Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One of the best seasons of a television show ever

Or so said Jul after we (finally...one day late and yes that really does equal finally) watched the largely satisfying second season finale of Dexter.

This is from a person who enjoyed the first season, but didn't even consider it in her top echelon of shows last year. And though I absolutely did consider it in my top echelon and in fact at times called it my favorite show on TV, I have to say that the arc of this season was far more entertaining and felt less contrived than last year's.

The great thing about this to me is that Dexter is based on Jeff Lindsay's novels...or more correctly, novel. While the first season very closely mirrors Darkly Dreaming Dexter, the first novel in the series, this year the writing staff decided not to follow the rest of the books, but instead venture off on their own dark path for America's favorite serial killer.

Bold, scary decision. I know a number of people who thought they would fail, or at least that this season would suffer because they didn't have the structure of Lindsay's second novel to rely on. Also, in an only halfway related note, I remember seeing a comment recently on DHD or one of the other more or less strike-related sites where the person basically said that novelists deserved their royalties because they create everything, but TV and movie writers don't because everything is gangbanged (I'm paraphrasing...slightly).

To both of these thoughts I say: suck it. I'd put this season up against any other work of art or entertainment in the medium of your choice. The early season character growth of Dex and especially Deb, the seductive creepiness of Lila, Doakes finally feeling like more than a one-note character, and then the ridiculously awesome ratcheting up of the tension over the last 5 or so episodes...damn fine storytelling. Now I just hope our spec can live up to the real thing...


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