HBO needs a hit and with Bored to Death they have what is essentially a marriage between Andy Barker PI and Flight of the Conchords, as made by Jonathan Ames, with an eponymous struggling writer who moves between the party circuit gossip beat and pretending to be a detective on Craigslist.

It's not a bad combination, but where Andy Barker PI understood that it had to contrast Andy's mild mannered incompetence with wacky characters and extreme situations, Bored to Death risks accomplishing exactly what its title suggests, boring the audience, because neither the screwball comedy aspects of the show or its supporting cast really take it to another level.

Midway through the pilot episode of Bored to Death, Stockholm Syndrome, the noir almost takes over suggesting that we might go someplace more interesting than hipster purgatory, only to wind up with another uncomfortable situation of no real importance, besides giving Ames a chance to relate to another character's breakup. When the climactic moment of an HBO series tries to seriously recycle a chestnut that even web comedies like Legend of Neil mock, it's not a good sign. At the end, Ames is right back to where he started, which is the sort of irony that works in short stories, but not so much on TV shows.

Bored to Death does make good use of New York locations and has a talented cast. It shows a more realistic idea of what would happen to someone trying to play private detective with no clue of how to go about it, than say Andy Barker. But that isn't really much of a strong point, because that only makes the stories as bland as its main character.

Striving for the comic triviality of the detective action of The Big Lebowski as filtered through a Wes Anderson movie, Bored to Death fails to mine the ordinary for comic gold. Instead we get Ames arguing over falcon hoods and constantly telling everyone he drinks too much white wine. It's more random than funny, piled on top of a bland story that tries to pretend it's edgier than it really is by throwing in some drugs and language.