Mike’s Prattle

Miscellaneous

Showtime

Posted by Mike on September 5, 2007

I broke down over the weekend and ordered Showtime. I originally went for HBO based on the strength of their programming only to see Deadwood cancelled and Rome finish its final season, it now seems that Showtime has taken over the mantle for great cable television.

The first show that reeled me in was Dexter who a friend turned me onto, in fact I ordered Showtime to finish out Season 1 on On Demand. I tend to really gravitate towards programming with characters that are gray, amoral or generally unlike what you usually see, so the idea of serial killer as forensics expert was intriguing and as the 12 episode season goes, the execution on the part of all the actors improves. It’s good to see Julie Benz again after her stints in Buffy and Angel, she does a great job as the girlfriend of Dexter, originally oblivious of who he is, but by the end of Season 1 the hint of a suspicion comes through. The real twist, of course, is that Dexter’s foster father channelled his urges so that he only goes after other criminals, although fortunately it doesn’t take away from some really chilling scenes where it becomes clear that this is barely a human being operating. Really looking forward to Season 2 starting on the 30th.

I also watched the first half of Season 1 of The Tudors, a show about a young Henry VIII. Having gone to public school in England for five years, this is almost central British history and I know the story, particularly of his courting of Anne Boleyn, almost instinctively. It’s a lot like HBO’s Rome in its court intrigue and like that show it feels like there’s something a bit missing, but I wouldn’t want to think too much about it until I finish up the last half. Gotta love Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn, it’s easy to believe Henry swooning over her. I’ve been meaning to check out Casanova via David Tennant, but Dormer seems another good reason.

The biggest surprise, though, would be the new series Californication. I’ve never been an X Files or David Duchovny fan by any means, but was won over by the show midway into the second episode. Yeah, it’s dripping with sex and topless women, but also manages to be a thoughtful and hilarious drama about a broken family. One of my favorite parts of any good television show is ripping dialogue, and this has it in bunches. While the idea of a writer going downhill after hating the movie version of his famous novel strikes me as a bit too Stephen King at times, fortunately this takes it in another direction and shows its heart in a number of places. Well worth checking out and a shout out to Paul Levinson’s blog for convincing me to go for it. In fact his review of episode 4 is now up so it’s time to go read…

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