Tag Archives: Dexter

This Week 3/7 to 3/12

So yeah. I guess I’m back.

I’ve spent the last…however long its been…mostly hacking away at my To-Watch list of old. Progress so far: Seasons 1 and 2 of Damages, Seasons 1-3 of Dexter, rewatching Season1 of Dollhouse, attempting to watch The 4400, and then also watching hours and hours of Whose Line Is It Anyway. Next up is Season 1 of The Closer, and I’m very excited.

BUT. Time goes on. New things air. And I try to keep up, or at least catch up.

MONDAY:
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
8pm – The Event on ABC (2-hour midseason return!)
9pm – The Chicago Code on FOX
9pm – Being Human on SyFy

Of these four, I’m only current on The Event, and that’s only because there haven’t been any new episodes since my Great Catch Up of early January. Actually, I haven’t even started The Chicago Code yet. But people I trust tell me I should, so.

TUESDAY:
8pm – Glee on FOX
10pm – White Collar on USA

GWYNETH PALTROW IS BACK ON GLEE!!! (Which reminds me. I finally caught back up on Glee after my period of disenchantment. And I LOVE IT again. Good times.)

WEDNESDAY:
10pm – Justified on FX

Question for Wednesday: is Mr. Sunshine worth watching? I’ve been curious.

THURSDAY:
9pm – Bones on FOX
10pm – Facing Kate on USA

This week on Bones: continuation of the “sniper arc” I keep hearing about. What makes that actually exciting: Arnold Vosloo!

FRIDAY:
9pm – CSI: NY on CBS
9pm – Fringe on FOX

I really need to catch up on Fringe. I miss it.

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Zach Galifianakis and Jessie J.) on NBC

In Big Screen Brain news, I just saw The Adjustment Bureau. Expect a review in the next couple of days.

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My Favorite Guest Actors – Issue 2

I’m pulling this feature out of the deep recesses of early Melted Brain because, well, writing reviews takes thinking and that’s hard so I don’t want to but I do want to post something so this is the best I could come up with. These men (yes, all men this time – I don’t know why, but I have a hard time remembering or getting really attached to female guest actors) are some of my very very favorite guest actors. They’ve all appeared on several of my favorite shows and, I’ll be honest, they all have that capacity to be excellently creepy. I am nothing if not consistent in my tastes. Here we go!

Arnold Vosloo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He tends to be cast as “The Middle Eastern Guy” and it is in that capacity that he has appeared on several of my favorite shows. Most notably, he played the slipperiest, trickiest, most difficult-to-find-nevermind-kill main 24 villain, Habib Marwan, on Day 4. He has also appeared on Chuck and NCIS and, most recently, on Bones (and that role is being reprised soon as the touted “sniper arc” moves forward). Generally, it is versatility that impresses me in an actor. But that isn’t really what gives Arnold Vosloo his appeal. Instead, what most impresses me about his various performances is the consistent steadiness in his carriage. No matter what he is doing or saying, there is always a certain element of…class, I guess you could call it. Nervousness and wavering are just not in his vocabulary and, really, it’s that steadiness that makes him so appealing and intimidating as a villain. And there is nothing better than an effortlessly intimidating villain. Except for maybe an effortlessly intimidating might-not-actually-be-a-villain, which is also an archetype he plays.

Mark Pellegrino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This actor has a peculiar talent for portraying both innocuous benevolence and brute violence…often in the same character. The two best examples of this disparity are Jacob of Lost and Paul of Dexter. He is totally believable as a loving father/guardian type, as well as an abusive power-hungry sonofoabitch, and somehow he even carries off the transition between those two elements. It is thoroughly amazing. But, it is a little sad that he is being more and more typecast in that sort of role – other recent examples include appearances on Supernatural and Being Human. Though losing the opportunity to seem him anywhere at anytime would be sad, I would love to see Mark Pellegrino get his own show – preferably something that gives him a chance to show off a bit more versatility.

