The Showtime tentpole program, Dexter, has been a favorite for a long time. But this year was the second year in a row in which it seemed to backslide horribly. The villain was horrendous, the sister/adopted brother love story icky, the side characters vapid, and the plot lines increasingly meandering. Even Michael C. Hall, who I imagine could be interesting while starring as a guy waiting for a bus to take him to work, seemed to suffer. His performance sometimes felt listless and disinterested. It is actually amazing to think that I watched all 12 hours of this program while letting numerous other shows stand on the sidelines unwatched. So here are ten shows I probably should have checked out before the one about the friendly serial killer.
10. Hell on Wheels (AMC)
I watched a couple episodes, but maybe if I had watched the whole thing I would be able to stop whining about HBO dropping Deadwood five years ago. Doubt it though.
9. Modern Family (ABC)
Uh…I don’t know. Everyone is always talking about how good it is. Plus, there’s Sofia Vergara.
8. Louie (FX)
A television show from the hilarious comedian/director of the horrifically underrated film Pootie Tang. This should be appointment viewing.
7. The Walking Dead (AMC)
Only problem is I have sworn off all books, films, and programming involving vampires or zombies. Otherwise, I would have to peep this.
6. Game of Thrones (HBO)Actually, I watched about half-a-season of this. And it was good, with the vertically-challenged rich smartazz, the elfin princess with the incredible physique, the insanely gunned up dude who gets to bed said princess, and the dude from the Full Monty getting his seriously bearded fat guy thing going. But then I fell off of the wagon, and I have no idea why. Then the main character gets his head chopped off. That sounds pretty awesome.
5. How I Met Your Mother (CBS)I had totally sworn off network sitcoms. The laugh tracks were awful. The hot wife/fat husband dynamic was played out. The jokes were neutered so as not to offend the kiddies. Then I see this show on syndication! F*cking brilliant! Every character is hilarious and, more important, relatable. The writing is clever enough to get around the censors. The plots are always ridiculous yet grounded enough to pull the audience in. I want to buy every season on DVD.
4. Justified (FX)
This stars Timothy Olyphant. He’s wearing a cowboy hat. He’s a lawman and a complete badass. Sound familiar? (Seriously, I’m hyperventilating while writing the description.)
3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)
I have been catching up to this one OnDemand. Last night, there was an entire Season 4 episode dedicated to figuring out which one of the characters pooped the bed. It was titled “Who Pooped the Bed?” It was as stupid as it sounds. And I laughed the entire time.
2. Homeland (SHO)
The finale of the show’s first season showcased the plight of a former soldier who had been flipped to the other side during his tour in the Middle East. The guy is about to blow up a room filled with the United States’ most high-level political dignitaries. The 90 minutes of action was intelligent, suspenseful, and expertly paced. Oh yeah, and it made you care about the plight of a scumbag suicide bomber. Ridiculously riveting TV.
1. Breaking Bad (AMC)
I actually feel like an idiot every time I have to admit that I do not watch this show. At this point, my only excuse is that I would have to catch up with previous seasons to get the full effect. Anyway, I can see in to my Netflix future…and it is filled with Bryan Cranston.
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