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Bored to Death Season 3
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Bored To Death: The Complete Third Season (DVD)
§ Deleted Scenes § Outtakes § Inside the Episodes § 4 audio commentaries with Jason Schwartzman (Jonathan), Jonathan Ames (Writer/Series Creator), Ted Danson (George), Michael Lehmann (Director), John Hodgman (Guest Star), Zach Galifianakis (Ray), Tristram Shapeero (Director), and Adam Bernstein (Director)§ Deleted Scenes § Outtakes § Inside the Episodes § 4 audio commentaries with Jason Schwartzman (Jonathan), Jonathan Ames (Writer/Series Creator), Ted Danson (George), Michael Lehmann (Director), John Hodgman (Guest Star), Zach Galifianakis (Ray), Tristram Shapeero (Director), and Adam Bernstein (Director)
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For anyone unfamiliar with the show, Jason Schwartzman plays Jonathan. He is a novelist but also increasingly an unlicensed private investigator who picks up his clients off Craig's list. His friend who is his age is Ray (Zach Galifianakos) He is a comic book writer and often dresses in his character's caped costume. He has a loyal band of fans and followers. Jonathan's other friend is George, a former magazine editor who now is a restaurant owner. George is played by Ted Danson and is absolutely hilarious.
In a way this is like a very sophisticated, uptown version of the Three Stooges. The three of them have so many women problems that they may as well remain single and hang around one another. In this series, Jonathan discovers he has a biological father and tracks this person down. Only problem is that he ends up becoming enamored of his half sister while doing so without realizing they are related.
One hilarious episode involved Jonathan's taking George's daughter to a stake out. The action is so wild at this stake out with the people they are watching that George gets mad at Jonathan for corrupting his daughter and they end up in therapy together. I also loved it when George and Ray both became Don Quixote for awhile singing the Impossible Dream from Man of La Mancha as they run to their daughter and ex girlfriend.
A host of other famous actors come and go in this series. They don't seem to use anyone who isn't top flight. For example: Kristin Wiig, Oliver Platt, Olympia Dukais, Bebe Neurvirth and so forth. It is a who's who of the sitcom tv world.
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Like "Arrested Development" I feel the subtlety of this show will achieve the recognition it deserves long after the production ceased...
The LACK of the final two things I liked about the first two seasons are what killed the series, in my opinion, in the third season. The show went from yes, always being quirky, but where the characters seemed REAL, to a much more slapstick-y goofy, weird and even gross (in a skin-crawly way) feel. It was like the characters in this season were written differently from how they were in the first two seasons. Ames moves from a normal place into some weird DC-comics-type watchtower apartment. Rather than rooting for & liking Galifiniakis and Danson's characters as you do in the first two seasons, you pity them and see them both more as losers. Rather than being a neurotic, bored writer wanting to expand his horizons and cope with his loss of companionship like in the first two seasons, it becomes where Schwartzman is much more scripted Private Eye trying to be a like a quippy stooge, like someone in a Naked Gun-type movie. It is hard to explain exactly, but the season just fell right off the cliff after two great ones, and thus led to the show being axed.
Bottom-line: Sad deal this season was so bad - or DIFFERENT, one could certainly say, compared to the first two, but I frankly wish I had NOT bought this season after having bought the first two seasons - I feel like it was a waste of money. It is such a strange season, that while I would be happy to have most people in my life borrow the first two seasons, I would be embarrassed to let them borrow this one.
I hate to be a wet-blanket. I so deeply loved this series, and had such high hopes for Season 3 after waiting an INTERMINABLY long time for it, that perhaps disappointment was the only reasonable end to this love affair. But I simply could not get into Season 3. Ray (Zak Galifianakos) got on my nerves. What used to seem to be hilarious quirkiness and insecurity just began to seem like annoyingly exaggerated immaturity. Jonathan (Jason Schwartzman) was as adorable as ever, but seemed to be lost in his own cuteness. There were some clever scenes -- the one in which he discovers his paramour was really his sister comes to mind here -- but more often, Jonathan's considerable charm seemed wasted. The only character that didn't disappoint was George (Ted Danson). When they brought in Mary Steenbergen (his real wife) as his love interest, both were hilarious in their respective roles.
But for me, this season never quite took off. Jonathan Ames seems to have given up on it too. I don't know whether he simply ran out of ideas, or if Ted Danson getting the CSI role put the hex on it, but for some reason, it ended. As all good (and great) things do.
Alas. Maybe the brilliant Ames will come up with some other wonderfully witty, esoteric, quirky series. I hope so, because I will miss him.