Titus Welliver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving right along to Mark Pellegrino’s opposite number from Lost, The Man In Black. Fittingly enough, he is somewhat the opposite as an actor. Titus Welliver shares the talent for straddling two seemingly incompatible personality traits within the same character. For him, the combination seems to be enigmatic menace and almost sissyish emotionality. My favorite role of his is Kyle Hollis from Life, a murderer-for-hire turned evangelist. It was the brief clip of that character’s preaching hellfire and damnation that really sold me on this man’s talent. That talent is yet another point chalked up on the board for “Reasons Why I Should Start Watching The Good Wife.” Also, he gets major bonus points in my affections for having one of the coolest names ever.

Tony Todd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony Todd is a bamf, straight up. The man is basically built to play menacing characters. He’s also got one of those excellent, excellent voices. He has played characters on both sides of the moral spectrum, but I definitely prefer his villains. He played General Juma on Day 7 of 24 and was pretty much solely responsible for what I consider to be the best (and by “best” I mean “most terrifying and exhilarating and adrenaline-rushy”) fifteen minutes of the season, possibly of the series. I’ll be totally honest and admit that he’s not my favorite because of his range, or even because of his talent. It’s pretty much just because he plays awesome villains and/or intimidating authority figures and any appearance he makes is sure to be good times.

Callum Keith Rennie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I’m being totally honest, I should probably start off this paragraph by being straightforward and admitting that, yes, part of the reason I enjoy Callum Keith Rennie so much is because he is attractive. But seriously, mostly I love him because he plays excellent creepers. My favorite role of his so far is probably Leoben of Battlestar Galactica because, thanks to the chance to bounce of the sheer brilliance of Katee Sackhoff as Starbuck, he got to dig his heels way deep in and explore that delicious moral gray area. His character from 24 (yes, 24 again), Vladimir Laitanan is a close second, but that’s probably because not only do I love charming-but-terrifying, I really love Russians. I was going to say “He’s another who I’d love to see have his own show.” But then I went to imdb and found out that he DOES – he plays the lead role, a detective with multiple personality disorder, in a Canadian show called Shattered. Guess what just jumped to the top five in my Need To Watch list.

Oh THAT Guy!: Issue 4

Here it is, a fresh new group of people who you’ve probably seen a billion times but haven’t ever really noticed or remembered. There are only four this time because I eliminated one at the last minute. As always, the pictures are linked to their imdb pages.

Dakin Matthews

Selected Appearances:
Desperate Housewives [multiple episodes] as Reverend Sikes (2005-2011)
True Grit as Colonel Stonehill (2010)
True Blood [multiple episodes] as Dr. Robideaux
Gilmore Girls [multiple episodes] as Hanlin Charleston (2000-2007)
Dexter “Father Knows Best” as Dr. Pittman (2006)
House “Damned If You Do” as Marvin/Santa Claus (2004)
Star Trek Voyager “Relativity” as Admiral Patterson (1999)
Flubber as Minister (1997)
The Swan Princess as King William (1994)

…and I’m going to stop there. This man has been in a million different things over the years, on American and British shows. Much of the time he plays, doctors, judges, or religious figures – basically, fusty or fluttery or finicky old man type roles. Nothing so significant that he is a household name, but more than enough comic bits to make him an easily recognizable face.

Hakeem Kae-Kazim

Selected Appearances:
NCIS: Los Angeles “Lockup” and “Harm’s Way” as Abdul Habaza (2011)
Human Target “Taking Ames” as Andre Markus (2010)
24 [multiple episodes] as Colonel Ike Dubaku (2009)
Othello as Iago*(2007)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End as Captain Jocard (2007)
Lost “The Cost of Living” as Emeka (2006)
Hotel Rwanda as George Rutaganda (2004)
*I haven’t quite been able to figure out how this can work.

According to his imdb biography, Hakeem Kae-Kazim is a classically trained UK actor with a lot of Shakespeare in his resume. On American television, though, he is currently the go-to guy for a very specific role: the scary-as-hell but also really smiley violent dictator and/or terrorist. Oh man is he scary as hell. And really good at it.

