Bored to Death: Season 1, Episode 6 “The Case of the Beautiful Blackmailer” (B+)
Now here’s how a show with very few characters can increase its potential tenfold: put the two supporting characters, who up until this point haven’t shared a scene, together for the entire episode. Predictably, neither of the hapless men get much of anything done, with the exception of getting stoned and then arrested. But it’s immensely therapeutic for both parties, and the participating audience, to spend time together, for each of them to be able to complain about their lives, and more importantly, empathize about their problems. Their inability to get anything done, especially in the face of Jonathan’s entrepreneurship in creating his detective agency and soliciting cases, is quite amusing. I particularly enjoyed Jonathan’s takedown of the beautiful blackmailer in this episode, triumphantly announcing that he’s not married and therefore the sex tape that’s just been created is of no consequence. His very self-assured, “gotcha” mode of revealing his hand is fun, and the fact that he manipulates facets of his real life by incorporating his ex-girlfriend Suzanne into his deception is entertaining. Jason Schwartzmann has a very distinctive way about him that really works for this show. It might be nice to have some permanent females around to try and straighten the guys out, but for now the three of them are doing just fine by themselves. They’re not getting much done, sure, but they’re providing excellent entertainment.