Tuesday, January 11, 2011

TV Series

Netflix is a mixed blessing. I find myself wasting tons of time watching old television shows, movies I never got around to watching, and new series. This week I've picked up two new series to watch and boy are they the opposite ends of the spectrum.

I'm a huge fan of Wallace and Gromit so I've been looking to find other Aardman Films to watch on Netflix. That lead me to a little animated series called Shaun the Sheep. The series is based around Shaun, a sheep character from Wallace and Gromit's "A Close Shave". After the film, the character was quite literally put out to pasture. He lives in an English countryside home surrounded by many other sheep, a nonchalant sheepdog, and a blind and almost incompetent farmer. The sheepdog practically runs the place (with the help of Shaun) and the barnyard gets into plenty of trouble. From alien encounters to sheep ordering (and picking up) take out pizza, each 7 to 8 minute episode is jam packed with laughs and silliness. There is no real dialogue and the characters speak only in mumbles and grunts. But we don't need words to follow along. Sometimes the slapstick says more than witty dialogue ever could. Silly and cute.

The other series I've become fascinated with is the exact opposite of silly and cute. Jeff started watching season one of Dexter and has slowly drawn me in to the creepy series about a serial killer who works for the Miami Police Department. This series is filled with witty dialogue, a great narration, and enough creepiness to keep me on the edge of my seat. Dexter, played brilliantly by Michael C. Hall, is a serial killer who focuses his powers for "good", killing people who literally get away with murder. He kills people who have been brought to trial but get off on some type of technicality. But even with his "altruistic" streak, he's being hunted. By his own coworkers. His coworkers don't know he's a killer, they just know that he's really good at figuring out blood splatter marks. Dexter keeps up a narration through the whole series so we get a chance to hear what he says and what he's actually thinking. That provides a lot of the humor which is dark and dry, my favorite. It's a creepy show and it's not for the squeamish. But if you can stomach the blood, the writing makes it well worth it.

Like I said, these are about as polar opposite as you can get. So when I'm not watching people get sliced and diced by one of the most oddly sympathetic serial killers you'll ever meet, I'm watching a fluffy sheep save the day with the help of his sheep buddies and one poor sheepdog. I might need therapy after these two series.


Corrine said...

I love Dexter! I feel a little disturbed when I say that... considering the storyline. I raced through the seasons as I borrowed the dvds from friends. Season 4 is awesome. John Lithgow is so great and sooo scary. As soon as I finished the dvds of Season 4, I started watching what I had recorded of Season 5. Julia Stiles is on Season 5, and I liked it almost as much as season 4.

Cat B said...

I'm not anywhere near as far in the series as you are. We just finished Season 2 but at the rate we've been going, we should catch up soon. It's weird to say sympathetic serial killer but I have to admit I've have strange feeling about Dexter. It's a fascination and horror mixed. Plus it doesn't help that they made him hot in a creepy sort of way.

I'm excited to see John Lithgow. He should be ultra creepy.

I have to say though, I would have never pegged you for a Dexter fan. You seem too sweet and innocent.