Get Ready to Be Bored (Again): It's a miracle! After HBO put the kibosh on the Jason Schwartzman comedy Bored to Death in 2011, HBO Films has resurrected it in a new body: they've put in development a Bored To Death movie, written by the series creator/executive producer/author Jonathan Ames. If successful, BtD would join Sex and the City and Entourage as the third HBO series to get a big-screen feature. [Deadline]
Spoilers, Sweetie — Doctor Who Actress Joins Arrow: Now this is a song we'd like to sing. Alex Kingston, who plays River Song on Doctor Who, will recur on The CW's breakout hit Arrow as Laurel Lance's (Katie Cassidy) mother. Her character, Dinah, will return to Starling City to make amends with her family, after abandoning them years ago when she lost her daughter in the show's infamous yachting accident. [EW]
Breaking News From The Newsroom: Atlantis Cable News, meet your new litigator: Marcia Gay Harden will officially replace Rosemarie DeWitt in a recurring role on the HBO series, after DeWitt excited the show due to scheduling issues after filming a couple of episodes. Her character, Rebecca Halliday, will defend the show within a show in a wrongful termination suit. [EW]
Sorry, David Silver: Do you want the good news or the bad news first, Brian Austin Green? The bad news, you say? Okay, here goes. Look, we hate to break this to you, but your TBS show Wedding Band got cancelled after just one season. The comedy about — well you know, a wedding band — averaged 850,000 total viewers in the 18-49 demo. Okay, you want the good news now? You're still married to Megan Fox! Hooray! [Hollywood Reporter]
Seth MacFarlane's Next Order of Business: MacFarlane and his Ted co-creators (Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild) have gotten a 2013 - 2014 season series order for their multi-camera, live-action comedy. The untitled project is said to be about two successful thirtysomething guys who's dads move in with them and turn their world upsidedown! Sounds like a real calamity! But will the dads or the sons be the ones making all the non-sequitur jokes? [Deadline]
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Now that the Oscars are behind us, we can get back to the things that really matter…like heightening our senses for films to keep on our radar for next year’s ballot. If Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has taught us anything, it’s that the Oscars love family dramas; family dramas like this week’s Being Flynn. Despite it’s title, Being Flynn has absolutely nothing to do with Tron. The Flynn in this case is Nick Flynn, a young man who works in a homeless shelter in Boston. While there, he is suddenly confronted with his estranged, conman father. Based on a true story, Being Flynn has all the makings of a powerfully jarring drama. While the film’s main stars are Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore, there are a few young, up-and-coming actors to be found in the cast as well. One such performer is the beautiful and talented Olivia Thirlby.
Probably the role for which she’s most known, if you’re lucky enough to already know who she is, Olivia Thirlby appeared in the hit 2007 indie comedy hit Juno. The film centers on a high school girl, a social misfit named Juno, who accidentally manages to get pregnant by her longtime best friend. The film is a straightforward, yet charmingly quirky deconstruction of societal standards and traditional family values. Thirlby plays Juno’s best friend Leah who is an absolute riot. The things that come flying unrestrained from her mouth maybe the product of Diablo Cody’s wildly eccentric script, but Thirlby’s delivery is simply outstanding.
New York, I Love You
I really love anthology films. They allow multiple filmmakers to add their own perspective to one overall vision. And even if one individual story doesn’t work, you don’t have to suffer it long before an entirely new tale unfolds. In 2009, a conglomeration of directors got together to create a celluloid collage entitled New York, I Love You. The film is actually the follow-up to 2007’s Paris, Je t’aime, which featured several tales of love and human connections in the city of light. New York ,I Love You similarly explores love, but this time in the city that never sleeps. Thirlby turns in a rather meta performance as an actress in the segment directed by Brett Ratner.
