Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The TV, it makes me feel things

I was supposed to go on a Tru Blood season 2 marathon, but accidentally put disk #2 in the mail before I watched it because I am retarded, so I had to wait for it to come back to me before I could continue. Since it was a long weekend I had to do something to bide the extra time. I substituted a Dexter marathon because I'd only ever seen two first season episodes. I watched all the way from the pilot to the season two finale in 4 days.

Last night I dreamed about a sexy serial killer, kind of like Jeremy Sisto in Hideaway only maybe not so loony toons.

Anyhow, I love the way that show plays with who the bad guy is. Good guys are bad guys, bad guys are even badder or sometimes not bad at all, and just when you think you know who the bad guy is you find yourself kind of liking that person. That's just brilliant.

What gets me is how I can really like a show like Dexter and find him completely understandable, yet I don't like Breaking Bad at all because I have no sympathy for the protagonist. The best reason I can find is that Dexter is actually doing something that he believes makes society better, not just something that benefits himself. Or maybe it's his nice guy personality, or the friendly voice over. I don't know.

That's why I like TV. I find it fascinating the power those stories have to twist and turn your emotions in whichever direction the writers choose.

Now my DVDs have arrived and I can get back to watching Tru Blood. By the end of the week I may actually crawl into the TV and live there.


  1. You can't find sympathy for a guy that is looking out for his family? All Walt wants to do is make sure his family will be taken care of in the event of his death. He's not a drug dealer so he can sport expensive jewelery or get a lot of bitches. He has realized he's middle aged, dying, and has nothing to show for it.

    I love Breaking Bad and Dexter. Hate True Blood with a fiery passion.

  2. Everybody's looking out for their family. They don't need to deal meth to do it. I'm not sure how becoming a meth dealer makes up for a lifetime of being a loser. I know a lot of people love that show, but it's not for me.

  3. Have you watched the show?

    He's not a loser. He just didn't reach his potential. And of course not everybody deals meth to provide for their family. He could have gotten a second job working at Home Depot, but that'd make for a boring ass show.

    Plus, Bryan Cranston is hands down the best actor on television right now.

    I'm not trying to convince you to watch it. I am curious how many episodes you watched.

  4. I think that Dexter succeeds because he's actually a very relatable character. Being a psychopath makes him have difficulty understanding people and reading social situations, makes him feel (and sometimes act) awkward. To me, this is the biggest hook. We all know what that's like, to feel like we're the only ones who find other people confounding.

    Also, there's the "dark passenger," which can be anything. Addiction, sexuality, even creative impulses.

    And his personal code, which often conflicts with both society's laws and with his own impulses.

    The fact that he only goes after bad guys is just enough to allow us to accept him, but it's those other qualities that make Dexter a character people love.

  5. Couldn't agree more Emily! Dexter is fantastic writing and fantastic entertainment. One of those rare series that has that 'just one more episode' effect where you find yourself accidentally staying up all night plowing through the box set. Love it. True Blood is just as good too -though in a much sleazier way but hey, what's wrong with a healthy bit of sleaze now and then?

  6. Jack, I watched enough episodes to know it's not for me for the reasons I already gave.

    And Laura, I think that's a really great observation. It's odd but yeah, for some reason we can relate to a serial killer.

    Matt, yeah. I know what you mean.


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