Carlo Rota

Selected Appearances:
Human Target “Imbroglio” as Eli Rosko (2011)
Little Mosque on the Prairie [multiple episodes] as Yasir Hamoudi (2007-2010)
NCIS: Los Angeles “Found” as Kalil Abramson (2010)
CSI: NY “Sanguine Love” as Joseph Vance (2010)
Castle “The Fifth Bullet” as Bahir Harun (2009)
White Collar “Threads” as Ghovat (2009)
24 [multiple episodes] as Morris O’Brian (2006-2009)
Othello as Othello (2008)*
Queer as Folk [multiple episodes] as Gardner Vance (2002-2004)
A Nero Wolfe Mystery [multiple episodes] as Barry Fleming/Felix Courret/Spiros Papps (2002)
La Femme Nikita [multiple episodes] as Mick Schtoppel/Mr. Jones (1997-2001)
The Boondock Saints as Yakavetta (1999)
*I find this Othello circumstance only slightly less puzzling than the last.

My first exposure to Carlo Rota was when he played the British comic-relief role of Morris O’Brian on 24. So, it rather confused me when I realized that the majority of his guest roles qualify as “The Middle Eastern Guy,” or at least “The Foreign Guy.” (…I guess British would count as foreign, huh?) Anyway, he seems to spend about equal amounts of time on the sides of Good and Bad, usually serving in small-time-crime-boss or dry-comic-distraction capacities.

Jeanette Miller

Selected Appearances:
The Middle [multiple episodes] as Aunt Edie (2009-2011)
Legion as Gladys Foster (2010)
Four Christmases as Gram-Gram (2008)
Scrubs “My No Good Reason” as Betty (2007)
Dexter “Father Knows Best” as Elderly Neighbor (2006)
100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd [multiple episodes] as Crazy Grandma Taylor (2001-2002)
Friends “The One In Vegas: Part 2” as The Elderly Woman (1999)
The Truman Show as Senior Citizen (1998)
Seinfeld “The Wizard” as Old Woman (1998)
Star Trek Voyager “Random Thoughts” as The Woman (1997)

I’m guessing most people probably recognize her as “the old woman who crawled up the wall and tried to kill a baby in the previews for Legion.” And that is fair enough. As you can see from the small sampling of her resume I’ve provided, she is comfortably typecast and tends to play roles described and named with various synonyms for “aged” and “not all there.”

New Year, New Shows

I’m at least few hours early in most timezones, but Happy 2011!

Instead of New Year’s resolutions, which I don’t make and certainly wouldn’t keep if I did, I’ve made a somewhat prioritized list of new/old series I’m going to attempt to at least introduce myself to over the coming year. God knows how many of these I’ll actually get to, given that I don’t have a particularly great amount of spare time and new shows are popping up all over the place. BUT. These are shows that I am really interested in seeing, so hopefully I’ll make some headway in the coming months.

NEW SHOWS
(As in, new to me…some of these are actually rather dated.)

1. Sherlock

People keep insisting that I need to see this. And given my adoration of anything Sherlock Holmes related, they are correct.

2. Terriers

Somehow I still haven’t seen any of this even though I have been dying to. Catching up in time for new episodes (which, hopefully, there will be) is a priority.

3. The Walking Dead

Another show that is actually new and that I just haven’t quite found the time to start watching yet. But I will. Because, well, zombies!

4. Dexter

I watched the first two episodes of Dexter way back when this whole Melted Brain thing started. But I didn’t get any further, even though it seems like Dexter would be my kind of show. Due to prodding by people and my realization that trying to start Dexter and Six Feet Under in the same weekend might have been a terrible plan, I am going to try again.

5. Twin Peaks

Yes Laura. I need to watch this show and I promise I am going to.

6. True Blood

I don’t actually have a huge amount of interest in True Blood, but I am going to watch it because I am hardly in a position to write an extended treatise on contemporary vampire fiction if I don’t. And I really want to write that.

