Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The monster has been unleashed

A couple of factors had me worried about the season premiere of "Dexter," my most beloved Showtime program (especially after the incredibly groundbreaking last season ... I heart John Lithgow).

For one -- although completely unrelated -- "True Blood," my most beloved HBO program, SUCKED. Awful, awful season of loose story lines, uninteresting character development and the ever-unfolding "everybody is something" syndrome, i.e., fairies and werewolves and werepanthers, oh my! Because of this letdown, I didn't want to get my hopes too high that "Dexter" would be able to make Sunday nights exciting for me again. (When you're my age, kids, you will start to find good TV exciting, OK? Back off.)

Secondly, the trailers weren't well done. For whatever reason, creators thought it a good idea to make the previews sound and look over-the-top dramatic, in one case even having Don LaFontaine, or someone who does a damn good impression, do voiceover work. (He's the voice of most movie previews, in case you did not know.)

I was concerned. "Dexter" took a step into a whole new level of sophistication last season. It wasn't just a good, juicy serial killer show anymore. It was nuanced. The acting better than ever. The storyline bold and unpredictable! The previews looked dumbed down. Quite predictable. Dex looked as if the murder hadn't sank in, saying things like "But I've always been a very neat monster." Um, yeah, we know that already.

I kept thinking back to my questions and expectations after last season. There was so very much room for this to unleash the monster in Dexter. For the organized, methodical serial killer to unveil his darker self. I was so hoping the writers would take the next step, be brave and show us a whole new side of our favorite murderer. A scarier side.

And you know what? I shouldn't have been worried. I won't say much for those who didn't see Sunday night's premiere yet, but I think we're in for a great ride this season. The acting, writing -- just as smart. And Dexter, I think the leash is coming off.

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