When Getting Blackmailed Was Fun

btdA weak couple of episodes of “Bored to Death” have paved the way for a great installment entitled “The Case of the Beautiful Blackmailer.” This episode utilizes a simple premise on sitcoms throughout the years infused with an edgy adult sensibility to create a unique experience in a show that has finally used some of its untapped potential.

A sexy woman is sleeping with married men, videotaping the act and then blackmailing them weekly. The latest victim has decided to hire Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) to retrieve the videotape, which makes for an interesting case. The case, however, is just a springboard for an episode that is a delightful treat.

What has always been a great element in sitcoms is the act of taking most of the cast and forcing them to be stuck together for the duration of the episode. A road trip, not making proper hotel reservations and locked doors have consistently proven to be sitcom gold. (Just look at the time John Ritter and Don Knotts were trapped in that freezer on “Three’s Company.”)

In “The Case of the Beautiful Blackmailer,” Ray Hueston (Zach Galifianakis) is Ames’ driver and lookout man on his latest case. On top of that, in need of some excitement, George Christopher (Ted Danson) decided to tag along.

This all leads to hilarity as the three men become entangled in this blackmailing scheme. It is also the first time that the characters collide in such an interesting fashion. Hueston and Christopher are forced to get acquainted over a great deal of pot smoking, which makes them lousy lookout men as Ames gets himself in a large amount of trouble.

Before their daring trip together, Christopher treats Ames to some spy gadgets at an upscale store in Manhattan with a clerk amusingly played by Patton Oswalt. Although this is the best of Danson’s appearances on the show, he still feels out-of-place in this young man’s world. Sadly, the sitcom needs to remove Danson to become great and it doesn’t look as if that is going to happen.

“Bored to Death” still suffers from some major setbacks, but this is the best that it can be for now and it is now officially worth your time.

About Anthony Benedetto 1 Article
I have always had a tremendous passion for the cinema. For me, movies provide a great escape. When done right, the characters and stories are something that I am instantly drawn into. Over the years, I’ve unintentionally become a movie encyclopedia that I often find myself the recipient of late night phone calls from my friends while at Blockbuster [One such conversation between the Editor of this site and the film “Redbelt” immediately comes to mind.] As far as my preferences go however, I love both the cult cinema and the classics. My love of film ranges from features such as “Amadeus” to “Sorority Babes in the Slime Ball Bowl-A- Rama.” I have a long range of film heroes as well that include, Michael J. Fox, Lloyd Kaufman, Robby Benson, Michael Caine and Jeff Bridges. On this site, I hope to teach people about cult cinema and have them rent films that they normally would not, turning you into the monster that I have become. Someday, I hope to be the star and director of my cult film, employing the old stop motion techniques used in films like “Flesh Gordon.”

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