Bored to Death

Season 1 Episode 1

Stockholm Syndrome

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Sep 20, 2009 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
150 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Broken up after his breakup with his girlfriend Suzanne, Jonathan Ames reads through Farewell My Lovely, his favorite book by Raymond Chandler. Enlivened by the novel, Ames places an online advertisement as an unlicensed private investigator. His first unwitting client who seeks his services is a 19-year-old girl looking for her missing sister.moreless

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  • Stockholm Syndrome

    Stockholm Syndrome was a fantastic beginning to this quirky and fun series. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of interesting characters, a good story and lots of laughs. It was sad to see Jonathan's girlfriend break up with him, the reason was serious yet amusing. George and Ray are awesome in their own ways. Jonathans first case was intriguing and I liked how everything played out. I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Start of a promising series. IF taken in the right direction.

    I decided to watch this show because of the cast primarily as the idea itself didn't attract me as much but it didn't totally suck. Nevertheless, the idea of the show [ a struggling writer out of bored and/or lack of inspiration decided to be a private investigator ] is not so well played, at least in the pilot. This guy could be anything really, the single "writy" thing about him is that he caries a book around. [ and yeah, the are some writers related analogies but in reality, anyone could do that. ]. I would definitely like to find out more of what kind of write is he and what's his all about.

    The secondary characters : his friend Ray [ Zach Galifianakis ] and boss George [ Ted Danson ] could be the wild card of this show but so far we haven't see anything but tiny glimpses of their personalities and they weren't actually included in the story, nevertheless,that can be a good thing as too many shows are giving us instant gratification.

    What i really liked about this show so far is that it has a certain atmosphere that captures the mood of the characters - confused,bored, slightly depressed - making the action seem really plausible although the case presented in this episodes was yawn-inducing.

    Well,not much more to say except for the fact that i do hope the characters will be more bounded in the next episodes and we'll see them as a team or something close. I can see George really buying into the idea but Ray,although he creates a super-hero world in his comic,will probably not be thrilled. The whole episode left me with a wait-and-see feel and the promise of more for the next episode.That plus the fact that it's a HBO series will make me tune in the next week.

  • Should be a great series

    Broken up after his breakup with his girlfriend Suzanne, Jonathan Ames reads through Farewell My Lovely, his favorite book by Raymond Chandler. Enlivened by the novel, Ames places an online advertisement as an unlicensed private investigator. His first unwitting client who seeks his services is a 19-year-old girl looking for her missing sister. Bored to Death looks like a really promising new comedy series from HBO. Love the cast they all do well in there roles. Funny premise good writing and well executed. I cant wait to watch mor of Bored to Death. I think this will be a great series.moreless
  • This show can only get better.

    What's It About?: Brooklyn writer Jonathan Ames goes on Craigslist and posts an ad as an unlicensed private detective. He then takes on cases involving missing persons, domestic issues, etc.

    If you're a fan of droll humor, then this might be a comedy series you'd grow to love. IMO, it showcases an amazing lead cast (Schwartzman, Galifianakis, Danson) and the characters play well off of each other. Ames' first case is not that interesting, but fits well with the show's brand of humor. The show features New York City, particularly Brooklyn, as its backdrop and plays loads of indie music. Oh, and I love the opening credits!

    Verdict: I'm neither disappointed nor too thrilled with the pilot, but this one's a keeper. I'm hoping Galifianakis is used more in future episodes. I'm also looking forward to some familiar names (Kristen Wiig, Oliver Platt, Parker Posey) as guest stars. It's on HBO, so the chances of it staying on air are higher (I hope).moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The speech bubbles between Ray's depiction of himself as a superhero therapy patient and of Jonathan as a therapist reads:

      Superhero Ray: I don't feel like anybody really knows me.
      Therapist Jonathan: I understand.

    • The text found inside the book in the opening credits reads:

      Private Detective For Hire
      Reply to:
      Date: 2007-04-13, 8:31AM EST

      Specializing: Missing Persons, Domestic issues.
      I'm not licensed, but I'm someone who can help you.
      My fee is reasonable.
      Call 347-555-1042

  • QUOTES (12)

  • NOTES (13)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Stockolmský syndrom (Stockhoml Syndrome)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      • Latin America: November 22, 2009 on HBO Latinoamerica Este
      • Czech Republic: March 30, 2010 on HBO
      • Turkey: May 10, 2010 on e2
      • United Kingdom: March 28, 2011 on Sky ATLANTIC/Sky ATLANTIC HD

    • In Jonathan's apartment, the books are all stacked on the floor, since Suzanne took the book shelves with her. The same thing happened to series writer Ames, who after five years had shelves again when the show's crew built some for him.

