme. There is always one central story line to each season and this time, my guess is we’re going to watch Larry attempt to win back his wife Cheryl, who left him last season. Of course, we alson have to deal with the Black family and the fact that Larry is romantically involved with Loretta Black (Vivica A. Fox). Toss in the mentally ill sister of Marty Funkhouser (Bob Einsten), Bam Bam (played by the great Catherine O’Hara), and we’re off to a great start.

Unfortunately, last night seemed a bit too phony to me. I love hearing Susie Greene scream at Larry but last night, it was forced, especially the whole “who’s coming to the party” argument. Besides, she didn’t even drop any f-bombs at Larry or Jeff so it’s just not the same.

Galifianakis + Schwartzman = Badassery.

Galifianakis + Schwartzman = Badassery.

Being a fan of Jason Schwartzman (so much so that I own Phantom Planet albums), I’ve been looking forward to “Bored To Death” for quite some time. Not only am I pleasantly surprised with how good the first episode (titled “Stockholm Syndrome”) was, I’m convinced this show is potentially as good or, dare I say it, better than “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.

This show centers on a New York writer/reporter Jonathan Ames (Schwartzman). After being dumped by his girlfriend Suzanne (Olivia Thirlby), Ames, in the midst of depression, posts a listing on Craigslist that declares he is an unlicensed private detective. He is shortly contacted by a girl who is looking for her missing sister and, for the rate of $100 per day, Jonathan takes the case.

If you have HBO and you didn’t watch this show, you need to check it out. Not only is it a clever detective noir story, it’s downright hilarious. Although, if you don’t like your humor dry, you may not dig it because this makes the Sahara seem like the Amazon.

Mark my words right here and now: Jason Schwartzman will win awards for this role. It is a great part and it is tailor made for Schwartzman. Add in a healthy dose of a subdued Zach Galifianakis and HBO, you have a hit show on your hands. “Bored To Death” also stars Ted Danson as Ames’ marijuana-obsessed boss, which means that you could potentially see Danson in three shows this fall, “Curb”, “Damages”, and now this.

  1. The Author
    September 28, 2009 at 3:21 PM

    Couldn’t agree more. Bored to Death is awesomely funny so far.

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