Thirlby reveled as the feisty first love of a young and depressed drug dealer Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck), who also happens to be the chief supplier of her psychologist stepfather's (Ben Kingsley) regular intake of marijuana. Thirlby played the spirited love interest in a way we haven't seen before. Her character was inspiring, but not without her own pain and darkness weighting her down. Working in accordance with writer/director Jonathan Levine's fun and interesting script, Thirlby created an unforgettable and full character who, in the wrong hands, could have turned out to be just a vehicle for Peck's journey.
Bored to Death
Though short-lived, the HBO series Bored to Death made quite an impression with fans. The show follows a writer named Jonathan Ames, played by Jason Schwartzman, who spends his evenings working as a private detective. Co-starring Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson, Bored to Death is an off-the-wall satire of film noir and Raymond Chandler-type detective stories. Thirlby plays Suzanne, Jonathan’s ex-girlfriend who ends up providing a great deal of the character’s motivation and anguish throughout the first season. Considering how gorgeous as Thirlby is, I guess we can understand his unwillingness to accept that their relationship is kaput.
This entry may seem like a bit of a cheat, as it hasn’t been released yet, but Pete Travis’ Dredd represents one of the biggest reasons you’re going to want to become very familiar with Thirlby and soon. Dredd is the reboot of the comic book character Judge Dredd, whose escapades were already brought the screen once in the 1995 film starring Sylvester Stallone. Judge Dredd exists in a dystopian future in which criminality has become such a problem that a special police force is tasked with acting as judge, jury, and executioner right at the scene of the crime. As much as I thoroughly love the campy, cheesy goodness of Judge Dredd, I am very much looking forward to seeing Karl Urban’s take on the character and seeing Thirlby dish out justice right alongside the helmeted hero.
The writer hosted a bash in Brooklyn, declaring the event to be Bored To Death's "funeral", and invited devotees to join him to mourn the loss of the series, which was recently cancelled.
The bar was swamped with fans and Ames spent a small fortune buying them all booze.
Speaking at the party, he told the New York Post's Page Six column, "I was not expecting this. I'm gonna lose a lot of money. Everyone gets one drink. Don't abuse the privilege."
After the event, Ames thanked fans for coming in a post on his Twitter.com page, writing, "Last night's funeral for Bored To Death was our greatest premiere ever! Thank you to all the fans... who came out!!!"
Bosses at America's HBO network announced their decision to axe the cult comedy, starring Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis, on Tuesday (20Dec11) after three seasons on air.
The series' creator Ames has now decided to thank fans for their support by inviting them to a night out at a bar in Brooklyn on Wednesday (21Dec11) so he can buy them all a drink.
He announced the plan in a series of posts on Twitter.com, writing, "Fans of Bored To Death: come to the Brooklyn Inn tomorrow night at 10pm & I'll buy you a drink!... Thank you for watching us these last three years!"
Ames subsequently explained his decision to the New York Post's gossip column Page Six.
He says, "I went back on Twitter so that I could invite Bored to Death fans for a drink at the Brooklyn Inn, my treat, to say goodbye to the show. Maybe some people will show up... I plan to buy everyone a drink if they're a fan...
"It's been a loony and nutty three-year run, which I'm very grateful for. In the same way that Casablanca ended with Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains walking off, I hope that people will think of these three characters still alive... These were three very unique friends."
Today's news in HBO's renewals/cancelations offers both some good and some devastating developments. The network renewed its freshman series Enlightened, starring Laura Dern, favoring its critical celebration over its meager ratings. However, the network dropped the axe on series like its three-year-old dramedy Hung, its flashy look at the New York fashion world seires, How to Make it in America, and - get ready for the really bad news - its magnificent comedy, Bored to Death.
Hung, starring Thomas Jane, Jane Adams and Anne Heche, had a more sizeable fan base in its previous seasons. The ratings drop of over 40 percent in its third season, which concluded earlier this month, clearly paved the way for a series cancelation. How to Make it in America and Bored to Death also saw substantial losses this year.