    • Moishe's, the moving company at the beginning of the episode, is the same company contracted by show creator Jonathan Ames when his real-life girlfriend moved out of their place a few years ago. Also, the truck used in the episode is not a prop but a genuine Moishe's moving van.

    • Location Credits:
      • Smooch Cafe - Jonathan tells Ray of recent break-up
      • Vesekla - Jonathan meets client Rachel
      • New York Academy of Art - Jonathan attends party
      • Screening Room - Jonathan and George smoke pot
      • Parkside Lounge - Jonathan talks to bartender about Vincent
      • West Side Inn - Jonathan waits for Lisa and Vincent to come out of motel room

    • The neighborhood of Jonathan Ames is shot in Fort Greene and is based on the actual neighborhood series creator Jonathan Ames lives in, which is Boerum Hill in Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.

    • Featured Music:
      • "Favorite Song" by KaiserCartel
      • "Mama" by Stephen Malkmus
      • "Bubblegum Morning 2", "In the Restaurant", "Blast off" & "120" by Michael Hampton
      • "When the Night Turns Cold" by Tobias Froberg
      • "No Fim Do Pais" by Mosquitos
      • "Skinless Boneless" & "Latin Quarter" by Big Lazy
      • "Double Vision" by The Ponys
      • "Never Thought I Was Invincible" by El Gato
      • "Lull" by Andrew Bird
      • "Halfway Home" by TV on the Radio
      • "Salad Days", "Choci Loni", "This Way", "The Taxi", "Radio Silents", "Radio Silents" (Reprise) & "Brand New Life" by Young Marble Giants

    • His inspiration for the character George Christopher, played by Ted Danson, is his literary idols George Plimpton and Christopher Hitchens.

    • The character of Ray Hueston, played by Zach Galifianakis is loosely based on Brooklyn illustrator and comic book artist Dean Haspiel, who collaborated with Jonathan Ames on Ames' 2008 graphic novel The Alcoholic.

    • The series' opening theme, "Bored to Death", is performed by Coconut Records (a.k.a. Jason Schwartzman). It was written by lead actor Schwartzman and show creator Jonathan Ames.

    • Casting Order/Dates:
      • 06/30/2008 - Jason Schwartzman (Jonathan Ames)
      • 09/03/2008 - Ted Danson (George Christopher)
      • 09/17/2008 - Zach Galifianakis (Ray Hueston)

    • Filming began in the Fall of 2008 in Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York and continued until Summer of 2009. Fort Greene, Brooklyn is used to depict the fictional neighborhood of Jonathan Ames in the series. Some scenes are also shot in Dumbo.

    • The lead character, Jonathan Ames (played by Jason Schwartzman), is named after show creator Jonathan Ames, who himself is a New York novelist.


    • Hotel Velma:

      The fictional hotel is named after Velma Valento, the one-time girlfriend of Moose Malloy in Raymond Chandler's novel Farewell, My Lovely.

    • The words and phrases displayed in the book during the animated opening credits (i.e. dark, shadows, style, a show tonight, a button and resigned, alcoholic, deep-end, etc.) are actual words from show creator Jonathan Ames' original short story, "Bored to Death".

    • The scene wherein Jonathan runs his hand through Suzanne's empty closet is a recreation of an actual event in show creator Jonathan Ames' life as chronicled in his essay, "Our Selves Between Us":

      "When I came back to the apartment, the first thing I saw was her empty closet. It had been filled with her pretty clothes for two years. That empty closet was like a grave. A death. An end..."

    • Jonathan compared his girlfriend's moving out to the "Raid on Entebbe". In July 1976, the Israeli Defense Forces rescued most of the people taken hostage by Palestinian hijackers aboard Air France Flight 139. The rescue mission took place at Entebbe Airport in Uganda.

    • George: Almost everybody has bad wine breath tonight. It's like Chernobyl out there.

      In April 1986, an accidental explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine caused radioactive fallout to drift over Western Soviet Union and parts of Europe and forced the evacuation of over 300,000 people.

    • The name Jonathan uses to sign at the motel is Philip Marlowe, who is the private eye protagonist in the detective novel series of Raymond Chandler.

    • Episode Title: Stockholm Syndrome

      McSweeney's Issue 24 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern), a collection of stories published in October 2007, includes Joe Meno's "Stockholm 1973", a retelling of the bank robbery after which the syndrome is named, and Jonathan Ames' "Bored to Death", on which the series is based.