Thursday, June 30, 2011

We're back, and thank you for your patience!

Let's kick things back off with a combination Boys on Film and Writing post, won't you?

Almost a year ago I made a deal with my friend Mike.  Mike is a devourer of film and television to the point where he watched over 100 movies last year.  Mike hates cop shows (and real cops) but Mike is also a writer and considers himself extremely hardcore, so I begged and I pleaded and told him that he absolutely had to watch The Shield, if only for his soul as a writer.
He agreed, but on one term.  He would give The Shield a two-season minimum viewing . . . if I would watch Dexter seasons 3 and 4.

He loved The Shield.  He watched all seven seasons in the span of about two months.  We discussed it at length.  He bought me a Strike Team tee-shirt for my birthday.  He is the Dutch to my Claudette.

But man, this Dexter thing is killing me.

Also, I hate his horrible pink lips
and that eerie white line
around his mouth . . . ugh

I am a woman of my word, but this deal might be the end of me.  We're four episodes in and every time we put it in the DVD player I want to claw my eyes out.  The voice overs are starting to drive me mad.  What, did the writers just look around the room, pick something out and write a vague metaphor for it?

Cheese danish.  We're all like the cheese sometimes, stuck in the middle of a ring of flakey pastry, flakey people who don't understand what it means to be trapped . . . .

Lamp.  Sometimes we're on, sometimes we're off, but we're always consuming resources, burning out in a fire-fueled blaze of glory. . .

Day planner.  Our days are planned, our lives marked into neat little boxes before we're put in a neat little box, lowered into the ground, expired like last year's calender . . . .

See how easy it is?  You try it!  That's what the comments section is for!

The writing on this show is so bad.  Not only have the writers clearly never actually talked to a woman (which is why Rita, who had to be "saved" from her abusive husband, who goes to a generic job in a beige dress suit, is the "ideal," whereas Lila, being self-reliant and sexually voracious, has to be portrayed as a psycho--the writers of Dexter are scared of women . . . also, their idea of being "sexually liberated" aka Deb, means falling into bed with every man she meets) but they've also never seen a child (I imagine they're told to stay outside of 500 feet around playgrounds and elementary schools) because Astor does not speak the way a child speaks.

Also, Dexter is murdering innocent people.  That's fine, Vic Mackey kills lots of "innocent" people.  Shane kills one very innocent person and I still have the mad hots for him . . . but with Dexter there's a sadistic nature to it, an enjoyment even though he keeps harping every ten seconds that he can't feel emotion (also, there's a code of Harry, Harry's Code, Harry was his father and he had a Code, the Code of his Father, Harry.)  He kills the child molester in episode 3 even though he'd served his time and wasn't caught molesting anyone . . . it wasn't even until after he's dead that Dexter sees he has the pictures of Astor on his computer . . . what happened to forgiveness?  He makes a point, in one of his many voice-overs, that the man had served his time and was free to go back into society, unlike Dexter's other kills, who had gotten off because of a technicality or lack of evidence and Dexter was cleaning up with the police couldn't.  We could somehow agree with that . . .but his capture and intended murder of Doakes, his stalking and murder of Lila and his manipulation of Jimmy Smits brother is pushing it.

This would all be fine, of course, if we weren't given a series of rooting interests to direct us into liking Dexter.  He's getting married!  He's having a baby!  Sympathize, damn it, he's a WONDERFUL person.  Look, Casey Anthony clearly throws one hell of a party, but that doesn't mean I want to invite her over on Saturday night.  Same goes with Dexter.

Oh, and in episode 4, Deb interrogates a suspect, which would go unnoticed except that they insist on pointing out that she doesn't have her detective shield . . . and officers don't interrogate suspects.

It just comes down to lazy, incompetent writing, which I hate more than anything.  I can take bad writing, but I can't take incompetence.  I read a story in grad school that was so riddled with errors (like "steal-toed combat boots" when steel-toed boots are industrial boots, not combat footwear) that it made me want to tear up the MFA that currently hangs over my desk because she has the same one despite the fact that she's an utter moron.  There's suspension of disbelief, which is needed for all fiction, but then there's insulting your audience.  Dexter insults it's audience.  It's boring and it's tiresome and it's making me long for the cracking wit of The Hills.  Or the Forever Leather commercial that runs on the Utica Public Access.  Or the O'Reilly Factor . . . anything but Dexter.  Please.

But I am a woman of my word above all things, and I shall prevail . . . even if it kills me.

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