Random Thoughts On Recent TV Shows - Macleans.ca
 

Random Thoughts On Recent TV Shows


 

How I Met Your Mother: I was expecting some kind of twist at the end, but it went pretty much as expected — Ted has suspicions, suspicions appear to be confirmed, turns out it was all a plot to Teach Him a Lesson; Ted learns his lesson; hug. As others have observed, the key weakness with this episode was that Ted’s sister is even less appealing of a character than he is, and therefore the A story revolved around people we couldn’t like much. But Singing Barney and the Robin/Marshall B story (with Singing Marshall) made it fun. One thing about this episode is that like the season premiere and a few others this season, it had a very linear plot and relatively few sets. I almost wonder why they don’t just start shooting in front of an audience if they’re going to do episodes like this.

Dexter: The season just completed made everybody nicer and more normal; Dexter even had encounters with his dead foster-father, and only sane and normal TV characters get to take advice from dead people. (Just ask Katherine Heigl.) But though the show’s been getting soapier, I don’t think it’s so much a break from the first and best season, but more a negative effect of trying to dig too deeply into a shallow character. The fun part of the premise was that Dexter was a monster without ordinary human feelings, but while he hasn’t exactly been humanized, he’s become a little more human, and therefore less interesting; when he gets lectured by the ghost of Harry, he might as well be a character on Thirtysomething. This is one of those cases where character development is not an entirely good thing for a show; the interesting thing about Dexter was that he was an undeveloped character whose personality and mind didn’t have all the facets of normal, non-psychotic people.

The Border: This show has been rightly noted as having good production values, particularly by CBC standards, and yet visually there’s an empty-building sort of look to a lot of the interior scenes. I think it’s something to do with the look of Toronto studios. They have excellent facilities, of course, but compared to Vancouver shows, Toronto shows often strike me as having that look in many scenes. Maybe that’s not so much a matter of set design as lighting and set decoration (a lot of these shows don’t give rooms a very “lived-in” appearance). And certainly it’s not inherent to Toronto-filmed shows and movies, since many shows and movies film their interiors in Toronto without looking like that. But I do think I see it in more than a few Toronto shows.


 

Random Thoughts On Recent TV Shows

  1. Completely agree about Dexter. It is my favorite shows, but I’m terribly disappointed about how they softened the character. I think it has to do with them starting to show it on major networks. Part of the interest in the show was you found yourself rooting for Dexter while at the same time realizing that what you were rooting for was, really, extremely ugly and nasty. The first season implied as clearly as it could without actually showing it that part of Dexter’s ritual was systematic torture of his victims, and that his “code” was imposed simply as a means to avoid capture.

    The second season allowed him to divorce himself from this code, but doing so caused him to become, if anything, less dangerous to the general public. He has become relatively “humane” in his methods, and his code has become that he kills evil people not because they are less risky, but because it’s the right thing to do. He was essentially cleaned up. And now the third season has continued in this relatively bloodless vein (if you’ll excuse the pun), but while I still thing the character development and plotting is extremely strong which will keep me watching for at least the next season, I’m left a little bit disappointed.

    I liked that the first season made me squirm and wrestle somewhat with my own feelings. As the audience we got to feel an empathic sense of righteousness as he hunted down the evil killer, and were then confronted with the full brutality of it as he slices their cheek for a blood drop and then pulls out a cordless jigsaw. This last season every “kill” was quick, humane, painless, and bloodless, and often in self-defence.

    I’m thinking I should write the writer imploring them to return to the roots, make me feel guilty again for cheering Dexter on. That’s where things get really interesting.

  2. Yes, HIMYM last night was disappointing. I really didn’t like his sister, which I agree is just of a unlikable character as Ted. And they completely ditched the Barney and Robin thing… which I think should just be an on going thing to be believable, instead of something they will throw in at the end to be a “season finale shocker”. I did like how they brought back lovable Marshall, his character has been kind of dormant as of late.

  3. Nexter.