While preparing this post, I had to double check the time stamp on this week's episode because "7" just seemed too early. It literally felt like we were more episodes into the season. I even looked out my window to make sure the Earth had not been sent into some kind of time paradox where time runs backwards, the sun comes out at night, and golf is America's most watched sport.
Then when I looked over my notes for the recent episode, I realized why. "Slack tide" indeed.
This week's episode did have some very great moments that showed glimmers of the show's glory days, but the rest got bogged down in the same sidetracks that have dragged the rest of the season down with it. The plots may be in different pieces, but they are all in the same garbage bag as they float through the Gulf Stream.
(S04E05) - "If anyone has ever deserved to be on your table, it's this son of a bitch." - Harry to Dexter
Shows like Dexter are like Heinz Ketchup, good things come to those who wait.
The last few episodes, well, weren't the best of the season, maybe even of the series. They interspersed bits and pieces of the Trinity Killer's true identity with a bunch of dry and pointless plots surrounding the rest of the characters from Batista and Laguerta's closed door relationship to Quinn's "back door" policy with his nosy reporter girlfriend (not that kind sickos).
But it's finally starting to pay off with this week's episode. Some of those dull plotlines have brought together what appear to be some much needed closure and we finally learn another piece of the Trinity Killer's picture and it's starting to look like a Normal Rockwell as opposed to a blood-spattered Jackson Pollock.
For those who don't know the backstory, Dexter got in a very serious accident while driving home from a recent kill and fell asleep behind the wheel. He suffered a concussion and doctor's orders prevented him from driving. So one night, Masuka drives our boy home in the biggest, most bad ass 4-by-4 with lighting painted down the sides, suspension that reached the sky and a stereo system that could let him listen to loud, obnoxious country music from space.
Sounds like Dexter isn't the only one trying to wear a "mask" to hide a deep, dark secret.
Moving an unsuspecting serial killer to the burbs sounds like a pitch for a UPN sitcom. "What happens when a wacky serial killer moves into the wackiest suburban neighborhood in the wackiest town in America? You've got 'A Real Cutup.'"
Instead, this is where we find loveable ol' Dexter Morgan, played by Michael C. Hall, at the beginning of the fourth season of Showtime's most popular Sunday night drama that isn't all drama. It still plays heavy on the complex emotions and relationships that make Dexter's life so interesting, but it also features shimmers of laughter as Dexter tries to juggle the life of a father, wife, blood spatter expert, and avenging serial killer without relying too much on one device or character.
The promos for the new season probably made you think, as did I, that Dexter would go from kill room to kill room with a baby slung across his torso in a cute little mini rubber smock and welding mask.
But things are different for a twisted little space of pay cable called Dexter. The mere thought of putting a cute, adorable and affable little tyke into the mix sounds like something that would inspire the furious typing of a thousand angry Parents Television Council members' Selectric typewriters.
The latest addition to the Morgan clan is just a small addition to the newest season of Showtime's seriously macabre drama. It doesn't overtake the show and turn its serious moral tone into something ridculously psychotic like Three Madmen and a Baby. It's just one of many obstacles the world's most huggable serial killer has to deal with to feed the John Pinette sized appetite of his mysterious "dark passenger," and it's not all dark and drenched in blood.
He could dabble a bit of Pastor Footloose for his crazier side, adding in a smidge of Dick Solomon (3rd Rock From the Sun) for his everyday persona. But only a little, otherwise you've got crazy on both sides. Or maybe you want that. Dexter's fascination with Lithgow's character "Trinity" (dubbed thus for killing in threes) is how he's managed to be such a prolific killer and yet avoid capture for so long. I'm more interested in Lithgow's daily life. Is he married? Kids? And if so, how does he juggle so much "normalcy" with his extracurricular activities. Regardless of how it's presented, I think it should make for an awesome face-off.
Giveaways are one way to drive awareness -- and sample the product -- but another is with a print ad campaign. Recently, Gossip Girl came up with a savvy set of posters and advertisements to call attention to the naughtiness of the show.
