Yup, I Read Now

Bored to Death
October 12, 2009, 9:06 am
Filed under: Bored to Death, The Writer As Seen on TV

the writer seen-on-tvThe most realistic feature of otherwise far-fetched TV comedies about writers is the incredible lack of writing going on—in fact, it’s a trope that I celebrate. As someone who has just dropped a couple thousand dollars on a creative writing Master’s program, I should probably be embarrassed to admit that I spend more time actively avoiding Microsoft Word than I do filling up blank documents with my killer prose. While it would be a truly revolutionary show that depicted some terribly prolific novelist, sitting down at his or her (though, probably “his”) computer, hammering away at that keyboard for the entire half-hour/hour, clearly, no one wants to watch that—aside from the obvious dullness factor, it would be far too disheartening for all of those viewers of the frustrated-writer persuasion.

HBO’s Bored to Death—created by memoirist, novelist, all-around spinner of yarns, Jonathan Ames—is about a writer—also named Jonathan Ames—who spends his time not writing. After the success of his first novel, the fictional Ames—played by quirky-boy extraordinaire, Jason Schwartzman—is working on his second novel. And by “working on his second novel” I mean moonlighting as a private detective.

The show is four episodes in and though it has yet to impress me, my allegiance to the writer genre keeps me coming back every week. On last night’s episode Ames gumshoes it up, looking for a stolen skateboard. The plot is pretty flimsy, apparently just an excuse for a Parker Posey guest spot—she plays the hardcore vegan mother of the stolen skateboard boy.

bored_to_death_posterBored has already been picked up for a second season, which makes me feel like I’m missing something. With its Brooklyn setting and appearances by hipster darlings like Posey and cult director Jim Jarmusch, the show is evidently shooting for that cool people demographic. So, you know, I just might not be cool enough.


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