In the second episode of HBO's Bored to Death, creator Jonathan Ames draws us further into the artful landscape of his sexual fantasy life. Last week Jonathan found his girlfriend's 'G-spot' and frolicked with a dominatrix who shared his mother's name. This week, our hapless hero is coerced into voyeurism and polyamory. If we didn't know better, we might get the idea them high falutin', New York dandies are all weak-kneed, over educated pansies (lefty translation: flexible sexuals).
When we left our flighty fellows last week, George was to see his urologist about a pesky pain in his penis, but fortunately for George, his regular doctor has since retired, and to his delighted surprise, the new penis doc is an extremely attractive, age-appropriate brunette. Dr. Foxy lady brings a modernist approach to her urologic exams, one which involves the use of man-stirrups.
Says Dr. Foxy, this way "when I finger your prostate, I can look into your eyes and gauge your reaction. This makes me a better doctor." And the good doctor keeps right on looking into his eyes during his rectal exam, which George finds pleasantly...comforting. As it turns out, he is in good urological health, but she does find evidence of bed bug bites. Now he will have to stay in a suite at The Maritime Hotel and endure daily room service while his apartment is debugged. Oh, the trials of his misfortune!
As for Jonathan, he thought his relationship with Stella was solid, at least for the time being. " I thought you were happy with me. We found your G-spot and everything." Jonathan sure knows how to pick em'... she's the kind of babe who just can't stay content for long. It seems her friends at the co-op are experimenting with polyamory so she's decided she wants an open relationship since "monogamy sucks." What does 'open' mean exactly? In this case it means spending the night in a three-way cuddle with Warren, her old school chum and first love, just to see how things play out. Again, Jonathan and his luck; Mr. first love turns out to be a charmless chubbster who's ready for more than cuddling.
When Warren emerges from the bathroom in all his whitey tightey glory sporting a super-sized schlong, Jonathan is terrified that his rather, uh, modest pecker will pale in direct comparison. The next day, Jonathan seeks Ray's council. He simply must know if his penis is normal man sized or not; to Ray, "will you please look at my penis?" Ray reluctantly agrees and they end up in the bathroom with both peckers out comparing notes. Jonathan thinks Ray's looks odd, but Ray is proud of his member, "what... I have a long foreskin. Not everyone in New York is Jewish you know."
Too bad Ray's pecker is still lonely for Leah. It's been three weeks since their break-up and he's ready to try for a reconciliation, but when he shows up at her apartment unannounced, there is another man in her bed. Heart broken and angry, he chases her yarmulked lover out without a stitch of clothing. As he streaks by, his lily-white ass glowing in the dark, she tries to apologize, but he's forgiven her already, "it's okay, I'll call you later."
The case: "I think my wife's having an affair on the side. She's been suppressing a smile all week." (Richard to Jonathan)
Richard, who happens to be George's arch rival as well as his ex-wife's husband, offers Jonathan five times his normal $100/day fee to hide in his bedroom closet and spy on his wife. Jonathan is hesitant, but Richard plies him with cash and liquor in an oddly seductive way. "I've got Makers, Bushmills, whatever you want handsome." When Richard's hand lingers on his knee just a tad too long, an assistant walks in and accuses Jonathan of resorting to the casting couch for work.
The plan; he will sit in the closet on designated nights of the week. If there's any action, he will text Richard who will then dash home to catch his adulterous wife in the act. Simple right? With these idiots, of course not. The first night of Jonathan's closet vigil, the wife comes home with George. Who knew George was boning his ex-, certainly not Jonathan, but to keep his friend's confidence, he must lie to his client.
The interplay culminates with Richard's discovery- his wife is having an affair with her ex-husband and his "friend", he is livid at first...how could she? How could they? But he quickly rebounds; reverting to his creepy, man-love mode, he puts his hands on the knees of the men at his sides--George and Jonathan--and asks them both out for a drink. They all three agree, "sure, why not."
Yes, why not indeed. The male characters in this riotous romp are all sexual adventurists; each fully in touch with his effeminate side. In this way, they are not unlike the pansies of ancient Rome and Greece; when educated men of means were not bound by sexual conventions. If only Dr. Kinsey were alive to see his theories illustrated in farcical fashion. Just as he suspected, the sexuality of the modern male (and female) is a palette of grays.
Written by...........Jonathan Ames
Directed by.........Alan Taylor
Jonathan .........Jason Schwartzman
Ray................ Zach Galifianakis
Richard Astrem..........Oliver Platt
Pricilla Astrem...........Laila Robbins