Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bored to Death

My new favorite New York story.

Bored to Death is an HBO series staring Jason Schwartzman as New York author Jonathan Ames. Jonathan Ames is an actual author living in actual New York, and he wrote the show. It's shot here, largely in Fort Greene, which is thoroughly recognizable. The other scenes are too; I was immediately able to place a bridge over the Gowanus Canal, the boardwalk at Coney Island, and Grand Army Plaza.

And I also noticed that the main characters were running through Grand Army Plaza, turned a corner and ended up in front of Moe's, a bar on Lafayette Street in Fort Greene, which must be a good mile away. And that the main character is always riding the F train, which doesn't go to Fort Greene. Is Fort Greene playing Cobble Hill or Carroll Gardens?

But no matter. So many shows in which New York plays a central row show stuff everyone knows about -- exclusive clubs, high-end boutiques, hailing cabs, the view from skyscraper windows, endless location shots of the Brooklyn Bridge. Those shows don't look any different to me now than they did before I lived here. Bored to Death is different. It's about shady Russians, Hasidic Jews, giant strollers, the Park Slope Co-Op, and, of course, working artists and writers sitting around Brooklyn cafes going "I hate my life." That is the New York that I know.

I should also note: as I told my friend Matt, and nearly forgot to repeat here, this show is basically Entourage for nerds, or at least the brownstone Brooklyn set. In this male fantasy, you get to meet Jim Jarmusch, draw comics for a living and smoke pot in a Suburu.

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