Although we enjoy Bored to Death’s hilarious story lines and overarching themes, we get at least as much pleasure out of its details — the literary references, the in-jokes, the real, New York City locations. So, this season, we’re publishing a weekly series of Bored to Death footnotes. Follow along with us after the jump as we go minute by minute through episode two, shouting out places we recognize and explaining some of the show’s oddball allusions. Feel free to point out anything we may have missed in the comments.
9:30 — Escaping from George’s house ahead of the police, Ray and Jonathan walk past 20 5th Avenue. That puts his apartment and restaurant squarely in Greenwich Village, between W. 8th and W. 9th St.
10:14 — “This thing is a real Shylockian fish hook!” Jonathan exclaims, looking at the caricatured sketch of himself on the cover of the NY Post. The Shylock in question here is, of course, the Jewish money lender who is the villain of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. As for the fish hook, we’re thinking Jonathan may be referring to this well-known passage:
Salario: Why, I am sure, if he forfeit thou wilt not take his flesh: what’s that good for?
Shylock: To bait fish withal: if it feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what’s his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge! If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge! The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.
11:10 — Hi, Patton Oswalt! One of our favorite guest stars from Season 2 is back, as Howard — the gang’s over-eager master of disguise (and firearms). He relates to our fugitives, recalling, “I was convicted of exposing myself on the D train. I never got the chance to clear my name,” and then mumbling something about cell phone cameras.
14:32 — Here we see Jonathan and Ray in what Howard has told them are Air Mexico pilots’ uniforms. Above, you’ll see what a real Aeromexico pilot looks like. The color is a bit off, but all around, not a bad copy!
18:42 — Jonathan, Ray, and George meet to take down Sid at the Prospect Park carousel — where, Kitty tells them, “all the ex-jockeys end up.” Although Brooklyn’s most impressive public park is generally a beautiful place, the zone around the carousel (where there is also a small zoo) is one of its strangest nooks.
20:35 — “You got three-dollar bill written all over you,” says Sid, explaining to Jonathan why they tried to frame him for a gay lovers’ quarrel. Although the old expression “queer as a three-dollar bill” used “queer” to mean “strange” (as in, it would be strange to see a three-dollar bill, because that’s not a real denomination), the saying is now used more and more to mean “gay.”
22:36 — In case you’re confused about who the cop Jonathan talks with at the end of the episode is, think back to the Season 2 premiere. We’ll give you a hint: bondage.