Schwartzman, Danson and Galifianakis are back for another season of the HBO comedy series, Bored to Death.
Can the story of one man's pursuit to be a writer/detective keep living on? Come see.
The third season of Bored to Death is a strong one. While it's always been subtle in nature, the writing and acting really keep pushing the series into a bigger and better status. The comedy in this season has improved dramatically, as the actors seem to have convincingly become their characters. Schwartzman, Danson and Galifianakis bring their very best to this season, and it all starts off with a murder.
The first episode finds Schwartzman's Jonathan framed for a murder. While tailing a certain blonde for a client, he finds himself held up, knocked out and later awakened with a dead body and a gun in his hand (and his pants down). He spends the better part of the episode running from the police with the help of Galifianakis' Ray. What's brilliant about this episode is that Jonathan continually makes mistakes while trying to figure out a way to clear himself.The mistakes he makes are logical, funny and they fit the story perfectly. Also in this episode, George reunites with his daughter and her slightly older fiancee. It's a helluva way to open up the season and the series just keeps rolling.
Other episodes in the season include Ray developing an obsession with sleeping with older women, especially the likes of Olivia Dukakis (the lady still has it after all these years), Jonathan discovering his true father and also meeting a wonderful girl named Rose, played by the hilarious (and sexy) Isla Fisher, who is also a detective also on the search for her father. You also get some great episodes where Ray gets to spend time with his son, but keep in mind what type of character Ray is and ask yourself, 'should he be taking care of a child'?
With all this said, one of the best episodes in this series is called Forget the Herring. In this particular one, you find out Jonathan's father, you get a strong/powerful conclusion to Ray's relationship with Leah (played by Heather Burns) and you get some forgiveness in regards to George and his daughter. It's an episode that begins well and ends with a kettle drum pounding gambit of emotions. Don't get me wrong, the last episode of this season is pretty damn good, but I found the seventh to be just a perfect amount of everything.
Speaking of episodes, if you haven't noticed already with Bored to Death, the episodes come in small amounts. You get eight episodes on this season and this BBC type of technique works well for the show. It keeps the overall arc of the story short and it allows for more seasons (hopefully) that contain strong substance. There's nothing more irritating than watching a show and recognizing when the writers have simply ran out of ideas. Friends had this issue in each season, though the first five started out pretty damn strong. You can see towards the end of the show's life that it struggled to find the same solid humor that it use to have. Rationing out writing and strong stories in smaller doses allows for better comedy and stronger characters. Again, it's a BBC technique that makes a production damn good.
As I stated before, this show was born on subtle humor. It never gets to the point where it's drop dead, laugh out loud type of comedy. It's not a sitcom. It makes you laugh, makes you sweat a bit and gives you sweet moments here and there. It contains the perfect amount of all emotions, and it makes sure you know that on an episode-to-episode basis. For me, the third season of Bored to Death continues it's constant pace, but it delivers stronger characters and more refined comedy. You can tell that everyone on set, and on crew, are more comfortable with the material now. From this point on the sky is certainly the limit with HBO's subtle show.
The Blu-ray portion of Bored to Death: The Complete Third Season is darn good. You get very sharp video with little to no graininess or artifacts. The reds, yellows, blues and grays (sorry Ted Danson) stand out extremely well. Everything looks clean, crisp and beautiful in HD. The last episode of the season has some gorgeous shorts of a pier amusement park. Lots of pretty blue skies and colorful lights will remind you why you bought a Blu-ray player to begin with. It' simply stunning visually. As for the audio, it comes to you in 5.1 DTS-HD (do you need more than that? No) and the aspect ratio is 1.78:1.
Finally, as for special features, here's what you're looking at:
- Audio Commentaries
- Deleted Scenes
- Inside the Episodes
The audio commentary is gold, as well as the Inside the Episodes features. I've always been a sucker for outtakes, so that's a plus on this one. The deleted scenes are okay, as you'll find out why they were deleted. As a whole, I think there are better releases out there that contain far better features (see Once Upon A Time for details), but the real treat with this Blu-ray is the show itself. These are truly just 'bonus' features.