I can’t say much more about Breaking Bad than hasn’t been said already from all of you. Nearly all that have seen it love it, and the final dance with the bald devil is setting new personal records by the week. It’s so good that I don’t need to tell you it’s so good.
But on a weekly basis, I can’t help but compare it to another anti-hero Sunday series coming to a close in Dexter. Just a few years ago, I wrote in this very space how entranced I was by all that was Dexter, and I still consider its first season and the amazing fourth ‘Trinity Killer’ season among my favorite in TV history. That’s why it’s infuriating how badly the series has tumbled, especially in this final turn.
I’m stunned this season’s premiere yielded series record ratings, and how the viewership numbers have stayed equally consistent throughout the year. Perhaps it’s because we’re all looking for the end game payoff and ultimately the answer to the question of whether Dexter Morgan will have to atone for his sins. But instead of a pulse-pounding cat and mouse chase between the Miami P.D. and Dexter or an excellently woven tale that puts everyone at odds, we’ve been left with a dull, bland, emotionless ride that is unfit of a character that played a special role in bringing Showtime to the hour-long drama table.
The main problem is this cast of characters isn’t really that interesting. Do we really care about Deb, Quinn, Masuka, or Angel Batista? I mean, seriously, do you? The amount of time spent on Masuka and his newly-discovered daughter is mind-numbing. What is the point? Perhaps if they were in pursuit of Dexter, and we were allowed to go through the emotions of them realizing everything they knew about their friend was a lie, would they actually have an impact. Instead, everyone is just taking up time in a story that isn’t any good.
And Harrison, poor Harrison, is relegated to being involved in one of the worst scenes in recent TV history. Watch this over and over. It gets better and worse at the same time. The show has devolved into something you’d see on a new CBS campaign called ‘CBS After Dark’. (As Showtime and CBS are owned by Viacom, this can’t be a coincidence.) It looks like a more gory version of CSI or any other of those Tiffany Network cop procedurals, doesn’t it?
So as Dexter plods towards its series finale Sunday, what are hoping to learn? Ultimately, does he escape with Hannah and Harrison (cute family names, eh?) to Argentina and beat the storm, does he die, or does he stay? Does anyone learn anything? What about the son of the psychiatrist we were supposed to care about? Do we care if Deb lives?
Meanwhile, all eyes and minds will be on the Breaking Bad bullet train with two episodes remaining and still so much to unravel. But in history, have you been more confident in a satisfying conclusion ever? While one show took the ‘That show went how long?’ route, another is doing its damndest to ensure you never, ever forget their name. Ever.
Dexter Series Suggestion: Watch Dexter seasons 1-4 for sure, and 5-6 if you have time. Skip 7 and 8. We’ll tell you what happens.
Breaking Bad Suggestion: Watch every episode of Breaking Bad several times, and then, watch them again in different languages.
Other TV Stuff
- I finished up the second season of The Newsroom, and overall, it was pretty good. It was a good chance of pace from the first season where they seemed to be ahead of every story before every other news outlet. Without a doubt, it’s a very ‘smart’ show that sometimes gets too deep into heady dialogue that normal people would never say in conversation. I feel like I should add in a snarky line about Aaron Sorkin, but I haven’t watched much else of his TV outside Studio 60.
- I have a few things to say about the news of a Walking Dead spinoff, but I’ll save those for next week.
- Starting to collect dust on the DVR: Ray Donovan. I’m roughly three behind for no other reason than time.
- Just kicked off: Sons Of Anarchy, It’s Always Sunny, and The League.
- And now, your 12-minute moment of Zen: