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05 December 2006 @ 10:09 am
"Dexter" (no spoilers) and the beauty that is cable drama  
"Dexter" is such a damn fine show. I can't wait for the final two. (If you haven't seen it, and you can handle some stylized serial killer violence, you've got a treat in store for you. Tivo it, download it, or rent the inevitable DVD.)

For me, this show really drives home what's wrong with network tv dramas as opposed to cable tv dramas. On the networks, they would have had to cram the show with filler episodes. At least one useless, filler episode for every one that actually advanced the plot or established character. But on cable, you can keep the story nice and taut, just twelve or thirteen essential chapters. I reckon the networks do it because they need to stretch out shows so that the can sell bigger chunks of advertising time. But that model has to change someday.

I also think it's the best medium (by far) for adapting novels. A two hour motion picture can't do a novel justice and if you stretched it out to 22 network episodes, you're bound to lose story and pacing. But a nice twelve episode cable series can do it perfectly.

I suspect the right people could even do justice to Alan Moore's "Watchmen" comics, although that would probably take more than twelve episodes.

Listening to: Cinerama - "Manhattan"
Professor Mortis: Timprofessormortis on December 5th, 2006 03:14 pm (UTC)
I would *love it* if American TV could get away from endless shows that go on for four or five seasons with filler episodes to a tighter format. I don't think they need to do it for *every* show-certainly there are shows that go on longer and are fun-but it would be nice if they were more flexible. Fill up the rest of the time with highly rated (and cheap) reality tv, competitions and game shows.
(Anonymous) on December 5th, 2006 03:22 pm (UTC)
I saw clips of Dexter on YouTube, and want to see more. I love the premise of the story, and am intrigued to see how it plays out. It's a big change to see Michael C. Hall go from Six Feet Under to Dexter.

Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: aqua chairassmonkeydiary on December 5th, 2006 03:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Michael C. Hall really gets to shine in this role.
(Anonymous) on December 5th, 2006 05:06 pm (UTC)
Good point.
I noticed you have shown distaste for the recent direction of the Lost Series which is suffering from "filler" content in some of each episode if not whole episodes. I have to partly agree. I think originally they planned on a short big budget finite series of two or three seasons. But the 24 million+ viewership changed that I guess. If season two was cut down to half the episodes or less it'd probably be more entertaining. I read that the show creator JJ Abrams is cutting most or all ties from the show after Season 3. (Probably because Star Trek XI looks more fun than a never-ending TV show without a definite plot) Or, that means the Producers are probably straying away from his original concept even more, and he has had enough. Either way, that is a bad sign. Supposedly he was too busy to oversee Season Two of Lost and look what happened.

Sorry I got a bit over-zealous with my commentary about a silly show.

(This makes anonymouse comment #6)
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: green grassassmonkeydiary on December 5th, 2006 07:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Good point.
Yeah, "Lost" is a prime example. Fortunately I've already stopped caring about it, so I won't be too bereft when it takes another turn for the worse.

Looking back, I think that almost all of my infatuation with "Lost" came from the very first episode and the four episodes that David Fury wrote in season one ("Walkabout," "Solitary," "Numbers" and "Special"). It's been a long downhill mudslide since then.