Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 11/7/21 — 11/13/21

This was my birthday week and I’m happy to say that I spent a lot more time celebrating than watching television.  Here’s what little — I do mean very little — I did watch.

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

With the colonels now free from the Communist Resistance, it was up to Rene and the café residents to figure out what to do with all of the stolen money.  Of course, in typical Allo Allo fashion, it turned out that hiding money was much more complicated than stealing it, especially with Herr Flick determined to catch the culprits.  Officer Crabtree showed up to show everyone a picture of the, “sispoocts,” which turned out to be his way of saying, “suspects.”

Dexter: New Blood (Sunday Night, Showtime)

I wrote about the first episode of Dexter: New Blood here!

Fear The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I reviewed the latest episode of Fear The Walking Dead here.

The Office (Comedy Central)

On Saturday morning, I watched the “Did I Stutter” episode of The Office, which features not only one of Steve Carrel’s best performances from Michael but also great work from Leslie David Baker as Stanley.  I also related to Pam and her total blindness without her contacts or her glasses.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

You can read my thoughts on the latest episode here!

The Walking Dead: World Beyond (Sunday Night, AMC)

Apparently, I was just not in a Walking Dead mood this week.  I didn’t care much for Fear The Walking Dead‘s latest episode and the latest episode of The Walking Dead: World Beyond was boring as well.  I may just be bored with zombies, who knows?

TV Review: Dexter New Blood 1.1 “Cold Snap” (dir by Marcos Siega)

When last we saw erstwhile serial killer Dexter Morgan, he had faked his death, fled Miami, and was apparently working as a lumberjack in Oregon.

That was how Showtime’s Dexter originally ended, back in 2013.  It was not a popular ending and yet, I don’t think anyone was expecting to be satisfied by Dexter’s finale.  In retrospect, the highpoint of Dexter came during season 4, during the arc involving John Lithgow at the Trinity Killer.  The four seasons that came after the conclusion of that storyline could never quite escape the shadow of the battle of wills between Lithgow and Michael C. Hall.  Seasons 5, 6, and 7 all felt somewhat superfluous while season 8 seemed to go off the rails entirely.  As a result, I think everyone was mentally prepared to be let down by however the show ended but still, people were hoping for a little more than Dexter in Oregon.

Fortunately, Dexter Morgan is back!  Dexter: New Blood, which premiered last Sunday on Sunday, picks up ten years after the conclusion of Dexter.  Dexter (played by Michael C. Hall, of course) is no longer living in Oregon.  In fact, in the first episode, Oregon was never even mentioned. Instead, Dexter is now living in upstate New York.  He’s using the name Jim Lindsay.  He works at a sporting goods store.  He’s dating the local chief of police, Angela Bishop (Julia Jones).  He’s a popular citizen.  Everyone like Jim.  Everyone thinks that they know Jim.  Of course, what they don’t know is that Jim is actually Dexter, a serial killer who once specialized in killing other murderers.  They also don’t know that Dexter spends a good deal of his spare time talking to the ghost of his dead stepsister, Deb (Jennifer Carpenter, taking on the mentor role that James Remar played in the original series).  Deb continually tells Dexter that he can’t get close to anyone.  Anyone to whom Dexter gets close dies.  Of course, even in death, Deb doesn’t seem to understand that Dexter isn’t capable of being genuinely close with anyone.

When Cold Snap, the first episode, begins, it’s been ten years since Dexter killed anyone, though it’s obvious that he still has the urge.  Dexter’s ten-year break comes to an end when he meets Matt Caldwell (Steve M. Robertson), a spoiled rich kid who, several years earlier, was involved in a boating accident that killed five people.  When Dexter learns that Matt intentionally smashed into the other boat and then when Matt later shoots a rare albino stag that Dexter had spent days tracking, Dexter’s Dark Passenger returns.  Interestingly enough, it turns out that, despite being inactive for ten years, Dexter still has a perfect murderer’s lair inside his cabin’s shed.  Before Dexter ritualistically kills Matt, Matt says that his father is going to kill Dexter.  Who is Matt’s father?  I’m sure we’ll find out soon.  A part of me suspects that it might be Edward Olsen (Fredric Lehne), a billionaire who is planning on doing business in the town.  I also suspect that Olsen is probably connected to the disappearances of several young women in the area.  Wealthy businessmen often turned out to be serial killers on Dexter.

Speaking of fathers, Dexter is also a father.  He abandoned his son, Harrison, in Miami ten years ago.  Now, the teenage Harrison (Jack Alcott) has tracked Dexter down.  At first, Dexter pretended not to know who Harrison was and he gave Harrison money to buy a ticket on the next bus out of town.  However, at the end of the episode, Dexter, fresh from murdering Matt, showed up at the bus station, sat down next to Harrison, and said, “I am Dexter Morgan.”

