Tuned In

The Morning After: One-Two Punch

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HBO

It’s a sign of how much the broader cable universe has matured that the big Sunday-night finale we’re talking about was on AMC, and HBO’s shows are the afterthought. But last night’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and (especially) the season finale of Bored to Death were very good in their own right.

 

Bored to Death, which has gotten stronger every week it’s been on, delivered more of the screwball noir that we’ve come to expect from it. (It also, with guest spots from John Hodgman and Sarah Vowell, has become a kind of hangout of minor New York literary stardom; the McSweeney’s of TV.) I’ve enjoyed how, in the last few episodes, Jonathan has gotten increasingly confident in his moonlighting job as detective, even when it becomes apparent that he succeeds partly because of the ineptness of his low-rent targets, like the schlemiel blackmailer he managed to trap under a chair and threaten with a lockpick last night. But the closer also showed another side of Bored: a flash of heart, not just when George threw his boxing match for the sake of his ex-wife, but when he and Jonathan shared an unironic moment in the ring after the fight. I can’t wait for round two.

Meanwhile, I took some heat last week for leaving Curb Your Enthusiasm off my list of best comedies last week. For me, Curb is about where South Park is: great a few times a season. And “Officer Krupke” was one of those Curbs where all the disparate storylines fit together like clockwork. When it’s on, Curb is as assured in its tone and timing as anything on TV; take that great moment when Jeff and Larry check out the undamaged car as instantly reach the same conclusion: “Cunnilingus.” I still wouldn’t call it the best comedy on TV right now, but after last night, I wouldn’t blame anyone who want to tell me to go Krup myself.