‘Dexter’ – ‘Those Kinds of Things’: Stop. Hammer time

Senior Television Writer
10.02.11 27 Comments


A quick review of the “Dexter” season premiere coming up just as soon as I’m the future or boring…

Most of you know by now that I have something of a love-hate relationship with “Dexter.” Love Michael C. Hall, love the first couple of seasons (and, to an extent, the Lithgow-ized fourth season), and hate most of the supporting characters (other than Deb and Masuka) and the way that the show’s longevity has completely defanged Dexter and turned the entire show into a formulaic pay cable procedural.

But I keep watching for Hall, and for those occasional moments that evoke the power and creepiness of those first couple of years. And in the case of the season premiere, I was rewarded with an entertaining, funny hour with a can’t-miss premise: Dexter goes to his high school reunion. One of the byproducts of the show going into cruise control since late in season 2 is that the series arguably works much better as a black comedy than when we’re supposed to take any of it seriously. So seeing Dexter try to navigate his way through his old high school circles, struggle to understand the references and little nuances, was very funny. Dexter as detached observer of the way the rest of humanity lives can be very effective, as it was here.

I’m not sure, though, how much I’ll have to write about the rest of the season, at least not if the other two episodes I’ve seen are any indication. The religion theme is being pounded home with a sledgehammer, the later scenes featuring Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos are so serious and self-important as to be funnier than anything in this episode (including Dexter trying to dance to MC Hammer) and new showrunner Scott Buck doesn’t have any better idea of what to do with Angel, Laguerta and Quinn than any of his predecessors.

Maybe I’ll do talkback posts on the next two episodes, maybe later episodes will win me over more, but “Dexter” is what it is at this point. Tonight, at least, it was something that entertained me.

What did everybody else think?

You can watch the entire episode (edited to TV14) right here if you missed it.

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