7. The Closer

Now that this show is entering its final season, I guess it is as good a time as any to start watching. I love Kyra Sedgwick and, after enjoying all the promos so much, my watching and enjoying seems only inevitable.

8. Moonlighting

I reference this show all the time. So I should probably back that up by actually knowing what I’m talking about.

9. Deadwood

Timothy Olyphant. Ian McShane. Brad Dourif. Paula Malcolmson. Late 1880s. Outlaws. Why haven’t I seen this yet?

10. Star Trek: The Next Generation

Watching this series will probably be an on-going effort, and it is not much of a priority. But I know I have seen a few episodes that I have really loved, so there must be more. And, well, it’s Star Trek. That’s pretty much reason enough.

11. Damages

I do not like legal shows as a general rule. But there are a couple exceptions, and I’m guessing the phenomenal acting this series is reputed for will make this one of those exceptions.

12. Jericho

This is just one of those low-priority, minimal-investment sci-fi series from the past decade that I feel like I should watch, just to be able to say I have.

CATCH-UP SHOWS
(As in, shows I say that I watch but that I am actually reeeeeally far behind on.)

1. Chuck

I WILL CATCH UP ON CHUCK. IT WILL HAPPEN. GODDAMMIT!

2. Fringe

I watched the pilot of this show when it aired, but for some reason I have never kept up with it. And now I am so far behind it is depressing. But everything I hear says that the show has only gotten more and more awesome, so it is time to make an effort to get with it.

3. Justified

…I actually only watched the pilot and half of the next episode. So yeah. Should probably rectify that, stat.

4. The Vampire Diaries

See: my reasons for starting True Blood. Also, I want to see if all the plotlines I was expecting after S1 are actually coming to be. (I’m pretty sure they are.)

5. Lie to Me

I’ve been told that, after a rather lackluster first season and a half, this show has gotten quite good. I want to see if that’s true.

6. Supernatural

Catching up on this show is actually not a huge priority. I have seen S1, S2, and most of S3. Most likely I will wait until the series ends and consecutive reruns start on TNT.

…wow. That is a lot more shows than I thought it was. I guess we’ll see how this all goes. My brain may actually melt. Yikes.

Creative Arts Emmys 2010!

Goooooooooooooood stuff happened at these this year! Not everything I desperately wanted. But still, good times!

Writing for Comedy/Variety/Musical: The Colbert Report
Usually I’m less a fan of The Report than I am of The Daily Show. But some of the writing this year was outstanding, so this is well-deserved.

Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Neil Patrick Harris (Bryan Ryan) on Glee
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NPH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I really did want Mike O’Malley, but NPH got the Emmy and gave him a shout-out, so I’m still a happy girl.

Guest Actor in a Drama Series: John Lithgow (Arthur Mitchell) on Dexter
A million pounds of YESSS!

Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Betty White (host) on Saturday Night Live
Again with the YESSS!

Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Ann-Margaret (Rita Wills) on Law & Order: SVU
What I wanted? No. But anything that gets Ann-Margaret a much-deserved Emmy? Totally okay.

Choreography: Mia Michaels for “Gravity/Addiction, Koop Island Blues, One” on SYTYCD

Casting for a Drama Series: Mad Men

Casting for a Comedy Series: Modern Family

Commercial: THE OLD SPICE MAN!!!
FTW!!!

PLUS:
Awards for Lost, Ken Burns, Jamie Oliver, Modern Family, Robot Chicken, CSI, The Pacific, Glee, 24, the SYTYCD costumers, && Gavin Purcell.

Emmy Noms! Go Glee!

So the Emmy nominations for this year are out.

And  you may or may not have heard this yet but, GLEE GOT THE MOST NOMINATIONS! NINETEEN! THAT’S MORE THAN MAD MEN! IT’S CRAZYAWESOME!

YEAH!

