8. Take A Dive
As series one draws to a close, Bored To Death is pretty insistent on going out with a bang. This episode follows immediately on from the previous, with the lead up to the boxing match between George against his magazine rival and also love rival, Antrem, Jonathan and the fork-tongued critic, Louis, and Ray agains some cartoonist at GQ, whom he bares no ill will against.
Keeping with the usual noirish themes, there’s drama from the get-go, with Jonathan being told by a mysterious blackmailer to take a dive in his fight or he’ll reveal that George uses Viagra, whilst George is persuaded by his ex-wife to “let Richard win”.
Fortunately for Jonathan, he is being blackmailed by a complete amateur who called from his home phone, and it doesn’t take Jonathan much to find him. It’s quickly revealed that it was plotted by Louis in an attempt to defeat Jonathan in the ring. George’s fight is much more of a conundrum. He’s told by his ex- (and Richard’s current) wife, that Richard has a heart condition and shouldn’t exert himself. It leaves George in a tricky situation, as he loathes Richard so much, but he doesn’t wish to hurt the woman that he clearly, and very vocally, still has feelings for.
The boxing scenes are well choreographed and excellently scripted, with plenty of laughs, but still leaving you rooting for Jonathan/George/Ray when they’re fighting. The episode, as a whole, is very beautifully shot, with the fight scenes looking convincing and the external training montage scenes with the Brooklyn Bridge shooting off into the horizon are truly exceptional.
Whilst the unfussy camera style during the day scenes never intentionally draws your eye to the scenery, it still manages to bring out New York in all of its glory, and I’ve found every episode of the series making me want to go there more and more.
So, as Bored To Death closes its first series, we can truly revel in what has been the most original comedy show in many years. Series two should be with us shortly, as it was screened in America last autumn, and with series three apparently on its way, I think we’ll be hearing from Jonathan Ames for a while.
Read our review of episode 7, The Case Of The Stolen Sperm, here.