Category Archives: dexter

All Bad Things Must Come to an End…

I suppose I would be remiss if I didn’t write at least something about the end of “Breaking Bad” last night. I had tried to watch the opening episode when it first aired, and just couldn’t get into it. A man running around the desert in his tighty whities? Come on. A couple years later, at the urging of friends and other folks online whose opinions I respect, I tried again. Once I got through that first episode, I was hooked, and from there I stripped the rest of the series, watching the final two seasons as they aired.

The show ended last night, and mighty props go to creator Vince Gilligan and his staff of writers for molding an ending that was precise and complete in tying up loose ends and completing the story begun five seasons ago. Justice is served in an anti-hero kinda way, good and evil balanced, and in a way, the good guys win and the bad guys pay. Brilliance.

Comparatively, it doesn’t let the viewers decide as “The Sopranos” did, and it didn’t do what “Dexter” did much to the sour reprisal of fans. It’s ironic that when “Dexter” ended last week, it was almost at the same point as “Breaking Bad” was last week. Maybe “Dexter” just needed one more episode? In my opinion however, if that last scene with Dexter alive had been cut, that ending would have pleased me. Dexter alive ruins the symmetry. And getting back on subject, symmetry is what “Breaking Bad” was all about.

I was really pleased with the ending. If you want to hear more about the show, my friend and podcast partner Ray Cornwall did a pre-finale episode about “Breaking Bad” last week. You can hear it here.

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Random Tater Pic of the Day #112

Arrow: Legacies

Before I start my review of this episode, I want to backtrack to something I missed initially in last week’s “Damaged.” The attorney prosecuting Oliver in that episode was none other than Kate Spencer. In the DC Comics source material, crusading attorney Spencer is the secret identity of the crime fighting superheroine Manhunter. Perhaps that’s a hint to an upcoming encounter.

“Legacies” represents a turning point for Oliver in his vigilante mission, going from personal vendetta to full-on crimefighter and protector of Starling City. To make that transformation, enter the Royal Flush Gang. In the comics these high tech card-themed villains regularly took on the Justice League with a revolving cast of thugs behind the masks. Here in “Arrow,” they are a family of bank robbing terrorists in painted hockey masks. Same as they ever were, just with less special effects.

I’m impressed that Diggle is able to turn Oliver’s head in this way. He can’t just fight the cause of his city’s sickness, he has to fight the symptoms as well – and this week, the symptoms are the Royal Flush Gang. I did not however dig Diggle’s Alfred impersonation when he saved Oliver from brunch to stop a bank robbery. Speaking of Batman, I loved seeing Oliver stealthily break into police headquarters, kinda part Batman, part Dexter.

We get more trick arrows this time around as well as more Felicity Smoak. Tommy Merlyn has a bigger part, trying to get back into Laurel’s pants. I’m not sure which is creepier – Tommy and Laurel or Tommy and Thea. Maybe the latter is what pushes him and Oliver apart? Get to it already, when is he finally putting on the black leather and crossing bows with our hero?

Tidbits from the quiver: Yao Fei is finally named in the show, Keystone City, Coast City, a pseudo Legion ring, and Stagg Industries are among the comics name drops this time around. I see that Philadelphia’s Comcast building has been added to Starling City’s skyline. And there’s also the fact that Laurel’s law firm is abbreviated CNRI – yeah, that’s right, Canary.

Biff Bam Pop!’s 31 Days of Horror

If you’ve been to the Biff Bam Pop! website, you know that other than the regular pop culture features, we’re all big horror fans there. Special for this month of October, and culminating today on Halloween is 31 Days of Horror.

31 Days of Horror takes a look at the past and present in horror movies, both in front of and behind the camera, horror television, horror comics, and even horror videogames.

Highlights include reviews of The Shining, The Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Monster Squad, 28 Days Later, Freaks, Night of the Living Dead, The Ring, Sinister, Nightbreed, Prometheus, Paranormal Activity 4, Evil Dead, 30 Ghosts, Tomb of Dracula, Dexter The Game, “666 Park Avenue,” episode by episode analysis of the new seasons of “American Horror Story” and “The Walking Dead,” and interviews with Danielle Harris and Richard Crouse. It’s the best way to celebrate Halloween!

Oh, and if you just want to read my stuff on the site, I’m here. Happy Halloween!

Take the Poll

I keep forgetting that Blogger has a polling system. As long as we have it, we might as well use it, right?

As you can see by looking to the immediate right, the question up for polling right now is: What is your favorite new or returning TV series this season?

Your choices include, in no particular order or preference: The Waking Dead, Dexter, Homeland, Treme, Elementary, The Big Bang Theory, American Horror Story, Sons of Anarchy, Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Revolution, Castle, Glee, Person of Interest, Survivor, Fringe, Vegas, Arrow, Copper, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, or 666 Park Avenue. And if your choice isn’t reflected there, please click on Other? and let me know what you think, deal?

What I Liked in 2011

Rather than go whole hog and do a best and worst of blog entry this year, and besides I’m already a week or so late for that anyway, I’m going to be tardy and lazy, and just do lists. Sorry, but I’m burnt, that’s all you get this year. Here are the lists, bests, favorites, take your pick…

Movies – in no particular order – Hugo, Ra.One, Captain America: The First Avenger, Super 8, Midnight in Paris, Attack the Block, Thor, The Help, Source Code, and Bunraku.