It was an interesting ending and a bit frightening considering everything that we know about Dexter.  Ghost Deb is right.  People who get close to Dexter do end up dying.  That said, we really don’t know much about Harrison.  In the books, Dexter was often concerned that Rita’s stepchildren, Cody and Astor, had their own dark passengers.  To the best of my memory, that wasn’t really explored on the television show with Harrison but what if Harrison does turn out to be a serial killer?  Even worse, what if Harrison turns out to be a serial killer who, like his father, only targets other serial killers?  Would Dexter have to kill Harrison or would Harrison have to kill Dexter?  But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself.  As of the first episode, the only thing we know for sure is that Harrison managed to track his father down.

I was intrigued by the first episode of Dexter: New Blood, though I have to admit that most of that was due to the hints of what could happen in the future as opposed to what actually did happen in the episode.  As I said at the start of this review, the first four seasons of Dexter were brilliant.  The final four seasons were increasingly uneven.  Just as it’s hard for Dexter to run the risk of getting close to anyone, it’s also hard for us viewers to run the risk of fully embracing this revival because we’ve all seen first hand that there are limits to how far Dexter‘s concept can be taken without things falling apart.  It’s probably not surprising that the reviews for this episode were mixed.  Variety liked it.  The AV Club and Rolling Stone complained that it was too violent.  The generic online reviewer of today often seems more concerned with hitting the right talking points and satisfying the online mob than with actually giving thought to such quaint considerations at to whether or not a show is entertaining or if it actually holds your interest.  Dexter: New Blood held my interest and it was entertaining enough for me to set the DVR to record next week’s episode.  To me, that qualifies as a successful episode.

So far, Dexter: New Blood feels like it could be a return to the Dexter of those first four seasons.  Michael C. Hall remains a compelling presence.  I’m interested to see how things develop with Harrison.  I’m glad Dexter got the Hell out of Oregon.  I’ll be watching.

TV Review: Fear The Walking Dead 7.4 “Breathe With Me” (dir Tara Nicole Weyr)

The latest episode of Fear The Walking Dead really didn’t do much for me.

That’s not necessarily the show’s fault, or at least not entirely.  As I’ve said from my first review, I didn’t start regularly watching this show until the start of the current (and final) season.  As a result, I’m still learning who many of these characters are.  Perhaps if I had watched the earlier seasons, I would have been more emotionally connected to Sarah’s search for her brother, Wendell.  And perhaps I would have been more concerned with Josiah’s need to get revenge on Morgan.

But, even with all that in mind, last Sunday’s episode was punishingly slow.  It felt like a throwback to one of those old episodes of The Walking Dead where some minor character would randomly run into someone and then we’d have to spend 40 minutes listening to them have a conversation about nothing before some random Walkers finally showed up.  For lack of a better term, it was kind of boring.  For all of the trouble that the episode put the viewer through, it needed a better pay off than “Wendell’s here but I’m not going to let you see him.”

Josiah carrying around his brother’s disembodied heard was visually interesting but, from a narrative point of view, it was pretty stupid and it kind of made me wonder how someone who could be dumb enough to carry around a zombie head could possibly manage to survive in the world of the walking dead.  The fact that it all led to Josiah having to euthanize an adorable dog did not help matters.  I get that the whole idea behind The Walking Dead and its spin-offs is that the world is a terrible place where terrible things happen but honestly, Josiah was just an idiot.  He was probably an idiot before the zombie apocalypse and he’s apparently still an idiot afterwards.  My hope is that we’ve seen the last of Josiah because I really don’t want to have to spend another episode listening to him whine about his dead brother.  Instead, I hope future episodes will take us back into The Tower and the world of Strand.  Colman Domingo only appeared for a few minutes in the latest episode but he owned every one of them.

Finally, it appears that there are still some atomic warheads that were not set off during the previous season.  And I guess the Stalkers now have one of them.  That’s probably not a good thing.

Music Video of the Day: Tattooed Love Boys by The Pretenders (1978, directed by ????)

On August 1st, 1981, MTV premiered. Over the course of 24 hours, 116 unique music videos were played on MTV.  Yes, there was a time when the M actually did stand for music.

The 109th video to air on MTV was this performance clip from The Pretenders.  The performance was originally recorded for an Australian music show called Rage.


