Monthly Archives: December 2011

Five Predictions for TV in Five Years

New Year’s Eve seems like a fine time to speculate about the future of my favourite medium but, as the course for 2012 was charted in last year’s development cycle, I think it far more interesting to cast my eyes a little further ahead.  With that said, here are five predictions for the next five years of television. Continue reading

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Final Thoughts: Dexter Season 6

The only way I’m able to reconcile myself to this season of Dexter is to consider it a waste of time. These twelve episodes were, at their unusual best, fairly entertaining and, at their regular worst, an insult to fans who’ve stuck with this series over the years. Whatever you may think of them as entertainment, there’s no denying that they didn’t actually take us anywhere. With one God-awful exception, each character ended the season in much the same place that they began it. The primary purpose of this year seems to have been to get us to where we should have been at the end of season five. It’s best to just ignore how lazy and contrived Dexter’s been recently and focus on the story telling potential of Debra knowing about Dexter. I’ll be happy to put DDK behind me after this write up. Continue reading

Is this just horribly wrong?

Daddy learned about love this season, or something

Well… I’m not quite sure how to react beyond being glad this season of Dexter is over.  “This is the Way the World Ends” wasn’t as unwatchable as last week’s episode but it’s a bit like having ice cream after five courses of crap; nothing against ice cream, but you really just want the meal to be over.  Actually, I really like ice cream, better to call this episode a mint; not “bad” per se, but far from satisfying.  The cat-and-mouse game between Dexter and Travis was good, with DDK entering Dexter’s home as the episode’s highlight.  So I could, if I felt so inclined, take this as a kill of the week with unusually high stakes and enjoy it on that level… except for the fact that the writers did everything they could to undermine what should have been the biggest moment of the series thus far.  Deb found out, and I don’t care. Continue reading

Buffy is all of us. We think, therefore she is

It seems like I’m calling every other episode of season three “one of its best.” This is rooted not only in the show’s consistent quality, but in its seemingly endless variety.  It’s not just that so many episodes offer up a unique monster or supernatural hook, but that these things are used to open up new territory for storytelling.  “Earshot” sees Buffy gaining telepathic powers after her latest misadventure with a demon and, like most great Buffy episodes, it uses the mystical conceit to explore some very real elements of growing up. Continue reading

The Beginning of the End

Yes, there goes the last of our credibility

So, we’re all in agreement that was a terrible episode?  I mean, there’s nobody out there who actually enjoyed watching as Travis crossed the line from ordinary villainy into cartoon supervillainy, right?  And it’s safe to assume that everyone else was also gnashing their teeth as the writers pulled Deb’s “complex” feelings for Dex out of their collective asses?  Is there anyone out there that’s actually grown impatient with all this snark and is looking for some insight into this travesty?  I’m sorry if that’s you, but this episode has left me baffled as to who the hell this series is for. Continue reading

I’ve got two words that are gonna make all the pain go away. Miniature… golf.

I’ve marveled before about how brisk the pace of season three feels as compared to how drawn out it actually is.  Faith and the Mayor loom large as a pairing in my memory but “Enemies” is the 17th episode of the season and it’s only now that their relationship begins to take shape.  Sometimes things just “click” in a narrative, fitting together in a way that the audience can instantly appreciate without a lot of ground work.  Or maybe the groundwork was laid and we just didn’t know it; perhaps the “evil Mr. Rogers” is the natural answer to Faith’s inability to trust, someone who can offer her love and support without any of Buffy’s pesky moralizing.  I’m actually not that concerned with why these two make such a good pair as I’d rather just sit back and enjoy the hijinks that ensue, and what hijinks they are. Continue reading

I guess we all tell lies about ourselves

To Dexter’s credit, “Doomsday_Adam” was introduced last week, so he didn’t exactly come out of nowhere, but his appearance still presents a pretty big leap in logic.  Are there psychos out there who’re ready to move from vlogging to homicide with nothing more than a five minute pep-talk from Colin Hanks?  Sure.  Are two such psychos married, living in Miami, and fans of this particular religious nut?  I have my doubts but, to Dexter’s credit(?), it’s been prepping us for the absurdist procedural all season.  But I’ve complained enough about old episodes, let’s focus on what was wrong with this one. Continue reading

Old Reliable? Yeah, great. There’s a sexy nickname

I find it significant that both the Xander and Willow episodes this season involve an identity crisis.  These aren’t the first times the characters have dealt with who they are and who they want to be (it’s a big part of being a teenager) but it is the first time it’s been this direct.  Unlike Xander, Willow has a firm sense of who she is and how she fits into the group, she’s just not particularly happy with it.  While “Doppelgangland” rests heavily on the old “be careful what you wish for/be yourself” themes, it doesn’t let them override the need for self-assertion and growth.  This is a difficult balancing act, but this episode does a masterful job weaving both throughout its length. Continue reading

Stay behind me

First off, sorry for the delayed post, real life simply took precedence over this increasingly mediocre series.  Having now watched “Get Gellar,” I’m happy to say I didn’t miss much.  Yes, as everyone who was paying attention should’ve realized, Travis is crazy and Gellar’s his Dark Passenger in every sense of the word.  This episode provides a perfect example of what’s wrong with Dexter these days; rock-bottom expectations of the audience.  I’ve written extensively that great fiction makes demands of its audience, insisting on greater investment in order to yield greater payoffs.  Dexter’s become determined to serve things up to the audience on a silver platter and bafflingly confident that no one cares enough to ask a few basic questions. Continue reading