Monday, October 30, 2006

Serial killing and Texas R&B

I meant to note this last week when it probably would have made more sense; this past Saturday, Showtime aired a marathon of the first four episodes of one of their original series to allow non-viewers to catch up from the beginning - it's a weekly hour-long program running there that I really like and recommend: “Dexter.”

It's about a guy who is a CSI-type blood-splatter analysis officer on the Miami PD, but who is also, basically, a sociopathic killer on his off-hours. The premise is he goes after people who escape justice, but it's all very, very dark, and he is very, very strange. There are occasional flash-backs to his childhood (we've found out he was a foster kid adopted by a family headed by an old-time Miami cop), and it's clear Dexter suffered some, so-far, unknown trauma. In one of the flashbacks, he was found to have killed animals when he was a teen, which is one of the classic tip-offs to a serial killer type. His adoptive father found out and realized the kid had problems, and tried to steer him to only taking lives of those who deserve it.

I'd advise trying to catch it from episode one, as it has an on-going story arc (as they say in the biz). If you have Showtime-on-Demand, just call up the shows from the beginning of the run, or else maybe wait for them to do another marathon of all the episodes (which they will probably do before the season finale). Or just get the inevitable Season 1 on DVD when it comes out, I guess.

And, I have to admit, nervously, that when Dexter does his narrative voice-overs, which he does throughout the series, and talks about how much he finds humanity somewhat gross and bizarre, and how being in a relationship is, well, tricky (there's a great sub-plot running about his evolving relationship with his girlfriend), and how he pretends to “get along,” just to fit in with society, well, I get some of what he's saying.

Although I will hasten to point out, I've never killed anyone, and I totally love animals (more than I do most people, in fact – oy.)

But Dexter is a really likeable anti-hero, who (as far as I can tell in at least the first five episodes) is trying to do the right thing. And the show's got great production values. So I say check it out if you get a chance. It airs Sunday nights at 10.

Also, I've been listening lately to a great box set of old music, from Texas, no less, called “Boogie Uproar: Texas Blues and R&B 1947-1954.”

It's good stuff, and, when I hear it, I love the sounds, but I also get somewhat sad because you just know that the black guys (and it was overwhelmingly black guys) who made it were totally ripped off by the music business in those days, and their music and styles were stolen and turned into safe, white bread hits by people like Elvis.

So if you ever want to have some really cool background music on when you're making a yummy Omaha Steaks dinner (some prime rib tonight, ahhh), accompanied by a great bottle of Shiraz, my bud Sarah and I would highly recommend this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I watch Dexter! It's really good. (He used to be on Six Feet Under.)

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