Bored to Death is back! Are you all excited? If not, you should watch the first two seasons and then get back to me. It’s been nearly a year since the second season ended and the first two episodes of the new season feel like coming home. An incredibly fucked up, always stoned, and slightly Oedipal home but home nevertheless. It’s sad that Bored to Death is often overlooked because it’s actually one of my favorites, a much needed break from the overly dramatic and repetitive sitcoms. It’s a little gem on HBO that started out rough but quickly proved to be one of the smartest written comedies on television. It helps, of course, that it’s penned by the extremely clever Jonathan Ames (the namesake of the main character), an author who won’t let any embarrassing penis story go untold. The show also has some seriously awesome directing, one of the best title sequences, and a parade of guest stars (mostly comedians) who never overstay their welcome.
The show has a fairly niche audience and seems to cater to artsy literary Brooklynites (the first shot of the season three premiere takes place in Brooklyn’s Book Court, where the real Jonathan Ames also screened the first two episodes last night). Ames name-drops Salman Rushdie, not The Strokes, yet it never really comes off as pretentious because the characters are essentially just bumbling idiots. It’s also occasionally a send-up of the literary world and of the death of books — at a book signing early in the episode, Jonathan offers to sign Kindles and iPads. In the next episode a character states that the universe doesn’t care about books.
Bored to Death’s basic premise — struggling novelist decides to become a private instigator — is often the least important part of the episodes. Instead the show is about a friendship between three men: Jonathan (perfectly cast Jason Schwartzman), Ray (a toned down Zach Galifianakis), and George (the always hilarious Ted Danson) and honestly, the show doesn’t even really need a plot because I’d watch a half hour of those three actors just hanging out with each other. It’s my favorite “adult” friendship on television, one that revolves around blunt honesty, comfort, and weed. It’s about being bored, obviously, and choosing to turn your life into a fantasy. It’s a show that’s a love letter to Brooklyn, an homage to great detective novels, and a straight slapstick comedy. It’s a show about growing up, about being deeply insecure in both your personal relationships and your chosen career, about failings and missteps and fucking yourself over more than any other person can fuck you over, and it’s about copious amounts of wine. And it’s funny! Really, really funny.
But there are still cases to be solved! One of the best parts of Bored to Death is the mixture of the realistic with the whimsical. The show often dips into fantastical situations, or at least fantastical for a bunch of artists living in Brooklyn, but it never seems too far off. There is no Breaking Bad-esque dramatic tension. When guns are being shot at the boys, we know that they’re not going to die but it doesn’t make it any less fun. The show also seems to be raising the stakes with the action sequences — the first episode (spoiler!) ends with the Jonathan Ames character dangling from the minute hand of the Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower and waiting for SuperRay to come save his life. But because this is a show about characters, the personal stakes are also raised. This season will focus on the theme of fatherhood; Ray is suddenly a father after the lesbians who used his sperm (yep) split up and decided to allow him one day a week to see his son; George’s daughter is in town, in AA, and dating someone about her father’s age which is a perfect way to get his character to hash out some personal issues; and Jonathan finding out that his father isn’t actually his father and that was conceived with the help of a sperm bank in, ugh, New Jersey.
Bored to Death is never going to be a giant Modern Family or even Community comedy but that’s part of its charm. It’s comforting and refreshing. It’s an actual book in a world of Kindles.
I don’t think I’ve ever prematurely hated a show as much as I’m currently hating Whitney. I know that’s unfair and that I should give every show a shot (and I will watch the pilot, of course, because I watch everything and I especially watch terrible shows) but the ads are doing nothing to prove me wrong. The posters feature every tired joke about men vs. women, every boring one-liner about relationship woes, and it’s a perfect example of why the majority of the world still won’t take females seriously as comedians and/or writers. I hate this constant “Women in Comedy!” discussion as much as the next person and I’m sorry to bring it up but it’s a little infuriating when you can finally cite NBC shows like 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation and someone can just shrug and say, “Yeah, but what about that gal who is still making jokes about PMS and sweatpants?”
Maybe it’s true that the problem is NBC putting a tight leash on Whitney Cummings and really watering down her stand-up routine. I mean, if you like her, that’s fine! I don’t, but I did watch her stand-up special and I sort of understand the appeal — she talks about dating, right? And sometimes she mentions how it’s so haha funny that men are like this but women are like that and throws in a dirty word. It’s all really educational if you’ve never seen an episode of Home Improvement or heard some drunk hobo practice his stand-up routine on a three am subway ride. It’s also possible that the show is better than the advertisements and it’s actually really groundbreaking and laugh-out-loud funny but all of the previews are just as bad, though she did make it nineteen seconds before using her period as a punchline which is really neat! The thing is, at the end of the day, even after you strip down the gender conversation and just focus on comedy, this show is still seems like a huge failure.
