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December 21, 2014

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Remembering the happier times of Julie Benz's career

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 14th 2009 6:31PM
Are you still reeling over what happened to Julie Benz on last night's Dexter finale? Don't worry. Here's some digital Zoloft for you.

Benz got her first big break on the small screen way back in the early 1990s on the extremely short-lived ABC and Nick-at-Nite sitcom spoof Hi Honey, I'm Home! She played the show's archetypal '50s sitcom teenage daughter Babs Nielson. I don't know why it's so amusing to watch her on the show now. Maybe if it's because we knew that Babs would end up dating and marrying a successful serial killer, the original show might have lasted a little longer.

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Review: Californication - Mia Culpa

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 14th 2009 5:42PM

(S03E12) "That's the thing about secrets, Hank. They have a funny way of coming out." - Mia Cross

If last night's episode was the first episode of Californication you have ever seen, it might have left you more than a little confused. Your friends who gab about it around the office water cooler have always been telling you how its the raucous and dirty sitcom of the decade, a show that takes the wit of Robert Benchley and combines it with the out-of-control plot of those Spring Break party movies that used to play late at night on the USA Network.

You're tired of feeling like you're missing out on something awesome, so you finally decide to tune in and instead what you find is a rather heavy and deep emotional look at the effects of a life spent partying, boozing and philandering.

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Review: Dexter - The Getaway (season finale)

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 14th 2009 4:37AM
Dexter: The Getaway
(S04E12) "How is it that I kill people and feel no regret, but disappointing Rita can make me feel like the scum of the Earth?" - Dexter Morgan

I don't care what the issue is, what topic I'm discussing, or what area of my life needs improvement. If Jennifer Carpenter, the actress who plays Debra Morgan on Dexter, has the answer for me, I'm going to follow it to a tee.

That's because she can correctly predict the emotional outcome of any situation, including the reaction I'd have to last night's Dexter finale. I should really have her sit in on my next IRS audit. Chances are if she can't help me cope with the soul crushing inevitability of my pending financial breakdown, she can curse out the auditor and leave him in a bigger sadness heap than I'll be in.

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What to Watch: December 12-13

by Kim Potts, posted Dec 12th 2009 6:00AM
'Dexter' (Sun., 9PM, Showtime) season 4 finale
Just like the first season finale, this fourth season-ender is going to come down to a battle of two serial killers. Dexter emerged unscathed, physically, from his dealings with the Ice Truck Killer, but he may have met his match in the Trinity Killer, who warns Dex to stay away just as the police are closing in on him. Meanwhile, Mr. Morgan is not the only one whose career(s) are in jeopardy; LaGuerta and Batista face the fallout from their personal relationship becoming public knowledge.

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Jennifer Carpenter says to put your therapist on speed dial for Dexter season finale

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 7th 2009 5:54PM
If you've been following the fourth season of Dexter and his hunt for the Trinity Killer the way I have, then your butt is practically growing legs and willing to sprint towards this Sunday's season finale.

And now Jennifer Carpenter, who plays Debra Morgan on the show, is urging fans and new viewers alike to "have a good time talking to your therapists about it (the season finale) because it's beyond whatever you may think," according to a recent interview with E! Online.

Of course, this could all be just hype designed to draw in as many eyeballs as possible for a show that's already loaded to the gills with them, but I wouldn't put anything pass a show like Dexter. Despite the unevenness of all the plots this season, the Trinity Killer angle has more than made up for it. Could it be that we don't get to see Dex turn Arthur Mitchell into a human jigsaw puzzle on his kill table?

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Review: Dexter - Hello, Dexter Morgan

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 7th 2009 8:32AM
(S04E11) "Blood tech, husband, father, serial killer and now, Kyle Butler extortionist? Which one are you?"
"All of them."
- Harry to Dexter

It is always fun to watch Dexter struggle over his various roles and purposes in his life. He's become a juggler learning how to add just one more ball to his act even as he's trying to keep them all up in the air.

This season, he's had more than ever before in a single season. He's a heavily armed Rich Little and adding extortionist to his list was a real smart move until, of course, Arthur gets the better of him.

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Review: Californication - Comings and Goings

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 7th 2009 8:07AM
(S03E11) "Ladies, start your egos." - Richard Bates to Hank and Stacy Koontz

Hank Moody is the very definition of a man who deserves a serious ass-kicking.

He may not mean to act like the world's biggest douchebag. In fact, out of the entire world lineup of douchebags, he's certainly towards the end of life's long line. That still doesn't mean he doesn't deserve one less than the guy at the very front of the line, whoever that poor bastard may be. My money is on the mutant offspring of Attila the Hun and Spencer the Pratt.

But why does that guy who gets to deliver said ass-kicking have to be the world's dorkiest jilted man? A man who when confronting the man who gave his way a ride down the Pleasure Expressway challenges said man to a duel with blanks? And before you even think of asking, yes, copious amounts of alcohol were involved. Just another Sunday for Californication.

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Review: Californication - Dogtown

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 30th 2009 3:47AM
Californication: Dogtown
(S03E10) "I think that ultimately, [women] are going to have to raise the white flag and just accept us for the emotional retards that we are." - Hank to Charlie

This was a real uplifter from last week's dull and otherwise boring episode, if not for the courageous and outrageous efforts of Charlie and his quest to score Rick Springfield a bag of the Colombian itching powder. And I mean uplifter in both the quality and emotional sense of the word ... that I just made up.

