Last week I read at least a dozen articles touting this new TV season. Community got the most kudos, Glee running a distant second.
As I always say, and mean, maybe it's me. All I'm doing is giving you my reactions. Believe it or not, it's possible I'm full of beans.
I gave up on Community halfway through. It wasn't bad but it didn't have enough going to keep me interested. Joe McHale is good but his constant choice of responses is the smirk and that can get deadly; the Chevy Chase character is a cartoon and not a good one; John Oliver, a likable Brit, seems miscast here; Gillian Jacobs, on the other hand, gives the show energy and dry humor. She's funny and sexy and just the right degree of cynical. I'm reacting to a single episode. The show has a lot of interesting elements. I'm sure I'll catch at least a few more episodes.
I'll probably even try Bored To Death at least once more though I'm not sure why. The closest equivalent to this show was Stephen Cannell's Richie Brockelman, Private Eye. He was the naive but cunning sidekick that Cannell introduced in the last season of The Rockford Files. The series was a spoof of all the weariest tropes and was a lot of fun to watch. It went something like five episodes.
Bored To Death on the other hand struck me as being about nothing more than two not-especially interesting narcissists played, respectively, by Jason Schwartzman and Ted Danson. Schwartzman and Zach Galifianakis are struggling artists (novels and comic strips) and Danson a world-weary owner of a trendy art gallery. My first problem is that I do not believe that anybody would hire Schwartzman's character as a private eye. Ever. Under any circumstances. And having never been much of a Danson fan, his attempts to convey Continental ennui were to me pretty embarrassing. Galifianakis saved the episode for me. The whole thing comes alive when he's on screen. His bitching, his self-pity, his paranoia--he should be the private eye. For one thing he looks a lot more competent than Schwartzman or Danson at just about anything you care to name. And he's a hell of a lot more fun. It's worth a second look but I'm not sure where it can go for here. The way it's set up I sense it'll be repeating itself endlessly.
The book HBO should adapt for a series is Lee Goldberg's The Man With The Iron-On Badge. It has a voice and world unlike any other p.i. novel I've ever read. And if you put Galifanakis in the lead you'd win Emmys for sure. Lee''s novel will be my Forgotten Book for this week.