Television

TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – ‘First Blood’

Julia Stiles in DEXTER - Season 5 - "First Blood " | ©2010 Showtime/Cliff Lipson

Before baby Harrison was even conceived on DEXTER, Dexter (Michael C. Hall) worried that any child of his might inherit his homicidal tendencies. It appears that Harrison, now ten months old, may have scratched the cheek of a playmate, drawing blood, which sends Dexter spiraling into anxiety. Not that he’s all that calm anyway, what with assault/kidnap victim Lumen (Julia Stiles) wanting Dexter to help her kill her remaining assailants, a desire that almost leads Dexter to mistakenly taking out the wrong man. Meanwhile, Quinn (Desmond Harrington) persists in his quest to tie Dexter to the mysterious Kyle Butler (the alias Dexter used to get close to the Trinity killer) and Batista (David Zayas) almost screws up a sting operation in his jealousy over what his wife/boss LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) may be doing to save her husband’s job. Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), continuing to investigate the Santa Muerte murders, finds clues in a very messy, maggot-infested murder scene.

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TV Review: CHUCK – SEASON FOUR – “Vs. The Aisle of Terror”

Robert Englund in CHUCK - Season 4 - "Vs. The Aisle of Terror" | ©2010 NBC

Robert Englund, aka Freddy Krueger himself, plays Dr. Stanley Wheelwright, the creator of toxin that creates waking nightmares in “Vs. The Aisle of Terror,” another great episode of the spy series CHUCK that adds a more beefed up role for Linda Hamilton as Chuck’s mom Mary and a return guest spot for Morgan Fairchild as Captain Awesome’s mom.

Let’s get back to the toxin first. Englund is a scientist who has created the toxin and wants to put it out on the open market. Mary who claims she is deep undercover as Frost, wants to meet up with Chuck so he can purchase the toxin for the C.I.A. and get it off the market.

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CD Review: THE ROCKY HORROR GLEE SHOW

THE ROCKY HORROR GLEE SHOW | ©2010 Sony Music

As GLEE hits Season Two, the balance between karaoke and reinventing classic songs has lately fallen into the bland karaoke treatment. And with the latest CD (and digital release) THE ROCKY HORROR GLEE SHOW, we get predominantly karaoke. Good karaoke, mind you, but karaoke nonetheless.

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TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Michael C. Hall in DEXTER - Season 5 - "Beauty and the Beast " | ©2010 Showtime/Cliff Lipson

After the “!!!!” moments of last week’s episode “Practically Perfect,” it makes sense that in feels like both DEXTER the series and Dexter the character (Michael C. Hall) are taking a little time to recover from various shocks and plan ahead. A good portion of “Beauty and the Beast” is concerned with Dexter’s dilemma over Lumen (Julia Stiles), the young woman who was captured and tortured by Dexter’s latest target. Problematically for Dexter, Lumen witnessed him killing Lumen’s captor. Dexter tries to nurse Lumen back to health – she’s got criss-crossing cuts all over her back – while trying to figure out what he can do that won’t cause either of them to die. Harry’s shade (James Remar) urges Dexter to kill Lumen, as the number one rule remains “Don’t get caught,” but Harry instead tries to get the wary woman to trust him. When she does, it turns out that Dexter’s victim wasn’t her only tormentor, and now that Lumen knows she’s not going to be killed, she wants payback.

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TV Review: CHUCK – SEASON 4 – “Vs. The Couch Lock”

Adam Baldwin in CHUCK - Season 4 - "Vs. The Couch Lock" | ©2010 NBC

Someone behind-the-scenes at CHUCK must have been paying attention to how much the quality control had been suffering the last couple of weeks and made some drastic changes that got the show back on track. With “Vs. The Couch” we get a Casey-centric episode which finally gives the under-utilized Adam Baldwin some cool stuff to do after being sidelined the last couple of weeks as his character had an “injury.”

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TV Review: GLEE – SEASON TWO – “Duets”

Dianna Agron and Chord Overstreet in GLEE - Season 2 - "Duets" | © 2010 Fox/Adam Rose

After a couple of bumpy weeks, GLEE gets back to basics with a solid story that forces the show choir kids to put on their best “Duets” for a free meal at a restaurant called bread sticks. The competition really brings out the best (and some times worst) in the students, as they all vie for the prize. It also allows the show to focus on the characters themselves in simple and effective ways.

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TV Review: CHUCK – Season 4 – “Vs. The Coup d’Etat”

Ryan McPartlin and Armand Assante in CHUCK - Season 4 - "Vs. The Coup D'Etat" | © 2010 NBC

There are only a few shows I look forward to week after week like CHUCK, yet the first part of Season Four has produced three rather lackluster episodes in a row. The show is fumbling. It doesn’t know what to do with the relationship between Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) resulting in silly shtick like (“is our relationship going good?” “Would she marry me if I asked her?”) as opposed to finding quirkier ways of handling these topics that don’t feel as forced.

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TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – ‘Practically Perfect’

Julia Stiles in DEXTER - Season 5 - "Practically Perfect" | ©2010 Showtime/Cliff Lipson

Bless DEXTER. Five seasons in, it still has the ability to surprise us with twists small and large. In “Practically Perfect,” the show is paying off so many threads already that we aren’t missing the one huge arc of a season-long villain. The show runners have said essentially they can’t attempt to top John Lithgow’s Trinity Killer right away, and that seems a sensible assessment. Instead, they give Dexter (Michael C. Hall) a whole new kind of problem.

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