Friday, September 11, 2009

Dexter Seasons 1 & 2

This post will most likely contain spoilers, as it is hard to really explain a television series without it. So, if you have not seen Dexter, but plan to (and you should) it might be best to skip this.

That being said, Dexter is a pretty amazing television program. It stars Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan, who is a blood spatter expert for the Miami Police Department. He also just happens to be a serial killer.

Dexter was adopted at 3-year's old by Harry Morgan (James Remar), it became apparent very early to Harry - a Miami Police Officer - that Dexter had a bit of a dark side. In order to quench his thirst for death, Harry took Dexter out on hunting trips. He also began teaching him what Dexter would later proclaim as "The Code of Harry". In essence, it taught him how to get away with murder, but also only to kill those who deserve it - basically murderers who have beaten the system.

Unbeknown to the rest of his fellow police officers, including his sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter), Dexter is leading this double life. In order to hide his identity, Dexter does everything he can to act normal around people - including starting a relationship with Rita Bennett (Julie Benz). Bennett is fresh out of an abusive marriage, so she is unable to be intimate with Dexter, which is perfect for him.

All while living these two lives, Dexter is also a blood splatter expert, but becomes extremely infatuated with a new serial killer known as "The Ice Truck Killer". It is revealed to the audience midway through the season that the killer is, Rudy Cooper (Christian Camargo), who just happens to be dating Dexter's sister.

"The Ice Truck Killer" has been killing hookers, draining them of their entire blood contents, cutting up their bodies and leaving them for the police to find. Despite not having any blood, Dexter takes a serious interest in the serial killer's work. And, as he slowly figures things out - "The Ice Truck Killer" begins to become infatuated with Dexter.

I loved the first season, my only issue is that this season may be even better if it was the third or fourth season. As you know by seeing it, "The Ice Truck Killer" turns out to be Dexter's brother. And I found it pretty odd to have that dynamic in the very first season, plus the whole sister in peril thing.

That being said - even with that happening I got totally hooked on this show. It is so well done and Dexter is sort of an odd superhero with some serious issues.

As we move to the second season, a diving crew uncovers Dexter's secret burial ground for all of his kills.

Dexter is very OCD, however, so there isn't many clues that would ever link him to the crimes. Frank Lundy (Keith Carradine) is an FBI agent who is brought in to head up the search for the "Bay Harbor Butcher" which Dexter's name sort of becomes - without anyone knowing it.

Also, Dexter and Rita sort of have some issues as Dexter pretends to have an addiction to drugs to sort of hide his other issues. And during rehab meets Lila Tournay (Jaime Murray), who sort of understands him and becomes his 'sponsor'.

This quickly takes a turn for the worse as Lila accompanies Dexter to track down his mother's killer, and they stay in the same room - which Rita finds out about and breaks up with him. This sends Dexter into Lila's arms. Slowly, he begins to realize that Lila is very crazy and clingy, and even begins to become an issue for Rita and her children - Dexter breaks things off. But, Lila had already dug her meat hooks in and wasn't about to give her man up.

Meanwhile, James Doakes (Erik King) is the lone person in the police department who sees that Dexter has a dark side. It got so bad that Doakes begins stalking Dexter to keep an eye on him, and soon gets himself suspended for a fight. He continues his investigation into Dexter and finds out that he is the "Bay Harbor Butcher". But, Lundy and the FBI mark Doakes as their main suspect.

As Doakes looks to clear his name and also take down Dexter, he confronts him at a cabin where Dexter had killed his mother's killer. Unfortunately for Doakes, Dexter overtakes him and imprisons him inside the cabin.

The ending was sort of very coincidental as Lila steals Dexter's GPS and drives up to the cabin, she finds Doakes and Dexter's dark secret. In order to get Dexter back, she blows up the cabin as well as Doakes and Dexter is free once again.

I got really into this season, but again - it almost seems like we have been tossed into the middle seasons of a 10-season show. I guess it sort of makes sense to have the serial killer almost get caught, but you'd think that it would be in later seasons. Still, again it was a great season and I am hooked on another show.

I really enjoyed the addition of Carradine. I thought he was really good as the FBI agent, and also love interest for Deb (who seems to have some daddy issues). I liked Lila at first, but she sort of became over the top - which I guess was what was supposed to happen.

Anyway, great show - both dark and funny, yet also interesting.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

2009 NFL Predictions

The NFL Season is here!!!!

Tonight marks the first regular season game of the NFL Season.

Last year my Pittsburgh Steelers captured their second NFL Championship in my lifetime, so I am still riding high. The good news for the Steelers is they return 20 starters from their Super Bowl run this season and are expecting huge things from two wide receivers Limas Sweed and rookie Mike Wallace. They will also get a boost with the return of Rashard Mendenahll and punter Daniel Sepulveda (laugh, but he was missed last year). Finally, they have a huge bump in the return game with former CFLer Stefan Logan, who looked great in the preseason.

Anyway, I have rambled on about how the Steelers should win the title again this season, but will they?

Here are my selections/predictions for the 2009 NFL season. The season begins tonight at 8 p.m. with the Steelers taking on the Tennessee Titans.

North: Pittsburgh Steelers
South: Tennessee Titans
East: New England Patriots
West: San Diego Chargers
Wildcard: Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts
North: Green Bay Packers
South: New Orleans Saints
East: NY Giants
West: Arizona Cardinals
Wildcard: Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons
Superbowl: New Orleans Saints vs. New England Patriots
Winner: Patriots (very sad).

Also, we had our fantasy football draft at the end of last month. I was unlucky enough to have the eighth pick in the draft - so I was unable to get anyone I truly wanted. I was hoping for Brees and Rodgers as QBs (every year I seem to miss out on QBs, so I was determined not to have that happen this year - I was wrong). I ended up with Cutler and - gulp - Favre.

Anyway, the rest of the team shaped up OK, but I was disappointed in my QBs. I guess we shall see what comes out.

My starters:
QB- Cutler
QB- Favre
RB- DeAngelo Williams (my first selection)
RB- Marion Barber
WR- Marques Colston
WR- Lee Evans
WR- Antonio Bryant
WR- Wes Welker
TE- Greg Olsen
K- Nick Novak
DEF- Packers
RB- Ronnie Brown
QB- Chad Pennington
WR- Steve Smith (Giants)
DEF- Colts
WR- Josh Morgan
TE- Visanthe Shiancoe
RB- Knowshon Moreno
WR- Kenny Britt

Every season I always take a flier on rookies at both the RB and WR positions. Last year I picked DeSean Jackson from the Eagles and he ended up being one of my top receivers, the same for Dwayne Bowe from the Chiefs the year before that. So, I went with the Titans' Britt this year and also Moreno for Denver, who may be their starter right away.

Wish me luck. In a league filled with Steeler fans, a Pats fan currently holds our trophy. That must end this year.