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Bored To Death: "I've Been Living Like A Demented God!"

Illustration for article titled Bored To Death: "I've Been Living Like A Demented God!"
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A few weeks ago, I posited that the show would be best if it kept its two worlds separate. Jonathan is a failed writer by day, a marginally successful private detective by night, and never the two shall meet. For a while, it worked; Bored To Death needed time to calibrate how far each version of Jonathan could take things. Then he hit bottom when his second novel was rejected, and managed to wipe a hard drive clean, saving a troubled police officer. Lows and highs established, it was time to bring the two worlds together. "I've Been Living Like A Demented God!" blurs those lines to funny effect, and is a big step for the series.

Our window into the ridiculousness of Jonathan's secret life is Louis Green, played to his maximum snootiness by the always delightful John Hodgman. Jonathan heads out to a local school to meet his new client: a creative writing professor who needs Jonathan to retrieve a signed copy of On The Road he traded for some drugs. I'm not quite sure where "theft" falls into the job description of a private detective, but regardless Jonathan's on it, heading to the quad to wait for the professor to ID the drug dealer. And it's there he runs into Green.

Bored To Death occasionally has Jonathan's personal life intersect with the mission of the day, like when he dumped his personal problems on the dominatrix and learned of George's cancer while being held in the Gowanus concrete plant. Usually, though, Jonathan is already deep into the PI stuff when the outside world comes a-knockin'. This time, though, it starts with Green and Jonathan stand there bickering. The drug dealer scoots off, Jonathan follows him, and Green, curiosity piqued, follows covertly behind The New York Post.

Green becomes a major liability. Jonathan tracks the dealer to Prospect Heights (perhaps the druggies like being so close to Bark?), and is discovered/promptly captured. Just when he's about to talk his way out, though, Green is brought in and in a moment of about-to-shit-himself fear, he reveals that Jonathan is a PI. Suddenly the dealers are on high alert and a key full of cocaine is shoved in Green's face. Jonathan looks over, sees Green as the sniveling worm—the kind of guy who won't snort the drugs because the key is unsanitary—and realizes though he hates the guy, he won't see him get hurt. Suddenly he's full-on suave detective guy, batting the bag of cocaine into the air, dragging Green through Prospect Park, and later grabbing a stick and showing off some unexpectedly badass fight moves. Jonathan's private life has changed him; he's braver and more willing to show it to those who knew him before. Still, though, the episode ends with Jonathan demonstrating his uncanny moves for George. It's nice to see that Jonathan is as surprised as any of us.

George and Ray stay mostly separate from the action. George spends the episode worried about a drug test at work, trying to coerce employees to give him some pee and then, in a moment of weakness, diluting his own urine with water and soap. The new parent company finds out, George admits to his cancer claiming the pot is medicinal, and we've moved on. A few laughs were had, but this part of the episode was largely forgettable. Ray's story wasn't very exciting, either, but provided enough outrageous moments to keep things poppin'. He discovers that not only did his comic make him popular among elf-eared devotees, but he also made a tidy little profit. (The dealer lives so close to the comic shop, I wonder if he reads it, too.) He heads to a bar and brimming with confidence and cash, seduces Trouble Carol, played by Kristen Wiig. Soon she's going down on his beard. Such is the way of Bored To Death.

Stray observations:

  • As usual, there's a fair amount of barstool philosophizing. George posits that if you lived life extravagantly in one area, your body becomes susceptible to disease right there, as his sexual prowess led to prostate cancer. He also fears dying aka "turning off like a switch," which is a pretty grim way to think about it.
  • "Diabetes foot."
  • That professor thinks he can retire off $75,000? He's obviously never been to New York.
  • Zach Galifianakis is the master of physical comedy, always. I like how the show includes those random moments of it, tonight with him scooting down to join Trouble at the bar.