The First Videos Shown on MTV:

  1. Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles
  2. You Better Run by Pat Benatar
  3. She Won’t Dance With Me by Rod Stewart
  4. You Better You Bet By The Who
  5. Little Suzi’s On The Up by PH.D
  6. We Don’t Talk Anymore by Cliff Richard
  7. Brass in Pocket by Pretenders
  8. Time Heals by Todd Rundgren
  9. Take It On The Run by REO Speedwagon
  10. Rockin’ in Paradise by Styx
  11. When Things Go Wrong by Robin Lane & The Chartbusters
  12. History Never Repeats by Split Enz
  13. Hold On Loosely by .38 Special
  14. Just Between You And Me by April Wine
  15. Sailing by Rod Stewart
  16. Iron Maiden by Iron Maiden
  17. Keep On Loving You by REO Speedwagon
  18. Better Than Blue by Michael Johnson
  19. Message of Love by The Pretenders
  20. Mr. Briefcase by Lee Ritenour
  21. Double Life by The Cars
  22. In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins
  23. Looking for Clues by Robert Palmer
  24. Too Late by Shoes
  25. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  26. Do Ya Think I’m Sexy by Rod Stewart
  27. Surface Tension by Rupert Hine
  28. One Step Ahead by Split Enz
  29. Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty
  30. I’m Gonna Follow You by Pat Benatar
  31. Savannah Nights by Tom Johnston
  32. Lucille by Rockestra
  33. The Best of Times by Styx
  34. Vengeance by Carly Simon
  35. Wrathchild by Iron Maiden
  36. I Wanna Be a Lifeguard by Blotto
  37. Passion by Rod Stewart
  38. Oliver’s Army by Elvis Costello
  39. Don’t Let Me Go by REO Speedwagon
  40. Remote Control and Illegal by The Silencers
  41. Angel of the Morning by Juice Newton
  42. Little Sister by Rockpile with Robert Plant
  43. Hold On To The Night by Bootcamp
  44. Dreamin’ by Cliff Richard
  45. Is It You? by Lee Ritenour 
  46. Tusk by Fleetwood Mac
  47. He Can’t Love You by Michael Stanley Band
  48. Tough Guys by REO Speedwagon
  49. Rapture by Blondie
  50. Don’t Let Go The Coat by The Who
  51. Ain’t Love A Bitch by Rod Stewart
  52. Talk of the Town by The Pretenders
  53. Can’t Happen Here by Rainbow
  54. Thank You For Being A Friend by Andrew Gold
  55. Bring It All Home by Gerry Rafferty
  56. Sign of the Gypsy Queen by April Wine
  57. The Man With The Child In His Eyes by Kate Bush
  58. All Night Long by Raindow
  59. Boys Keep Swinging by David Bowie
  60. Rat Race by The Specials
  61. Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads
  62. Victim by Bootcamp
  63. Tonight’s the Night (Gonna be Alright) by Rod Stewart
  64. Cruel to be Kind by Nick Lowe
  65. A Little In Love by Cliff Richard
  66. Wild-Eyed Southern Boys by 38 Special
  67. Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
  68. Celebrate The Bullet by The Selecter
  69. More Than I Can Say by Leo Sayer
  70. A Message To You, Rudy by The Specials
  71. Heart of Glass by Blondie
  72. Oh God, I Wish I Was Home Tonight by Rod Stewart
  73. Kid by The Pretenders
  74. Come What May by Lani Hall & Herb Alpert
  75. I Got You by Split Enz
  76. Sister Disco by The Who
  77. Fashion by David Bowie
  78. Love Stinks by J. Geils Band
  79. Johnny and Mary by Robert Palmer
  80. Tomorrow by Shoes
  81. Prime Time by The Tubes
  82. Cruel You by Shoes
  83. Calling All Girls by Hilly Michaels
  84. I Was Only Joking by Rod Stewart
  85. Let’s Go by The Cars
  86. Do You Remember Rock’N’Roll Radio by The Ramones
  87. Ridin’ The Storm Out by REO Speedwagon
  88. You’re In My Heart by Rod Stewart
  89. So Long by Fischer Z
  90. I Don’t Want To Know by Robin Lane and the Chartbusters
  91. Go Back Home Again by Andrew Gold
  92. Time For Me To Fly by REO Speedwagon
  93. Rough Boys by Pete Townshend
  94. Dangrous Type by The Cars
  95. Turn It On Again by Genesis
  96. We’re So Close by Carly Simon
  97. Kid Blue by Louise Goffin
  98. Vienna by Ultravox
  99. (What’s Son Funny Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding by Elvis Costello
  100. I Won’t Let You Down by Ph.D
  101. Holiday by Nazareth
  102. In My Arms Again by Shoes
  103. Passing Strangers by Ultravox
  104. Turning Japanese by The Vapors
  105. Roll With The Changes by REO Speedwagon
  106. I Hope I Never by Split Enz
  107. Blondes (Have More Fun) by Rod Stewart
  108. Never Let Her Slip Away by Andrew Gold