(S01E08) "You think we learned anything tonight?" - Jonathan
I'll tell you what I learned -- Bored to Death has a lot of potential. All season long, I've gone from loving to hating to loving this show, and with the season finale now come and gone, there's a real opportunity here for Bored to Death to become HBO's next break-out hit when it returns. All the pieces are in place and it probably could have blown up this season had there not been so many episodes where the show tried to find its footing. Is it a detective show? Or is it about three friends in the publishing world trying to make their mark? Or is it both?
(S01E07) "I don't mean to be rude, but I was transporting chilled semen." - Ray
What a great way to set up the season finale! At this point, I'm not sure Bored to Death has turned out to be anything like what HBO originally green-lit, but, despite its many ups and downs, it sure has been fun to watch.
Not only did last night's episode feature the return of two plots, that, when originally introduced, seemed like throw-away gags (Ray's sperm donations; George's rivalry with Richard Antrem), but it also featured one helluva line-up of guest stars. It bodes well for season two and even though we still have one more episode left, I'm feeling a lot better about the direction Bored to Death is taking when compared to Hung.
(S01E06) "Excuse me -- can I get a cheeseburger, no cheese, to go?" - Jonathan
Despite its overall mediocrity thus far, those of us out there who have been sticking with Bored to Death in the hopes that it would get less, well... boring, were finally rewarded. Not only was "The Case of the Beautiful Blackmailer" the best episode of the season to date (I know I've said that before, but clearly I spoke too soon), but it definitively justifies the show getting a season two renewal. This episode proved that the ensemble can actually work well together, and it also made one other thing very clear -- individually, Schwartzman, Danson, and Galifianakis are funny guys. But, together? Comic gold.
(S01E05) "Is vodka really made from potatoes?" - Jonathan
Bored to Death isn't boring me, but after last night's extremely slow episode, it's close. The premise of the show coupled with a really great cast speaks to the potential Bored to Death has, but save for last week's episode (the one with Parker Posey and still the best so far), there haven't been many high points. Last night's installment had some of those moments, but for the most part, I didn't give a crap about the white dove or why she was lonely.
(S01E04) "I'm almost done. Just three more tugs!" - Ray
After I screened the first three episodes of Bored to Death early last month, I had resigned to not watch it ever again. For the most part, save for Ted Danson's performance, there wasn't much I found funny about the show. Add in last week's weirdo installment featuring Jim Jarmusch and I wasn't sure what to think. Given the premise of the show, last week's episode didn't even feel like the same program. It was like they took a script from something else and just had the Bored to Death ensemble act it out.
But then HBO went and renewed it for a second season and I figured, hey - maybe I'll cover the rest of the season for TV Squad. Well, I'm glad I did. Despite numerous shortcomings, "The Case of the Stolen Skateboard" is easily the best episode of the series thus far. And Ted Danson? Still very funny.
Monk is one of those shows that struck a chord with viewers, because we saw a little of ourselves in the phobic detective played brilliantly by Tony Shalhoub. Ok, so maybe we don't all iron our shoelaces and avoid doorknobs like ... well, like the plague. But like Monk, we've all got issues.
And like Monk, some of us have trouble getting out of our own way. For him, that meant losing his detective job with the San Francisco Police Department.
To commemorate the 100th episode, they created Mr. Monk's 100th Case, and using a show within a show format, celebrated Adrian Monk, a modern day Sherlock Holmes. San Francisco's defective detective
Thank goodness it all worked! I was afraid we were going to get a clip-laden, down-memory-lane type of show with nothing remotely intriguing. No, writer Tom Scharpling and company were more clever than that.
There were other differences in tonight's show. The murder of the taxi driver brought Stottlemeyer and Disher to the case, and Natalie and Adrian, but also a San Francisco Homicide task force -- i.e. two other detectives.
Have we ever seen these guys before? I don't remember them. They were there for one reason basically, to contradict Monk's assertion that the prime suspect -- Layla with a Z, a beautiful social worker -- is not the "guy." In the face of mounting evidence, Monk refused to believe she did it.
For starters, there was no star murderer. It was an interesting case for a change, especially since the killer was a professional hit man. The planting of the bomb in the heavy bag was clever, although wouldn't a real pro make sure that the target would be hit? The set up was so random. And if you don't care about killing, why not leave a bomb big enough to destroy the gym and everyone in it? Just wondering...
Amber Tamblyn, pictured right with Ugly Betty's America Ferrara, has just signed to star in ABC's pilot The Unusuals. The show, a one-hour dramedy, is set in a Manhattan and will feature Tamblyn as a police officer whose choice of profession has made her the black sheep of her wealthy family. Tamblyn will play Casey Shraeger, a newly transferred homicide detective who learns that her fellow officers have quirks and secrets.
TV Squad reported last week that Lost's Harold Perrineau will be joining The Unusuals as well. The former castaway plays a detective who never takes off his bullet proof vest because he's terrified of being shot. Perrineau and Tamblyn are joined by Monique Curnen whose credits include The Dark Knight and Adam Goldberg from HBO's Entourage.
You can see Amber Tamblyn in theatres soon; she's back for a second installment of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
Before then, you can catch up with Monk, and USA's other whimsical detective series, Psych, when they air on NBC in March. Although it has not be announced as yet, USA will likely pick up Psych, too, and they will continue running in tandem.
I'm not sure how they're going to write his character into the show, considering the actor guest-starred on the season finale last month as a defense attorney. I didn't see that episode (apparently my Jeremy Sisto radar was turned off) so I don't know if he had any sort of background as a detective, or if L&O will just ignore the fact that he guest-starred and recast him as a detective by a different name.
It's a bittersweet announcement, really. Jeremy Sisto is a terrific (and super hot) actor, yet he has taken a role on a show that has dropped in the ratings and almost wasn't renewed this season.
The first thing I noticed is that, yes, the show is going to have voiceovers! Some people hate voiceovers, some people love them. I remember that Robert Parker hated the voiceover on Spenser: For Hire, when it was actually one of the cool things about the show. There's a lot of voiceover in this pilot script, and while I don't mind it, I wonder if it's too much.
I spotted a bus stop ad earlier tonight in the west end of Glasgow, designed in a typically 1970s fashion -- replete with the late 1970s BBC logo -- promising the return of this excellent retro-cop time-travelling show on Tuesday 13 February on BBC ONE in the UK.
John Simm will return as detective inspector Sam Tyler, who finds himself still stuck in 1973, following a car accident (the title of the show comes from the last tune he was listening to on his iPod before his accident -- David Bowie's Life on Mars).
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