The girls in Hank's life, Karen, Becca and Charlie's ex Marcy, go for a girls' night out, and Hank gives Charlie one of his world famous benders after he gets canned for losing Springfield as a client. But it's more about seeing how much greasy California cuisine and $10 a bottle booze they can shove into their systems. Like all great drunken road trips, it's a night of story-telling, story-making and personal exploration, if the memories can make it through the vodka and wine haze that follows them wherever they go.

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Review: Dexter - Lost Boys

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 30th 2009 2:32AM
Dexter: Lost Boys
(S04E10) "No one's ever going to hurt you again ... especially me." - Dexter to his infant son, Harrison

Every season, Dexter manages to learn something from every one of his various victims and kills: the origins of his "Dark Passenger," the need for humanity to have a silent hero, why you shouldn't share your serial killing secrets with your best friend.

This season's big lesson seems to be the deepest and most important of all: his family. Dexter kept Arthur Mitchell, the Trinity Killer (although after tonight, he should be redubbed the Trinity Plus One Killer since we learned that Lundy missed a crucial piece of his serial killings), on a long leash hoping to learn how to juggle his family mask and his private hobby, something Arthur has managed to do for more than 30 years. Unfortunately, the lesson he learned was a harsh one: your family is either a family or a mask and can be both. That and don't follow Arthur Mitchell's advice, ever.

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Review: Dexter - Hungry Man

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 23rd 2009 4:59AM
Dexter: Hungry Man
(S04E09) "Everything is exactly the way it should be. Perfect." - Rita Morgan

The season is almost over and that means things are bound to ramp up as Dexter moves in closer to kill the Trinity Killer. But this week, we get treated to a special Thanksgiving episode. Think of it as a sordid cross between the "Thanksgiving Day" episode from Father Knows Best mixed with the director's cut of any episode of Twin Peaks.

After explaining his identity, background and own "Dark Passenger," this week's episode dove head first into his family who aren't as Norman Rockwell as Arthur Mitchell might want Dexter and the rest of the world to believe. It turns out they are probably the most interesting aspect of Mitchell's twisted life and could turn out to be a huge asset to bringing the man down, now that he no longer has them in his upper hand.

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Could Christina have been the Dexter shooter?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 18th 2009 5:36PM
One of our ever alert readers pointed out a theory in last Sunday's episode of Dexter that sounds so crazy, it might just actually work. You've got to love TV logic. The craziest theories gain the most traction.

TV Squad reader Frank Militello aka mello one proposed that Christina Hill, the plucky reporter and Quinn's nosy girlfriend, may have been the trigger man, er, woman who wounded Debra and killed Frank Lundy.

The theory came on the heels of Debra's realization that the Trinity Killer could not have shot her since her wounds were too far down her abdomen. Christina also revealed to Quinn that her editor is one bloodless story away from firing her and she need more ink that "bleeds" and "leads."

Could Christina be Lundy's killer and if so, how would you feel about that?

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Review: Californication - The Apartment

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 16th 2009 4:45AM
Californication
(S0308) "For someone who loves women so much, you sure don't understand them very well." - Jackie to Hank

Hank makes for an interesting character because there is never one single, solitary way of looking at him. Some people see this alcoholic horndog as a success while others look at his cavalier exterior and think of him as an utter failure. He's certainly one of the most complex characters on television for a guy who has one thing on his mind, two depending on how much booze is in the house.

So naturally all of his bad decisions and mistakes will come back to haunt him, and this week, he got hit with them all at once in a bizarre clusterf#$% of sheer craziness. It's as if a tornado of tail just leveled Hank's house and life in the process.

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Review: Dexter - Road Kill

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 16th 2009 2:52AM
Dexter: Road Kill(S0408) "Born in blood, both of us." - Dexter on his and the Trinity Killer's creation of their "dark passengers"

Dexter and the Trinity Killer aren't the only ones on the show who have been paying back their anger for the pain the world has dealt them. The audience is in on the same game.

We've been sitting through weeks of boring and dry subplots about secret affairs and office romances that we couldn't care less about if we were actually one of their co-workers. But now we've been rewarded for our patience with some seedy and very interesting details about Dexter's main prey, the Trinity Killer, a man held in a very weak cage of despair and anger.

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Review: Dexter - Slack Tide

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 10th 2009 1:29AM
Dexter: Slack Tide(S04E07) "We all have secrets, Debs. Some of them shouldn't be found out." - Dexter to Debra

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.

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Review: Californication - Glass Houses

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 4th 2009 6:00AM
Californication
(S03E06) "L.A. is no place to raise a daughter...or a dad." - Hank to Karen

If I ever procreate and God curses me by turning said offspring into a female teenager, the last place I would raise her is Los Angeles. In fact, I would get as far away from that cesspool of pretentiousness and greed as possible; its literal polar opposite, in fact. That's right, I'd actually raise her in the Indian Ocean.

The idea had always been hidden in the back of my brain, but it was yanked into my consciousness by Becca and her snooty, drugged-up pal Chelsea. Both of them are really starting to piss me off. They are vapid, whiny and annoying. In other words, they are perfect Californians.

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