July 16, 2009 · 10:12 am
And the Nominees Are…
2009 Emmy Nominations
For analysis of the surprises, the snubs, and everything in between, check out:
Power to the People?: 2009 Emmy Nominations Analysis [Link]
However, in list form, the nominees for the 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards are…
Outstanding Drama Series
- Big Love
- Breaking Bad
- Mad Men
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
- Glenn Close (Damages)
- Mariska Hargitay (Law and Order: SVU)
- Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters)
- Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
- Holly Hunter (Saving Grace)
- Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)
Lead Actor in a Drama Series
- Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment)
- Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
- Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
- Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
- Hugh Laurie (House)
- Simon Baker (The Mentalist)
Outstanding Comedy Series
- Family Guy
- Flight of the Conchords
- How I Met Your Mother
- The Office
- 30 Rock
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
- Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords)
- Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
- Steve Carell (The Office)
- Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
- Tony Shalhoub (Monk)
- Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
- Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?)
- Toni Colette (United States of Tara)
- Tina Fey (30 Rock)
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus (New Adventures…Christine)
- Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds)
- Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program)
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Filed under Emmy Awards
Tagged as 30 Rock, 61st Annual Emmy Awards, Aaron Paul, Alan Alda, Alec Baldwin, Amy Poehler, Big Love, Boston Legal, Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranson, Charlie Sheen, Cherry Jones, Damages, Dexter, Elisabeth Moss, Elizabeth Perkins, Emmy Nominations, Emmys, Entourage, Family Guy, Flight of the Conchords, House, How I Met Your Mother, Hugh Laurie., Jemaine Clement, Jeremy Piven, Jim Parsons, Jimmy Smits, John Slattery, Jon Hamm, Justin Timberlake, Katherine Heigl, Kristen Chenoweth, Kristen Wiif, Lost, Mad Men, Michael Emerson, Neil Patrick Harris, Nominations, Nominees, Sarah Silverman, Simon Baker, Steve Carell, Steve Martin, The Amazing Race, The Office, Tina Colette, Tina Fey, TV, Two and a Half Men, Vanessa Williams, Weeds, William Hurt, William Shatner
January 3, 2009 · 12:00 pm
“The Damage A Man Can Do”
Season Three, Episode Eight
Airdate: November 16th, 2008
In my review of the show’s third season finale, I tore into Dexter for missed potential, for failing to take advantage of its early season ideas and instead investigating something interesting but not compelling. This isn’t to say that the show’s decision to focus its attention on the relationship between Dexter and Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits) was a poor one but rather that it felt like the story never fit the season in a way.
What it did provide, though, was a number of solid episodes that delved into the ramifications of their friendship. “The Damage a Man Can Do” is the most simple of these moments: not wrapped up in the show’s drive towards a conclusion, or in the show’s divided attention at the season’s opening, it answers the question of what could happen if Dexter Morgan had a partner, a friend who helped him with his dark secrets. The episode boils down Dexter’s dark passenger into a shopping list, and a series of disguises and actions that feels wonderfully scientific.
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Filed under 2008 Television Time Capsule
Tagged as 2008, Dexter, Dexter Morgan, Entertainment, Episode, Episode Eight, Jimmy Smits, Miguel Prado, Season Three, Showtime, Television, The Damage a Man Can Do, Time Capsule, Year in Review
December 15, 2008 · 1:15 pm
“Do You Take Dexter Morgan?”
December 14th, 2008
I was minding my own business one night about a month ago when a (drunk) resident in my building asked if I would like to join a game of poker. I declined, planning on getting some work done that evening, but he saw that I had a fair amount of food in my room and asked if he could have a sandwich. I obliged, as it falls within my job description as a Resident Assistant to on occasion feed the inebriated folks who wander the halls.