Anyway, here are the categories whose results I sort of care about:

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Larry David of Curb Your Enthusiasm
Tony Shaloub of Monk
Steve Carell of The Office
Matthew Morrison of Glee
Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory
Alec Baldwin of 30 Rock

I’d be really pleased if Alec Baldwin did not win and the award went to Jim Parsons or Matthew Morrison (although his best performing was not the comedic parts of Glee) instead. But I don’t expect that will happen.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Amy Poehler of Parks and Recreation
Edie Falco of Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus of The New Adventures of Old Christine
Lea Michele of Glee
Toni Collette of United States of Tara
Tina Fey of 30 Rock

I’ve pretty much only seen Lea Michele’s performance, so I can’t speak to the chances of anyone else beating out Tina Fey and/or this year’s Golden Globe winner Toni Collette.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Jon Hamm of Mad Men
Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights
Hugh Laurie of House
Michael C. Hall of Dexter
Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad
Matthew Fox of Lost

It’d be pretty cool if Matthew Fox won, but he’d have to beat out all these other heavy-hitters. This one could go in pretty much any direction (although the inclusion of Kyle Chandler is certainly interesting).

Lead Actress in a Drama Series
January Jones of Mad Men
Kyra Sedgwick of The Closer
Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: SVU
Glenn Close of Damages
Julianna Margulies of The Good Wife
Connie Britton of Friday Night Lights

Again with the FNL inclusion. Huh. Anyway, I’m really hoping Julianna Margulies’ll beat out the cable ladies on this one.

Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Modern Family
The Office
30 Rock
Nurse Jackie
Glee

GLEE GLEE GLEE GLEE GLEE GLEE GLEE!! GLEEEEEEE!! Seriously. It needs to happen.

Drama Series
True Blood
Dexter
Mad Men
The Good Wife
Breaking Bad
Lost

Just not True Blood or Mad Men and I’ll be pleased enough.

Reality Series
American Idol
Dancing with the Stars
The Amazing Race
Project Runway
Top Chef

I don’t actually care about this category. I just wanted the opportunity to mention that the fact that So You Think You Can Dance never gets nominated for this is CRAP.

Variety/Music/Comedy Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien
Saturday Night Live
Real Time with Bill Maher

Does the world explode if The Daily Show doesn’t win? Because, well, what with the whole Conan nonsense this year, it could happen…maybe…

Casting for a Comedy Series
Glee
Nurse Jackie
Modern Family
30 Rock
United States of Tara

GLEEEEEEEE!

Casting for a Drama Series
Mad Men
Dexter
Friday Night Lights
True Blood
The Good Wife

Is FNL ending? Is that why it is suddenly showing up all over the place?

Outstanding Choreography
Mia Michaels (So You Think You Can Dance) for “Gravity,” “Koop Island Blues,” and “One”
Chelsie Hightower and Derek Hough (Dancing with the Stars) for “Paso Doble/Malaquena”
Adam Shankman for the Oscars
Stacey Tookey (So You Think You Can Dance) for “Fear”
Derek Hough (Dancing with the Stars) for “Futuristic Paso Doble/Living on Video” and “Quickstep/Anything Goes”

I love these Mia Michaels routines so I want her to win. And I love Chelsie Hightower so I want her to win. And I love love love Adam Shankman so I really want him to win. But I saw that first Derek Hough routine (pretty much the only DwtS I’ve ever seen) and it was fucking brilliant. So…sorry Stacey Tookie? (Unless you win.)

Outstanding Commercial

All you need to know is, the Old Spice Man has been nominated and HE NEEDS TO WIN.

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Jesse Tyler of Modern Family
Chris Colfer of Glee
Jon Cryer of Two and a Half Men
Ty Burrell of Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet of Modern Family
Neil Patrick Harris of How I Met Your Mother

OH. MY. GOD. CHRIS COLFER NEEDS TO WIN. NEEDS.