What is most upsetting about Bored to Death's cancelation is that we'll now have to live forever with the unresolved conclusion of season three surrounding our lovably narcisstic and self-destructive hero Jonathan Ames, played to perfection by the wide-eyed Jason Schwartzman. Living without a weekly dosage of Zach Galifianakis is also quite a pity, especially since his character Ray was really beginning to pick up momentum in the third season. But the biggest tragedy of all is the loss of George Christopher—the multi-addict whose Peter Pan complex gave him an unmatched zest for living—portrayed by one of the unparalleled legends of the small screen: Ted Danson.
Looking on the bright side, HBO has some promising new shows on the horizon: Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Girls, starring Laura Dunham and created by Judd Apatow. Ricky Gervais' British series Life Too Short is also coming to HBO.
The actor was sitting courtside at a New York Knicks game against the Boston Celtics with Galifianakis and Bored to Death series creator Jonathan Ames when he saw Lee make his way towards the trio.
But the revered director was only interested in meeting The Hangover comedian - and Schwartzman was left red-faced as he tried and failed to shake Lee's hand.
He recalls, "We got to go to a Knicks/Celtics play-off game last year and I've never done anything like that. We sat courtside and I went with the real Jonathan Ames, who created the show, and Zach Galifanakis and it was incredible...
"Just over to our left was Spike Lee, who I'm a big fan of... I was really excited and he came over, he had his hand outstretched, and I was like, 'Spike Lee is coming to say hi to me, this is amazing, is this really happening?' So I stuck out my hand and he walked right by me and shook Zach's hand. I was so excited I thought he was going to go this way - Zach, me, Jonathan. But instead, he just shook his hand and walked away and left me there."
But Schwartzman was determined to say hi to Lee and shouted out to him before he could stop himself from acting like a crazed fan.
He says, "It was like a dream, I just yelled, 'Spike!' and he turned around and I said, 'It's Jason!' And he looked really confused and then he walked back and shook my hand and I went, 'And this is Jonathan!' And then he kind of walked away weird and then the Knicks lost!"
While HBO is better known for its powerhouse dramas, like Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones, it is no slouch when it comes to comedy. Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm and others have garnered respectable followings over the years. However, there is one HBO comedy series that seems incapable of winning over a sizable audience: Bored to Death. It's a strange, intriguing and fun half-hour series that follows the adventures of writer-turned-detective Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) in his constant attempts to keep his life interesting. Our hero is both named after and modeled after series creator and lauded author, Jonathan Ames. Although the episodes are consistently more interesting and original than most things on television, Bored to Death remains a pretty under-the-radar show. But rest assured, this well-cast detective comedy is more than worth snooping out.
Why You’re Not Watching
It’s Not Exactly a Gripping Title
Death is a pretty polarizing topic, but boredom is almost universally despised. So, you’re not exactly roping in the masses with a title like the one this show has curiously chosen -- its reverberation in the incurably catchy theme song does give it a more fun connotation, though. At first glance of the premise, it seems like a slew of other titles might be more applicable and effective: Head Cases (think about it), Murder He Wrote, A Brooklyn Tale (and if you think all of these are horrible, that's exactly what I was going for). But once you become ensconced in the series and its characters, you realize that Bored to Death is the only appropriate thing to call this anything-but-boring series.
It’s Not Always Super Funny...Just Really Wry
I can see how, for a comedy, this might be a deal-breaker. There are full episodes that you might sit through without really laughing, but that’s not due to bad jokes—it’s just because they’re not really shooting for laughs. It’s hard, actually, to pinpoint what the show is really going for, but I’d say: a clever, joyful, and fun look at unbridled insecurity. But don’t get me wrong: sometimes, it is laugh-out-loud funny. But only when it tries to be.