The reason I bring this up (I swear, there’s a reason) is that we then got into a discussion about popular culture, and eventually we got into an argument about Showtime’s Dexter. He said he liked the show, which wouldn’t ellict an argument under normal circumstances, but then he proceeded to single it out as “one of the best written shows on television.” And, maybe it’s that my patience for drunk people goes out the window during food preparation, but I immediately scoffed at this remark. He demanded I name him some better examples, I listed off the usual (Wire, Mad Men, BSG, Lost – you read the blog, you know what I shower with praise), and eventually he went off to play his game of poker, no longer in danger of alcohol poisoning.
But that conversation has stuck with me, primarily because I don’t think I had ever been quite so quick to undersell Dexter as something below the level of the shows I just listed. Admittedly, I was more down on the second season than most people, but even I couldn’t argue against the palpable tension the show created. However, while I would never question the performance of Michael C. Hall who remains as fantastic as ever, something happened at the end of the second season (mainly Lila) that the third season wasn’t able to rectify in my critical mind.
Since then, Dexter’s been my favourite punching bag, perhaps unfairly: I even trotted it out while recording a podcast about The Wire, which is something that really isn’t fair to any show. The third season had a lot of elements that certainly helped the show: the introduction of Jimmy Smits to the show has given it two Emmy-level acting contenders for the first time, and the season’s slow start paid off in the end by allowing them to ratchet up the momentum at the right time instead of about three episodes too early.
But what “Do You Take Dexter Morgan?” reminds me, against my will, is that this is a show with limitations, one which in the introduction of Jimmy Smits shed more light on its weakly developed supporting cast, and in its slow start made us stop and think “what other directions could this show be taking that would be more dramaturgically interesting” for a few episodes too long. In those moments, I know exactly why I jumped on that drunk, hungry, and entirely innocent TV viewer: Dexter could be a better show than it is, and the third season was filled with warnings that the show seems unaware of its recurring problems.
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Filed under Dexter
Tagged as Deborah Morgan, Dexter Morgan, Do You Take Dexter Morgan, Entertainment, Episode 12, James Remar, Jennifer Carpenter, Jimmy Smits, Michael C. Hall, Miguel Prado, Review, Rita, Season 3, Season Finale, Showtime, Television, The Skinner, Wedding
September 28, 2008 · 9:59 pm
September 28th, 2008
Michael C. Hall has crafted one of television’s most memorable characters in Dexter Morgan, a fascinating psychological enigma who lives and kills by a code handed to him by his father. But after two seasons of murder and the inner turmoil of living with having murdered all of these people, one would have to think that Dexter Morgan would have grown out of his situation, could emerge from the weekly murders to something closer to approximating a real life.
And, the show’s third season premiere finds Dexter as close as he’s ever come: he and Rita are as happy as can be, he’s pretty much a father to her children, he’s more aware than ever about the true purpose behind his murders, and generally speaking his relationship with everyone around him is at last “normal.” Of course, in the world of Dexter nothing is ever that simple: in order to attain this normalcy, he has largely given up listening to his father’s teachings, shunning his sister and turning his back on that chapter of his life in favour of crafting his own code.
The problem with “Our Father” is that it is becoming clearer by the day that there isn’t enough of a series surrounding Dexter for this to feel as natural as it needs to be. Perhaps it’s that this is my first experience watching Dexter after watching The Wire, but this show is falling into a dangerous pattern that cheapens whatever deeper character drama they plan on investigating within the title character. It’s not that the show is failing to deliver on what it promises, but rather that the second season’s urgency and driving force feels lacking, and what we’re left with is a cheap provocation that feels like a show admitting that it doesn’t have the supporting cast or the foresight to develop something bigger or less reactionary.
It’s not just that it’s repetitive, but rather that it feels like an unnecessary intervention: Dexter has largely reformed himself, and as long as the show keeps poking the bear it’s going to (despite Hall’s incredibly strong performance) feel like we’re going through the same motions for the sake of contrivance as opposed to observation.
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Filed under Dexter
Tagged as Deb, Dexter Morgan, Entertainment, Jimmy Smits, Our Father, Prado, Premiere, Season Premiere, Season Three, Showtime, Television