Bored to Death

Season 1 Episode 1

Stockholm Syndrome

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Sep 20, 2009 on HBO



  • Trivia

    • 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

    • Jonathan: Find him, we find her. Cherchez l'homme.

    • Suzanne: Pot is not healthy!
      Jonathan: They give it to cancer patients.
      Suzanne: You don't have cancer.
      Jonathan: Not yet.

    • Ray: I don't wake up at 11AM and go teach art.
      Jonathan: And if you did teach, it would be steady income.
      Ray: Don't be disgusting.

    • Ray: Therapists are heroic. They're the-- heroes of listening.

    • Jonathan: What's gross about him [Vincent] besides his tattoo?
      Rachel: I don't know. He's English, and he's a bartender. And he's old, like 30.
      Jonathan: That's not old. I'm 30.

    • Rachel: Guys who are assholes are always the best at sex. It sucks! I don't know why the world is like that.

    • Niko: The only reason to be with somebody is to have sex. I don't need sex. I mean, when you're doing it, it's okay, but when you're not, it's like, what's the point?

    • George: God, I'm bored. Death by a thousand dull conversations.

    • George: Men face reality. Women don't. That's why men need to drink.

    • Jonathan: I've always been intrigued by Stockholm Syndrome. Makes me think of my childhood.

    • Ray: I want to be the only child in a woman's life.

    • Leah: You should have stayed and held me.
      Ray: What am I, a hot water bottle? I'm a man. I have needs. You call this a monogamy? I call it celibacy.
      Leah: Those are big words for you. Did-- did you read them in one of your comic books?
      Ray: I read them in my diary. (cries)

  • Notes

    • 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.

  • Allusions

    • 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.