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
John Slattery of Mad Men
Martin Short of Damages
Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad
Terry O’Quinn of Lost
Michael Emerson of Lost
Andre Braugher of Men of a Certain Age

Obviously I’m supporting the Lost men – either/both of them – in this category.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Jane Lynch of Glee
Jane Krakowski of 30 Rock
Kristen Wiig of Saturday Night Live
Sofia Vergara of Modern Family
Julie Bowen of Modern Family
Holland Taylor of Two and a Half Men

JANE. LYNCH.

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Christina Hendricks of Mad Men
Rose Byrne of Damages
Archie Panjabi of The Good Wife
Sharon Gless of Burn Notice
Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men
Christine Baranski of The Good Wife

It would be awesome if Sharon Gless got this. She is hilarious on that show.

Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Mike O’Malley (Burt Hummel) on Glee
Fred Willard (Frank Dunphy) on Modern Family
Eli Wallach (Bernard Zimberg) on Nurse Jackie
Jon Hamm (Dr. Drew Baird) on 30 Rock
Neil Patrick Harris (Bryan Ryan) on Glee
Will Arnett (Devin Banks) on 30 Rock

I am not going to go crazy with caps lock here. I am just going to say, Mike O’Malley earned the hell out of this Emmy nomination.

Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Robert Morse (Bertram Cooper) on Mad Men
Alan Cumming (Eli Gold) on The Good Wife
John Lithgow (Arthur Mitchell) on Dexter
Ted Danson (Arthur Frobisher) on Damages
Gregory Itzin (Presiden Charles Logan) on 24
Dylan Baker (Colin Sweeney) on The Good Wife
Beau Bridges (Detective George Andrews) on The Closer

I am definitely rooting for Gregory Itzin on this one because he is phenomenal in that role, but John Lithgow would also be an acceptable choice.

Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Kristin Chenoweth (April Rhodes) on Glee
Tina Fey (Host) on Saturday Night Live
Jane Lynch (Dr. Linda Freeman) on Two and a Half Men
Kathryn Joosten (Karen McCluskey) on Desperate Housewives
Christine Baranski (Beverly Hofstadter) on The Big Bang Theory
Betty White (Host) on Saturday Night Live
Elaine Stritch (Colleen Donaghy) on 3o Rock

If either of the SNL ladies beats out Kristin Chenoweth, it had damn well better be Betty White because the episode Tina Fey hosted was terrible.

Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Mary Kay Place (Adaleen Grant) on Big Love
Lily Tomlin (Marilyn Tobin) on Damages
Sissy Spacek (Marilyn Densham) on Big Love
Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet Burke) on Lost
Ann-Margaret (Rita Wills) on Law & Order: SVU
Shirley Jones (Lola Zellman) on The Cleaner

Even if I had seen all these performances, I’m sure I’d still be unable to choose.

Writing for a Comedy Series
The Office
30 Rock
(two episodes)
Glee
Modern Family

Writing for a Drama Series
The Good Wife
Friday Night Lights
Lost
Mad Men
(two episodes)

The Lost episode nominated is “The End.” Like it or not, y’all have to admit it was brilliant.

ANYWAY, there are loads more categories (including all the production ones that I don’t know anything about but have opinions on anyway). Check out the nomination list yourself if you’re looking for something I haven’t included. 2010 requisite Emmy’s post part II coming after the show airs August 29th!

Golden Globes Results!

I don’t know what it was, but for some reason this year’s Golden Globes were (almost completely) AMAZING in terms of the television winners!

THE WINNERS:

Best Drama Series: Mad Men (I’m sure you’re all shocked.)

Best Actress, Drama Series: Julianna Marguilies of The Good Wife (I am actually psyched about this, if for no better reason than it is great to have the winner not be Glenn Close or Kyra Sedgwick.)

Best Actor, Drama Series: Michael C. Hall of Dexter (YES YES YES YES YES YES OMG YES!!!!!)

Best Comedy or Musical Series: Glee (YESSSSSSS!!!)

Best Actress, Comedy or Musical Series: Toni Colette of United States of Tara (I have no feelings about this either way.)

