What d’you know, I judged a DVD by its cover and it was more than I expected funny. The cover has the three main characters posted in Charlie Angels’ formation. Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) choice of weapon is a glass of white wine, Ray Hueston(Zach Galifianakis) is a pint of beer, and George Christopher(Ted Danson) is shaken martini. (BTW the real life Jonathan Ames is the producer and creator of the HBO series). Basically their weapons define who they are, or at least their choices of alcohol beverages.
George is the editor of magazine publisher, and Jonathan (main character) is a writer, night school instructor, and a sleuth, and Ray is a comic writer; Super Ray is his super-ego impersonator, who uses his penis to save the world. Yes, an accident involves with a third rail gave him the super power! (Remember, this is cable HBO, so anything goes). If you watch Episode 7 “Escape from the Castle”, you will be shocked to see the amount of nudity in the Korean Spa, where most of the story takes place.
But then nudity is so common now in cable TV-land that it gets old quickly. So the attraction of this lesser known series is definitely about the writings and the dialogues among the three friends, and there are a lot of bromance going on as well among them, which makes this endearing because they have chemistry together, and I do feel that they are genuine in their friendships. George is a father figure/mentor to Jonathan and Ray is a brother to Jonathan. They are always honest with each other, such as Jonathan confesses to Ray that he almost kisses his ex-girlfriend Leah (Heather Burns) despite knowing the fact that Ray is still very much in love with Leah. Of course, Ray forgives him!
The nice thing is that each episode is guaranteed to have at least two stories: things happening among the three, and the detective work Jonathan takes on. Jason Schwartzman carries the show really well; he makes his character lovable. It seems to work for him with this type of nerdy, naive, and comical role. If you have seen I Heart Huckabees (2004), you will know what I mean.
This season that I watched has a few stars in it: Kevin Bacon plays himself in, (E5) – “Forty-Two Down”, who wants to buy the right of Super Ray; Kristen Wiig is Jennifer (E4)- “I Have Been Living a Demented God”, (E5), an alcoholic date Ray met at a local bar drinking; Olympia Dukakis in (6)-“The Case of the Grievous Clerical Error!”
How refreshing to have come across this!