In spite of its title, HBO's new series Bored to Death isn't deadly dull. But this mild-mannered comedic spin on Raymond Chandler-style detective stories could just as easily have been called "The Big Yawn."
Considering the premium network's edgy reputation and the talent involved, it's surprising that this noir-lite effort goes for the cute rather than the cutting-edge.
Jason Schwartzman, best-known for quirky movies such as Rushmore, plays a fictional version of series creator and author Jonathan Ames. Schwartzman's Ames is a New York writer in a rut who loses his girlfriend and can't get his second novel in gear - so, in a Walter Mitty moment, he decides to moonlight as a private detective.
By day, Ames hangs out with his comic book illustrator pal Ray (The Hangover's Zach Galifianakis), smokes pot with his magazine editor boss (Ted Danson) and drinks too much white wine. By night, he gumshoes around the city searching for missing sisters and trailing unfaithful boyfriends.
The whimsy wears thin fast, though, and it's no mystery that the show's sad-sack hero just comes off looking bored.
Bored To Death premieres Sunday, Sept. 20 at 9:30 p.m. on HBO.