Plot: What’s it about?
HBO, for those that don’t already know, has been a literal leader in quality, original programming for a couple of decades now. In the last fifteen years, however, they’ve really made their mark on culture by putting out original series. As we all know Sex and the City, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under and Deadwood are some of the most critically-acclaimed of recent history. Granted those shows have all run their course, but provided “A” list actors an outlet other than feature films. And, being HBO, they’re not relegated to the normal rules of network television (read: they can and do use four letter words). A couple of years ago I was channel surfing and came across a show that I later learned was Bored to Death. It stars one of my favorite actors, Jason Schwartzman as well as Zach Galifianakis who’s been in just about everything since The Hangover came out in 2009.
The third season of this show is, unfortunately, the last though there are talks to make the series into a TV movie (no telling if that will work). And if you’ve never seen an episode, then you might want to skip to the technical aspects of this review as my summary might give away a few plot details. We find Ray (Zach Galifianakis) who has just proposed to Leah (Heather Burns) only to be rejected. Jonathan (Jason Schwartzman), whose father has revealed to him that he’s sterile, is on a quest so that he and Jonathan can find their biological father. And that leaves us with George (Ted Danson) who opened a restaurant in New York has opposed (and later accepted) his daughter’s (Halley Feiffer) decision to marry an older man. I’ve got the previous seasons of this somewhere, but was really taken by how good it was. Like many other shows out there, it was cancelled before its time. But we do have all 24 episodes (3 seasons at 8 episodes a season) on disc format to enjoy. So…enjoy!
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in a 1.78:1 AVC HD transfer that’s reflective of the way they were aired. HBO’s shows have a very vivid look to them and this Blu-ray presents them in the best way possible. Flesh tones look acceptable, detail is consistent with what we’d expect (just look at the definition of some of those buildings in the background) and contrast and black leveld are on the mark, for sure. I really can’t imagine that this could look any better than it does and while a few scenes are a bit on the soft side, it’s nothing to get worried about. Viewers will be more than satisfied with the way this looks.
Audio: How does it sound?
The disc sports a DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, but let’s face it – it’s more of a surround mix than anything. Dialogue, the main use of audio in this series, sounds very good, clear and clean. Surrounds are used a few times, but nothing really stood out as being too memorable. While I’m happy that HBO is giving their series lossless soundtracks, I feel it might have been a bit wasted here. But, ‘tis better to have than have not.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The set isn’t without some bonus features, though, as we’re treated to a quartet of audio commentaries (on episodes #1, #3, #5 and #8) by Galifianakis, Schwartzman and Danson (among others) as they offer some insight and some witty remarks. There are also some deleted scenes, outtakes and the “Inside the Episodes” featurette, a “Making of…” EPK of sorts.