Ohhh, there's that feeling. The reason I watch TV: new episodes of genuinely good shows. Man, that feels good.
"Pushing Daisies," last year's #1-super-best show ever (granted, pickings were slim), came back tonight after its strike-abbreviated first season, with an episode devoted to...bees. And realizing the whole damn episode would be filled with bee-related puns, I was a bit worried that the show's cloying aspects would overwhelm the re-introductory premiere. (And jeez, ABC, did the first five minutes of the episode have to be a season 1 recap for new viewers?!)
I accept that this is a love-it-or-hate-it show. Either you're on board with the modern fairy-tale Seuss-meets-Burton style of the show, with its cute weirdness and weird cuteness, or you find its super-saturated color-scheme and adorability annoying and sensory-obliterating. This is a show whose success is entirely dependent on how cynical a viewer is feeling that Wednesday. If ever the phrase "not for all audiences" was built for a show, this is it.
But I know I'm a terribly cynical person. And I also know that for the hour that "Pushing Daisies" is on, I'm not quite so cynical. Bee-puns and all. I'm so happy this show is back, and urge everyone to watch it (and also go get season 1 on DVD).
Speaking of introductory recaps, "Dexter"'s new season started with a looooong one. "Previously on 'Dexter'..." has never been such an understatement. Seriously, ten minutes recapping season 2, huh? Okay, fine, whatever.
But if you could slog through that, you got to watch Great Television in Action! The first episode managed to reset things to the status-quo of season 1 (before Dexter was being hunted) while at the same time amp things up into new and unexpected levels of danger.
SPOILER! (Ugh, I hate that term. But I realize some people only watch the show after it's out on DVD, so yeah, tread lightly here if you wanna stay blind for the next three months - and really, good luck with that.)
OK? Ready? Good.
Dexter getting Rita (SERIOUSLY, SPOILER, TURN BACK YOU BASTARDS, AAAAHHH!!!) pregnant is one of those developments that would seriously fuck up a lesser show. But the main theme of "Dexter" has always been how a man deals with an absent father's expectations. And last year, our lead made his peace with his departed dad - learning new things about him, and realizing that while "Harry's Code" is deeply important, doesn't rule his life.
So seeing how Dexter deals with the idea of himself as a father is an absolutely fascinating road to take. That's going to be the B-story, what the meaning of the show is about. But in the meantime, we're also apparently going to get Jimmy Smits as the friend Dexter never ever wanted. It's all looking pretty good.
Speaking of puns (from the "Pushing Daisies" bit, get it?...look, sometimes you have to work a little harder for your segues), HBO's "True Blood" made me proud for the first time in its few episodes with this line of dialogue:
Bill (after Sookie rolls her eyes at the name of the local vampire bar being "Fang-tasia"): You have to realize, most vampires are very old. There was a time when puns were considered the highest form of comedy.
The show's not perfect. There are way too many Southerner-stereotypes, Jason Stackhouse is so astoundingly stupid I don't know how he even remembers to breathe, and the actors' accents venture into Foghorn Leghorn territory at points...but I feel like this show's going somewhere fun, and that's more than I can say for...oh, say "John From Cincinnati" at this point.
But anyway: Good TV! Hooray!