Best Actor, Comedy or Musical Series: Alec Baldwin of 30 Rock (SOMEDAY his winning streak will end. I hope.)

Best Supporting Actress: Chloe Sevigny of Big Love (It has nothing to do with Chloe Sevigny herself, but I am SO DISAPPOINTED that Jane Lynch didn’t win.)

Best Supporting Actor: John Lithgow of Dexter (Again, a bit disappointed – because it isn’t NPH – but it’s John Lithgow, so I’m cool.)

So, in conclusion, Julianna Marguilies!, Michael C. Hall!!! GLEE!!!! Way to go, Golden Globes (also for your good choices in the movie categories). A solid start for awards season, I’d say.

First (And Second) Looks

It’s been a good weekend for my television brain. I have the full first seasons of THREE new series at my disposal, so it’s been all sorts of fun for me. Less so for anyone else in the house who wanted to use the television. I don’t know that I love any of these three series quite yet, but I’ve seen two episodes of each so far and there’s some definite potential.

Mad Men

To be absolutely honest, this is not the first time I’ve seen any of Mad Men, but it’s been long enough that I barely remembered anything. So it’s sort of like I have fresh eyes on it.

The thing about this show is that it’s so stylized, I can’t quite tell what sort of substance it has. My obsession with January Jones’ and Christina Hendricks’ costumes aside, there aren’t many things that have really gripped me so far. Watching a couple episodes with my dad, who lived through this period and remembers it, added an extra angle of amusement. The general sixties-ness is certainly interesting (and entertaining). And, because I am a devotee of all things Joss Whedon, it’s a treat to see a slightly more grown up Vincent Kartheiser.

As I said, the production value of Mad Men is phenomenal – you don’t need to look any further than the opening credits to get a sense of just how snazzy it all is. And the acting is excellent too. The multiple actor Emmy nominations Mad Men has earned are evidently well-deserved even after just two episodes. And, the writing is certainly funny enough.

But, when all is said and done, I’m having a really hard time a) connecting emotionally with any of the characters and b) understanding exactly what it is about this show that everyone (read: the Emmy academy) loves so damn much. I may keep watching just out of a stubborn desire to try and figure that out.

Dexter

I have a huge crush on Michael C. Hall now. The man is fucking amazing and I want his brain/talent/babies.

…anyway.

Dexter is…interesting. Of the three shows, I feel like I have the least of a grip on this one. It’s not quite a procedural, but it’s not quite a serialized character drama. This is, again, analysis based on only two episodes, but my immediate reaction to this show is not confusion, necessarily, but something very much like it (and I can’t think of a more apt word at the moment).

The style that Dexter is written and shot in is peculiar and difficult to connect to. It’s like hectic in slow motion. The characters are just as difficult to pin down, because all of them are just so maladjusted to life in the real world. After the first episode of this I was wondering what the writers/producers were smoking when they came up with the whole concept. An episode later, though, I feel like I might be seeing the light. The world of Dexter is the world of Dexter. That is, the show is set not in Miami, but in Miami through the eyes of a serial killer. He is twisted, so everything is twisted. I’ll need to see a few more episodes to see whether that understanding is proof that I’m more insightful than I give myself credit for or proof that I’m just an intellectual elitist bullshitter with an overacting imagination. But I’m hoping it’s the former. I’ll feel so much smarter that way, and I’ll have so much respect for the creators of Dexter.

I honestly couldn’t tell you if I like this show or not. I do not know. What I do know, is that even if I hated the show I would watch it. Because Michael C. Hall is that good and I am that one-track-minded.

(Another great thing about this show – it’s gross! My favorite! A body drained of blood? Mmmmmm. Good times.)

Six Feet Under

…speaking of my undying fangirllove for Michael C. Hall…

Six Feet Under is by far my favorite of these three shows. And not just because the fictional ads for mortuary products in the pilot are the most marvelously disturing-but-hilarious things of all time. This show is the one of the three that really starts out with any sort of heart and soul.

