WATCH THIS: “Bored to Death” on HBO.

Bored to Death

Jonathan Ames, novelist, writer of Vertigo’s The Alcoholic and now television producer has a show on HBO starting this Sunday at 9:30pm.  Bored to Death is based on a short story by Ames in which he gets bored and decides to pretend he’s a private detective.  Naturally, this is a TERRIBLE idea, and all kinds of shenanigans ensue.

The pilot episode, that doesn’t air until Sunday night, is available to watch for free on Amazon.  Its a kind of indie darling, Peter Sellers Pink Panther attempt at Hipster dumbass private detective sleuthing. Its still enjoyable, and quite fun, and because it is Ames I could say that its probably going to be a darling of a TV show.  Ames writes on the show blog about how the story came to be. Essentially he was really depressed and was reading alot of Raymond Chandler so he decides to post an ad on Craigslist posing as a Private Detective.

Starring Phantom Planet drummer Jason Schwartzman as Ames and The Hangover‘s Zach Galifianakis as Dean Haspiel (well, his character name is different but his character is a comic cartoonist who runs an online webcomic collective and his sketchbook is full of Dean Haspiel’s art, but his character name is Ray Hueston) who is sex obsessed and Ted Danson plays Ames’s pothead boss, George Christopher.  Ames confirms Galifianakis’s character is drawn from Haspiel on the show’s blog:

The Ray Hueston character, played by Zach Galifianakis, is a loosely drawn — an apt choice of words, I should say — take on my dear friend, the illustrator, Dean Haspiel, who was my collaborator on The Alcoholic. I met Dean in 2001. I was sitting at the Fall Cafe on Smith Street in Brooklyn, after having played some pick-up basketball in Carroll Gardens and was feeling rather low. I must have gotten abused on the basketball court, a veritable petri dish for aggressive male behavior which I tend to find disheartening. Why do fights always have to break out? Can’t we just play? I don’t mean to sound wimpy; I like to fight in the boxing ring – well, actually, I like the romance of wearing a boxer’s costume, being hit and hitting are not that pleasurable — but on the basketball court insecure alpha-male behavior is time-consuming and people get in your face, often with very bad breath.

To gear up for the show premiere, Ames and Haspiel’s book The Alcoholic came out in softcover this week.  Its a kind of memoir, involving Ames struggle with addiction as it relates to post September 11th New York City.  Its a heartfelt book with one helluva ending.

Bored to Death premieres Sunday night at 9:30pm.

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