The ‘H’ Word
If those two rationales seemed a bit flimsy, it’s because this third issue is invariably the real reason some people know about this show and choose not to watch it. Bored to Death is, unapologetically, the most hipster show on television. I know that has become a lazy, all-purpose term for things that are offbeat, off-kilter, or just plain off. But in everything from the Park Slope location to the celebration of white wine addiction, the self-aggrandizing self-deprecation and the characters’ often vocalized obsession over the “in,” this show is practically a hipster parade. To some, this might be offputting. But really, it’s just a show that both appreciates and acknowledges the peculiarities and flaws in the lifestyles of three (awesome) men with too much time on their hands.
What You’re Missing
It’s Like Entourage for the Emotionally Damaged
It has been said about Entourage that one of the big reasons people loved watching it so much was that they enjoyed living vicariously through its characters. While the lifestyles of Vincent Chase and co. were ones real people are hard-pressed to fall into themselves, it was enough to spend thirty minutes a week watching the dream unfold onscreen, and then fantasizing a bit in the moments after the ending credits about how much fun that sort of life would be. Bored to Death has a lot of the same effect, just on a different demographic. Entourage spoke to people who longed for glamour, wealth, admiration, and a few carnal pleasures. Bored to Death speaks to people who long for adventure, danger, and general lack of responsibility. The show makes you daydream a bit about your own risky rejoinders through the nicer parts of Brooklyn—spending your days drunk and high, breaking locks and solving mysteries with your incredibly interesting best friends. Sure, you’d be a little nuts to consider this your ideal lifestyle (and probably in some kind of a midlife crisis), but no judgment: Bored to Death certainly depicts a life more quirky and intriguing than that many of us are living.
Ted Danson Like You (Probably) Haven't Seen Him Before
I imagine the real Ted Danson to be the coolest man in the world, which would still be possible if he was even half as cool as his Bored to Death character, George Christopher. Danson is most famous for his dim but down-to-Earth lethario, Sam Malone from Cheers. Later on, he took on the cranky, misanthropic title character in Becker. And now, he has lept full-force into madness with George Christopher: the pot-addicted writer with a Robert Evans-esque personal history who, in his later years, battles his insecurities by taking on every possible opportunity at fun and excitement that graces his path. Some might assume Zach Galifianakis to be the comic goldmine in this show. While Galifianakis' character is undeniably lovable, it is Danson who steals almost every scene.
Artist and Nerd Empowerment
It's a show that not only revolves around, but makes heroes (and supervillains) of writers, comic book artists, sci-fi enthusiasts, literary buffs, critics, journalists, and the devoted fans thereof. From the inception of the series, we are thrust into the world of these people and their kind. We are taken to art galleries, creative writing classes, comic book stores, and sci-fi conventions. Unlike other shows that claim to celebrate nerd culture, this one actually makes us feel at home in this world. Bored to Death highlights the wonders and inspirations of the nerd world, as opposed to relying on jokes about its geekiness and peculiarities. It just might make you consider paying a visit to the next Comic-Con.
The Bottom Line
Genre + Genre = Whole New Genre
Detective comedies have been braved before. Often, they become spoofs, i.e. the great Naked Gun movies. Sometimes, the fun is derived from the super-dark, super-stylized nature of the project, i.e. the great Sin City. But Bored to Death is something new. It doesn't spoof detective movies—incidentally, its mood and themes are more reminiscent of detective literature. It uses tropes and traditions from this genre, combines them with the like from the comedy spectrum, and and ends up with something not really definable in either genre. Bored to Death is light-hearted, even when dealing with dark material. It's mysterious, even when the characters are in between cases, enabling one another's narcotic addictions. The ingredients of Bored to Death add up to a whole new type of show, that operates on a rhythm unlike most comedies, dramas or mysteries. It is quick-witted, but very calm and smooth, even in its most exciting, high-stakes scenes. So how do we classify Bored to Death? Fun.
Bored to Death airs Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
Louis Ives has an obsession but not with movies or women. Rather he's obsessed with himself. He is one of the most self-absorbed characters I've ever seen in a story so naturally what happens to his him? He meets Henry Harrison -- a man more narcissistic than even he -- in Shari Springer Berman's The Extra Man.
