(Warning – spoilers ahead for anyone who isn’t keeping up with BOTH Dexter and Breaking Bad.)
While Breaking Bad continued to BRING IT in last night’s penultimate episode, leaving viewers counting the hours until the finale ,and anticipating fireworks that could take out the entire city of Albuquerque and its environs, Dexter ended not with a boom but with a meh.
Why did Dexter peter out while Bad burns?
There are a whole bunch of reasons why Breaking Bad is simply a better show, and certainly going out after five tight seasons is better artistically than ending after at least one too many, but mostly the problem with Dexter was a lack of self-awareness, an ignorance of its own nature.
It’s charm was in its ridiculousness. It wasn’t just the premise – a “good” serial killer. It was the execution. Breaking Bad had a pretty far-fetched premise as well – middle aged nerd becomes a drug kingpin and then retires, having amassed $80 million dollars in just a little over a year. Yet, Bad always weighted itself in the reality and complexity of its characters. While it could go for the occasional laugh, it was clear, certainly by the time we watched Walt watch Jane choke on her own vomit, that a tragedy was unfolding.
But what was Dexter? Go back to Season One and you’ll see something near satire. A cynical look at Miami, or Dahmerland, as Dexter so aptly put it. It was a comic book with Dexter having near super-strength and an unfailing ability to get the bad guys. The “on the table” dialogue with the soon to be dispatched bore no resemblance to real end of life conversations. And this was a good thing. It kept us emotionally detached from the horror. There was Dexter telling a pedophile priest/killer of altar boys, that “I’d never do what you do. I have standards,”or seeking relationship advice from a couple who killed Continue reading Dexter Finale Snoozathon