“You must really suffer from the terrifying clarity of your vision.” So says director Jim Jarmusch (playing himself) to Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) in HBO’s new private-dick noir comedy. Jarmusch might as well be talking to the real Ames, the author who, funnily enough, writes the show. It’s all a bit meta, but the overall effect is nothing short of spectacular.
Jonathan Ames (the one played by Schwartzman) is a struggling writer whose girlfriend, is in the process of breaking up with him and moving out at the start of the series. As some no-nonsense Israelis pile her stuff into the moving van, he whines for them to take it easy with the bed because “that’s our bed, you know?” Left alone, with only his bearded buddy Ray Hueston (Zach Galifianakis) and his weed-craving boss George Christopher (Ted Danson) for companionship, Ames (through Craigslist) embarks on a second career moonlighting as a private detective. Let’s just lay it out right now: Ted Danson is a genius, and his George Plimpton--esque magazine editor hits just the right pitch of crazy. Galifianakis, as the sex-deprived illustrator friend, continues to impress as today’s finest comedian.—Drew Toal
Bored to Death premieres Sun 20 at 9:30pm on HBO.