I’ve heard some very disparate testimonies about this show. One friend calls it her favorite show of all time. My aunt gripes about how she doesn’t like any of the characters. So while I definitely didn’t switch on the pilot with a totally open and unaffected view, I feel like I’m more or less unswayed by any of the viewpoints I’ve heard.

My gut reaction to Six Feet Under is comprised mostly of delight. I love the characters for their awfulness. Peter Krause, the lead, manages to simultaneously ooze undeniable charm and bug the shit out of me. Michael C. Hall…well, he’s just damn good. And part of a homosexual relationship (additional emphasis on the sexual) which is a sure way to get my support – because most people just won’t do that on television, stage, or anywhere else and it’s marvelous when they do. Lauren Ambrose is heartfelt and hilarious. And I can’t think of any way someone could not love Freddy Rodriguez’s character. The only member of the cast I have absolutely no enjoyment in is Rachel Griffiths and her character Brenda. She just doesn’t do it for me.

As a whole, though, the show at two episodes down is remarkably well put together. Normally I’d have no interest in a show that is entirely about touchy-feely family/personal interrelationships. Usually I look for sci-fi or paranormal weirdness to bail me out. But dead people work too. Because they are gross. I get the feeling that after watching this show for a long enough period of time I’m going to start considering throwing myself into a volcano when I’m about to die just so no-one has to deal with my facial reconstruction or seeping fluids.

Since I have DVDs at my disposal and don’t have to mess with that complicated finding-episodes-online business, I am resolved to watch at least the entire first season of all three of these shows. And I will. Unless they, for some reason, irritate me so much that I just can’t stand it and have to stop. I have high hopes for my enjoyment of both Six Feet Under and Dexter, and I guess we’ll see how Mad Men fares.

I think the best part of all of it, though, is that these are non-broadcast shows so the characters/writers don’t have to PC-ify all their dialogue. People are allowed to swear and it’s amazing…and I am such a twelve-year-old boy. Wow.

I Mean Well

So I saw Gamer last night with my dad. Terrible movie. TERRIBLE movie. I mean, to be fair, I wasn’t expecting much, but sadly enough I was expecting just a little bit more. And I was disappointed. EXCEPT! for one thing. There was one thing that somewhat redeemed a terribly scripted, unfinished story with battle and orgy scenes that were too much on drugs to be truly satisfying. ONE THING. This man:

Michael C. Hall is a goddamned genius.

And I really need to start watching Dexter.

Now, I was already aware that I ought to be watching this show long before I went and wasted an evening seeing a horrible movie that provided many awkward moments for father-daughter bonding time. (Sometimes we miss the mark and make bad choices about what to see.) But now that I have seen Michael C. Hall in action as a computer genius psychotic hick who does a mean Bob Fosse/Sammy Davis, Jr./Frank Sinatra, Dexter just jumped up to the top of my priority list of Shows I Need To Watch. Because I already knew he’s been nominated multiple times for the role, I knew the show comes from a fairly reliable source (Showtime), and I knew there are plenty of people who highly recommend it. But now I know first hand that Michael C. Hall doesn’t steal every scene he’s in, he OWNS them. So it is time to go order myself the first season of Dexter on DVD.

On that note, here is a list of other shows I haven’t seen yet but am intending to watch sometime in the nearish future:

  1. Dexter
  2. Six Feet Under
  3. Dr. Who
  4. Mystery Science Theatre 3000
  5. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  6. Star Trek Deep Space Nine
  7. Mad Men
  8. Jericho
  9. Californication

That is not a complete list, because although I have all this written down somewhere, I can’t find it at the moment and I don’t know these things right off the top of my head. This is also not a prioritized list (except for Dexter). Mad Men and Jericho are definitely higher on my list than the immense entireties of MST3K or Dr. Who. At some point in the future, I’ll try to turn my to-watch list into a shiny and well-organized list, complete with pictures and blurbs. But for now, this is mostly just a blog-sized reminder to GO WATCH DEXTER.