Now comes a new, original campaign for Showtime's Dexter in which the Michael C. Hall's character is imagined on the cover of magazines. Dexter on Esquire, The New Yorker, GQ, Wired; high-profile magazines that have a distinctive look, reconfigured for serial killer hiding in plain sight, Dexter Morgan. The ads look amazing and will be seen in all variety of magazines and plastered up as posters all over the place.
When I posted the news items that came out of Showtime's portion of the CBS tour, the one question I got was "When will Dexter be back?" Well, network president Robert Greenblatt mentioned that the third season would debut in September. No word beyond that. Didn't seem like news to me. But there you are, Dexter fans; that's all I've got on that.
The executive session was introduced by a semi-funny clip from one of the network's stars, Tracey Ullman. Really, it wasn't that good, so I won't talk much about it here. Greenblatt also showed clips of The United States of Tara and Nurse Jackie during his opening remarks. Other than that? Well, isn't that enough?
If I was asked to say just one thing about Six Feet Under, it's that they don't shirk from anything. The Fisher family is complex and messy, but the writers and actors put it all out there, whether it's gay sex, drugs, mental illness, or, of course, death.
That last one is a good thing for me, because I go to a lot of funerals. In the past few years, I've lost two aunts, a dad, a father-in-law, a grandma, a sister-in-law, two cousins, and at least two dozen friends. I've written scores of obituaries and played my violin for dozens of funerals. I'm on a first-name basis with most of the funeral directors in town. And you know what? It's OK! Six Feet Under has helped me to see that. Read on for five ways the show helps me cope with death.
Dexter, which stars Michael C. Hall as a serial killer who murders those he feels deserve to die and remains under the radar thanks to his job as a blood-splatter expert in the Miami Police department, was a breakout hit for Showtime. CBS aired slightly-altered episodes of the twisted crime drama earlier this year, in part of fill the schedule holes created by the writers' strike -- and, ironically, the failure of shows like Cane.
It looks like early speculation was correct. CBS is "repurposing" the 12-episode first season of Showtime's hit series Dexter. The NYTimes' TV Decoder reports the network-friendly version will air on Sundays beginning February 7th at 10 pm/9 Central. Dexter has been a critical and ratings darling for Showtime, helping it surpass HBO as the pay-channel du jour for compelling scripted drama at water coolers everywhere.
This gives you one solid month to speculate as to what the censors will have to cut to fit into the time limits and decency standards of broadcast network television. The 10/9 time slot will allow some leniency, and with splatter and gore as staples on shows like CSI and Criminal Minds for years, there may not be as much editing as one would think necessary, save for commercial breaks.
December 16th's season finale of Dexter racked up 1.4 million total viewers according to Zap2It.com, making it the most-watched single airing audience ever for the channel. Said viewers surpass the previous record held by the November 18th episode of Dexter. Pop quiz: Has Dexter been renewed for a third season yet? Duh!
With Dexter the most talked about pay channel series going, even CBS is exploring that option to repackage it for air as a strike option, I would say it's a pretty hot commodity. No one would cancel a popular show like that in the middle of its successful run with no real reason to do so (*cough*The 4400*cough*)? That would be stupid!
EW.com put up the The Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations and we've got the nominees in the television categories for you. Not surprisingly, The Sopranos swan song continues to get awards show nods, with bids in all three categories it qualifies for. 30 Rock accomplished the same feat in the comedy categories. No other show was represented in all three drama or comedy categories.
Newcomers include Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Michael C. Hall (Dexter) in male dramatic actor. Holly Hunter (Saving Grace) was a new face in female dramatic actor, while Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?) and Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty) represented comedic actresses. Only Mad Men was able to creep in as a new show in the ensemble drama category. The complete list is after the jump.
The Icetruck site is actually a webvertisment for Showtime's Dexter, about a serial killer who works as a forensic analyst to help catch murderers. If that doesn't sound cool enough, it stars Michael C. Hall from Six Feet Under. What more do you need?
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