Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dexter And Baseball...Pitch Perfect

It's a tough time of year for some of us fans of new TV shows who also be sports enthusiasts. Hockey season is just beginning, and it's time once again to see if my beloved Maple Leafs have what it takes (not so much, so far)...and then there's the baseball playoffs.

I used to follow baseball fairly intensely whilst growing up, specifically the Montreal Expos (damn you '94 players strike and '81's Rick Monday!). But since my Spo's up and moved south to Washington, I've been more of a casual observer of the game...until October rolls around. Old habits die hard, and I find myself foregoing my new television show watching for whichever match is on that evening. And doesn't matter who's playing...cuz it's the playoffs, baby!

Now my post title would make more sense if someone had thrown a no hitter last night, but no such luck. Some home runs were hit though, notably by Dexter episode 3.

"An Inconvenient Lie" firmly and convincingly yanked me back onto the good ship Dexter Morgan. Because I was worried. The first two eps were kind of flat and very recappy...the show had gone down twice in my opinion and looked to be about to drown in its new-found celebrity and wheel-spinning machinations. But Sunday's episode had me gasping for air. (Okay Will, enough with the lame seafaring references).

What. A. Great. Episode.

It zipped along. It twisted and turned. It closed off some annoying throughlines (Sgt. Doakes following Dexter, enough already!) and started some intriguing new ones (not to mention Dex getting back on the killing horse again). And it managed to show us what darkness lurks deep within our hero without resorting to yet another flashback.

Very. Cool. Major kudo's to writer Melissa Rosenberg.

Which got me thinking, what was it that made this episode special --- the one that potentially turned Season Two around? Was it the script and only the script? That seems too simple, and kinda unfair to all the other creatives involved in the show. Was it the directing? Can't say that since the direction on the series has been pretty stellar right from day one (note to newbies: watch Dexter for some great TV directing). Were the performances better? Because they had more interesting material to play with, maybe, but tee-vee isn't anything but consistent, and the acting has always been pretty solid.

So maybe it was simply the natural result of all the pipe that was layed in the first two eps of the season, and I just wasn't patient enough. Who knows for sure, but I'm no longer muttering.

Oh yeah, one other thing. For a great lesson in how to give a character an entrance and then have them captivate your audience in just a few scenes...check out the ones with Lila at the 12 Step addiction meetings Dexter attends. Brilliant. Course it didn't hurt that she's played by Jaime Murray from 'Hustle' fame...

...but the scenes were so good I think it could've been darn near anyone.

Anyway, Dexter's back, baby...no three strikes and it's out. The ship seems on course again and I like the direction its heading.

Now, back to the ballgame.


jimhenshaw said...

You're continuing dedication to the Maple Leafs reveals a deep chasm in your character. If only Dexter would come North and put them (and us) out of our misery.

wcdixon said...

MY deep chasm...speak for yourself ol' Shoeless Joe's compadre. No matter how many Penquins pennants you stick on your wall, you're a Leafer forever.

Anonymous said...

What specifically sets the directing of Dexter apart?