Television – also in no particular order – “Hell on Wheels,” “Game of Thrones,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Treme,” “Doctor Who,” “Mad Men,” “Dexter,” “The Hour,” “Shameless,” “Castle,” “Chuck” “Louie,” “Sons of Anarchy” and “The Walking Dead.” And yes, I know that’s more than ten choices. Deal with it.

With the birthday gift of a Nook late in the year I have started to read again so I wanted to give a shout out to a few books as well. I liked A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Horns by Joe Hill, Supergods by Grant Morrison, Kraken by China Mieville, and Reamde by Neal Stephenson.

I didn’t really listen to much new music this year. I bought a lot of stuff from “Glee,” and new albums by Kate Bush, William Shatner, Adam Warrock and Robyn, as well as soundtracks to Ra.One, X-Men First Class, and “Treme” spent a lot of time on my iPod.

Comics – T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents by Nick Spencer, Aquaman by Geoff Johns, Secret Avengers by Warren Ellis, Frankenstein Agent of SHADE, Action Comics by Paul Cornell, and the new Defenders series from Matt Fraction are all up high in my opinion.

And, in short, that’s what I liked in 2011…

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Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

I’ve been looking forward to this six-part prequel to “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” since I first heard of it, and that was before I had even finished watching that entire series. Yeah, that’s how good it is. As with most prequels, we know the way things are going to turn out, we just don’t know how they’re going to turn out.

The series follows the young Batiatus (John Hannah) and his wife Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) as they rise to the top of the gladiator management game in Capua. We get to see their early doings as well as those of “Blood and Sand” favorites Crixis (Manu Bennett) and future Doctore, Oenomaus (Peter Mensah).

We’re also introduced to an earlier and cockier champion of Capua, Gannicus (Dustin Clare) and the seductive Gaia (Jaime Murray). You might remember the latter as Dexter’s sociopath girlfriend and as H.G. Wells on “Warehouse 13.” Both characters are much fun, and a reason to watch even if you already know what happens to everyone else.

“Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” airs Friday nights on Starz. Check it out.

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Boardwalk Empire

HBO does it again. Do they ever make programming that is not the best out there? No, and how can someone not like a television series that film god Martin Scorsese has his hands in? He actually directed the pilot episode, the one that got this series renewed after only one airing, if that tells you anything about its quality. It was fabulous. For me, Scorsese working on the small screen is the equivalent of Leonardo da Vinci doing a comic book – lower rent yes, but the hand of a genius on a format smaller than their mind – a spectacular effect.

“Boardwalk Empire” takes place in 1920 Atlantic City and follows the exploits of Nucky Thompson as played by Steve Buscemi. Again, Buscemi is someone suited for the big screen and therefore rules the small one. It is good to see him finally in a role that matches his abilities. His character is based loosely (or closely, depending on your perspective) of Nucky Johnson who was treasurer of Atlantic City of the time, a famously generous and equally infamously corrupt personage whose work behind the scenes has become legend.

While Nucky’s name is altered to protect both the innocent and the guilty, there are other real life folks floating around “Boardwalk Empire.” Stephen Graham’s Al Capone and certainly Vincent Piazza as Lucky Luciano are notable for their appearances here, but the real real life tour de force is Michael K. Williams as African-American gangster Chalky White. You might remember him from his role as Omar in “The Wire.”

And speaking of fantastic performances, serious props go to Kelly MacDonald, Gretchen Mol and especially to Michael Pitt as Jimmy. The latter is the real star here in my opinion, and will walk from here to much bigger and better things, if that’s possible. And Michael Shannon is particularly scary as the IRS agent pursuing Thompson.

Final word, this is damn good television, right up there with other HBO alum like “The Sopranos” and the aforementioned “The Wire” as well as stuff like “Mad Men” and “Dexter.” “Boardwalk Empire” is do-not-miss television.

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Dexter Season 5 Trailer

Direct from the San Diego Comic-Con. “Dexter” season five starts on Showtime September 26th 2010. Be there.

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True Blood Primer

Sex and blood, blood and sex. This is the core and attraction of the vampire, and it’s been the driving power of HBO’s “True Blood” which premieres its third season tonight. Like most HBO dramas, the series is propelled by intriguing plot twists, compelling characters and a breed of soap opera that has folks coming back again and again. Whatever it is that HBO has, I wish they would bottle it and sell it to the other networks, because nothing they have even approaches what HBO produces on a consistent basis.

But back to the sex and blood. “True Blood” is loosely based on the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries books by Charlaine Harris, and created and produced for television by Alan Ball, late of “Six Feet Under.” As with other book-to-cable shows, like “Dexter” for instance, it has developed its own style and continuity. This is a good thing, as even readers of the books don’t know what might happen next. It keeps everyone on their toes.

For those of you who came in late, Anna Paquin plays Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress who can hear people’s thoughts and is in love with Bill Compton, played by Stephen Moyer. Bill’s a vampire. Vampires have recently ‘come out of the coffin’ per se to live among the humans now that a new beverage called ‘Tru Blood’ exists that mimics the nutritional qualities of human blood. This makes humans not so much prey any more.

When the vampires come out we learn that they have secret societies and governments that have been around for ages, and also that they are not the only supernatural creatures that exist. We have seen shape-shifters and something called a maenad. We have been promised werewolves in this third season.

The series revolves around not only Sookie and Bill, but all of their friends and family in the town of Bon Temps, just like any intricate soap opera would, and the fun rolls from there. Enjoy!

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