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Living in the Big Apple Just Isn’t Easy; Neither is Following Shows on HBO Canada

Posted by Somebody's Mother on 10:47 AM

One of my friends has been urging me to watch the HBO series, Bored to Death, which has been running at odd times on HBO. Strangely enough, it’s impossible to find out when a program is on HBO Canada unless you go on the Internet and check on HBO’s web site. In the case of this show, here is what you find: Jan. 8 -1:30 AM; Jan. 17 - 3:30 P.M.; Jan.24 - 3:30 PM.

This seems like craziness to me. Unless I am a virtuoso in the use of a VCR or have a handy dandy digital recorder, what’s the point in telling me to watch the show? I’m new to HBO, so I can only think that the show, Boardwalk Empire with Steve Buscemi is on all the time, and HBO shows a few other shows every now and then. Don’t get me wrong, I love Steve Buscemi in all the Coen Brothers films that he’s in – the dude abides, and all that – but HBO seems to replay certain series day and night and then they just go away!

The other night, I watched Bored to Death for the second time and actually laughed out loud in a few places. The premise of the show runs something like this: Jonathan Ames is a struggling writer in New York City whose girlfriend has broken up with him. His writing career is not going very well either, so inspired by a detective novel, he advertises on Craig’s List as an unlicensed private eye and clumsily solves mysteries while hanging out with his neurotic comic book writing best friend, Ray (Zach Galifianakis) and George (Ted Danson of Cheers fame) who is a marijuana smoking man about town and editor of a New York City magazine. This makes life more bearable and interesting.

I found the first show that I watched tedious, but the second episode that I watched was quite funny. It is definitely a character driven series, and though some of the situations are impossibly ridiculous, that’s where the comedy comes from. Ted Danson definitely steals scenes. He’s such a natural for this part, and his character seems to have no problem turning lemons into lemonade without mussing a hair on his beautifully coiffed head. Mind you, if you are offended by vulgar language and drug using characters, this show is definitely not for you.

Right after Bored to Death came How to Make It in America though that sequence may never be repeated on HBO again; it’s all about catching shows when you can. Another vulgarity warning for this show that is about yet another struggling young man in New York City. Ben (Bryan Greenberg) is an aspiring designer who is friends with Cam (Victor Rasuk), a free spirit and would-be future mogul. Cam takes it upon himself to get Ben “back in the game” after his breakup with girlfriend Rachel, now dating a successful hotelier. The show is all about the hustle to get money for projects and to network with the right people.

I loved how this show was shot and the script moved quickly. I was also surprised to find the characters more likeable than I expected from the beginning of the show. The two friends meet obstacle after obstacle together, and you can’t help but sympathize with Ben, who can’t even begin to get over his girlfriend, and is perpetually unlucky in love.


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