Based on a novel of the same name by Jonathan Ames the film centers on Ives -- played by the young Paul Dano -- and his for lack of a better word issues. He approaches his life as if it's narrated by F. Scott Fitzgerald and he is a young gentleman living in the '20s. In reality he was recently fired from a position in Princeton (at a high school not the university) for putting a woman's bra on in the teacher's lounge. So he decides to move to New York City to "find himself." When he moves he finds an apartment with a crazy old man named Henry Harrison -- played by Kevin Kline -- who is an old eccentric Oscar Wilde-ish playwright spending his days shopping for ties in thrift stores dancing for exercise and living as an "extra man." Basically he lives the life that Louis wants.
And what's an "extra man " you're asking? Well number one an extra man is not a gigolo. It's better than that. He accompanies women -- mostly elderly millionairesses -- on dates to dinner art openings or other adventures. And as Louis lives with Henry he becomes fascinated with his lifestyle and in turn Henry adopts Louis almost as a son. Their relationship grows and the two become intertwined.
But remember that bra? Well it is a part of Louis' life that he does not share with his new found mentor. Secretly Louis is questioning everything about his sexuality. He doesn't believe he's gay but he's fascinated with feeling and dressing like a woman. Secretly he wonders about bras panties and tranny-bars and that is the dilemma presented in The Extra Man. How can Louis Ives live two lives completely opposite from one another?
The answer? He can't. And the audience will have a difficult time understanding this concept as it is one that just cannot be illustrated accurately on film. In comparison with Ames' novel Dano's Ives doesn't have much of a spine. Granted I expect someone who seems to be questioning everything in his life to have some difficulty making decisions but it felt like the entire film focused on Ives feeling bad for himself. Everything sucks. Nothing can get better. Blah blah blah blah. As someone who loved the book I felt this portrayal of Ives really diminished the battle of emotions that he went through. While reading I was genuinely interested in Ives' thoughts. While watching I just wanted to punch him in the face for all of his self-loathing.
Despite Dano's failure any time Kline is on screen as the crazy Harrison he lights it up. His lines -- constantly questioning the current state of the arts the English aristocracy or the holes in his pants -- are just flat out hilarious and he delivers one of the funniest performances I've seen in years. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed his crazy antics.
So overall the film is a "meh." I'd say watch it simply because Kline is terrific (and hopefully doesn't go unnoticed come awards time) but if you're interested in Ives' conflicted sexuality you should read the book.
Because this is a DVD review let's look at the bonus content. Honestly there's not much extra going on with The Extra Man. There's a deleted scene a cartoon a little behind-the-scenes footage and some commentary -- standard DVD extras for a film. Lackluster? A bit but there is a hidden gem in the there: Two tracks of commentary: one with author Jonathan Ames and Kevin Kline and the other with screenwriters and directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. I have to say it's the former that was my favorite part. Ames only contributed one thing to the screenplay: Henry's lines. And since my favorite part of the film was Henry Harrison it was extremely entertaining to not only hear the man who played the character comment on the film but the man who wrote the lines as well. Moreover the chemistry between them is great and it's very evident that they loved making the film together.
Sadly The Extra Man disappoints. Check it out simply because Kline is terrific but don't expect much more than that.
The There Will Be Blood star admits he was nervous about putting on a red slip and getting spanked by model-turned-actress Patti D'Arbanville in the new film, based on a novel by Jonathan Ames.
So he booked a private lesson in February (10) with Veronica Vera of Miss Vera's Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls to make sure he was fully prepared to wear women's wigs and lingerie.
Vera tells the New York Post, "He was a little shy about removing his clothes. He said, 'I don't know if I really want to take off my shirt, I'm kind of skinny.' And so I said everyone has body issues and I ripped his shirt off."