But the bright side: The good thing about Whitney are the jokes about how terrible Whitney is.
1) A real ad for Whitney.
2) From “The Whitney Posters You Haven’t Seen Yet” on Best Week Ever.
3) One of Ben Siemon’s Rejected Whitney Ads — more on his Tumblr, and they’re all spot on.
I first met Dean not long after Tryscha and I hooked up. I had just gotten over a wicked fucking hangover that I won’t bother to talk about, except that it had something to do with a six-foot-five douchebag and a beer bong. With the coming of Dean Moriarty began the part of my life you could call…
Today, I came across quite the conundrum; all Apple devices running iOS 4 return the same user-agent, regardless of it being an iPhone 3G, 3GS or iPhone4.
This created a problem—last week I created an array of pixel-perfect icons for the Campaign Monitor mobile application, and instead of using a…
Oh hell yes. OH. HELL. YES.
Don’t Fear The Dowager: A Valentine to Maturity
An adolescent boy’s bed sheet semen’s worth of ink has been spilled lately about men acting too much like boys. But the trend of reverse-striving has crossed over: adult women are acting more and more like little girls, and it’s really starting to get on my nerves. There’s so much ukulele playing now, it’s deafening. So much cotton candy, so many bunny rabbits and whoopie pies and craft fairs and kitten emphera, and grown women wearing converse sneakers with mini skirts. So many fucking birds.
Girls get tattoos that they will never be able to grow into. Women with master’s degrees who are searching for life partners, list “rainbows, Girl Scout cookies, and laughing a lot” under “interests, on their Match.com profiles. When I shop now, I have to make sure that garments I think are dresses, are not actually rompers.
If you don’t know what rompers are, they’re shirts attached to shorts, and they used to be called onesies.
And despite the facade of cliqueishness, and female friendship, and the Romy & Michelle’ness of gal-pal fun times, let’s be real. We all know these manic pixie Muppet Babies are really just in it for the peen. And instead of acting like a woman who might remind a skittish bro more of his teacher or his mother, we’re going for the pubeless, twee, Anime-eyed version of whatever dream girl we assume they want or need.
It’s like how we used to hide our interests around boys (‘I hate math! It’s so hard!’). Now, instead, we’re singing the praises of Skittles Sours instead of emulating, say, Kathleen Turner? Barbara Stanwyck? Any female lead from the pre-awkward era who stuck out her tits and didn’t talk like Rocky from the Bullwinkle cartoons? You realize the Harajuku girls who danced behind Gwen Stefani, are like “seriously, bitches?” And then they go to book club.
It’s all to the same ends—- women are trying to broadcast to men that we won’t bite their dicks off. It’s just that now, instead of lipstick, we’re wearing glittery lip gloss, or that shit you get in the drug store that tastes like Dr. Pepper.
I’m begging age-appropriate females: Read something written before you were born. Stand up straight. Make sure you own one piece of jewelry that you did not purchase on Etsy. Use capital letters in an email to the guy you want to date. Let him take you out on a date, maybe not on a walk or an Xbox session, even if you are, God help you, addicted to LA Noire. Meet your friend for wine instead of fro-yo one night. Watch a movie with no early-90’s nostalgic appeal. Bitch, you already know Clueless by heart.
Nobody’s asking you to be matronly. Laura Bush is no longer in the public eye—as I write this, she’s cheerfully douching somewhere far away, in private. You can make your own modern womanhood—there’s no need to fear the dowager.
Because the larger issue is that it is a lot easier for men —or even guys or bros—to demean us, if we’re girls. It’s much harder to bring down a woman, or to call her a moron, when she’s in pigtails and Ring Pops. Not that his idea of you should influence your style, or your sense of self-worth. But I feel like in a way, it already sort of has?
YES, Julie Klausner. Yes.
If you want to create photos that are pleasing to the eye then listen up! There’s a wonderful photography rule of thumb, known as the rule of thirds, that can make your composition more interesting.
What is the rule of thirds?
Divide a photo into nine squares using two horizontal…
Dribbble has become a fantastic place to discover creative talent, and we’ve long been hearing success stories from Dribbble players who receive a steady stream of work requests via the site. We want to make connections between free agents and talent scouts even easier.
Today we’ve launched a…