piranha: red origami crane (Default)
dexter season 5. well, that was a "nice" twist at the end of season 4.

i really liked rita in the beginning; she was naive when it came to knowing anything about dexter, but she started to grow from a doormat into a person who didn't want to make the same mistakes again, so she put her foot down when it looked to her like dexter was headed down the same path as paul. i thought she was an excellent character.

but then came the giant boob job. sorry. that was the somewhat jarring, obvious change, but not really my biggest complaint. ;)

lately she had become very demanding, and everything had to be just so to please her, and i was getting pretty tired of her pushing dexter around and giving him the cold shoulder when he didn't jump immediately. also, hypocritical much about keeping secrets? yeah, dexter is a closed-off, unemotional guy, but he's always been like that, and not letting him have any space whatsoever wasn't gonna change him. i don't like the whole idea of marrying somebody with the implicit goal of changing them to better suit you. also, how about birth control? maybe just a little chat about what you're planning for the future, during which one might bring up having more kids? i expected better from her (well, better from the writers, really).


40 days: day 22 (week 4)

workout D: 10 "tonic" reps of a very light weight to rest after a day of heavier singles. well, that's what it was supposed to be, but i was feeling strong, and didn't want to waste it.

Warmup
4:00 min ATG squat

and again no warmup except for the ATG squat. well, the weights are warmup weight today anyway.

Standing Barbell Shoulder Press (OHP)
4x10 @ 45 lb
volume: 1800

super-tonic. ;) felt pretty good today, but am supposed to do only "tonic" weights. so, up went the empty bar, as explosively as i could, with minimum rest between sets.

Barbell Deadlift
4x10 @ 105 lb
volume: 4200

this really greases the groove.

Two-Arm Kettlebell Swing
2x10 @ 23 lb
volume: 460

two short sets of shwingy goodness.

One-Arm Dumbbell Row
4x10 @ 25 lb
volume: 1000

shorter sets here too, in order to keep the workout "tonic".

Rotational Kettlebell Deadlift
2x10 @ 43 lb
volume: 860

as usual. didn't cut this down because it isn't much to begin with.

Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise
2x10 @ 6 lb
volume: 120

and short sets as well, but one set feels like nothing, so i did two.


total volume: 8440 lb -- wow, that volume really adds up quick, even though this felt like a super-light workout.
piranha: red origami crane (orizuru)
i liked dexter better without sex. that's kinda weird.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
with comedy-dramas. and i am trying to poke around the definitional edges so as to better predict which shows i might like.

total failures in recent past:
chuck
eureka

successes:
dead like me
weeds

when i look in wikipedia, i can see that it's not clear to people what constitutes a comedy-drama. which makes sense because there are no fixed lines; the definition only asks that approximately equal elements of comedy and drama be present. it seems that the definition slips easily: in the cases of comedy in which characters actually have some true emotional resonance, and with dramas that contain some element of comic relief.

but if i count all of those then the term becomes nearly meaningless, because there are so many shows now in which both comedy and drama are present in some combination. to me a show that's primarily drama with some banter thrown in doesn't qualify as a comedy-drama. for example, bones: this is first and foremost a drama, and there is no comedy outside of banter. criminal minds has comic relief through flamboyant penelope garcia and her interactions with other team members, but it's dead serious the rest of the time. or dexter, which has comedic elements in dexter's own observations about people (including himself), though the show inches a bit closer to the invisible line i draw.

i am quite happy with dramas that have comedic elements in the form of banter and black humour between characters, probably because those are my own native modes of dealing with stress. i'm also fine with comedy in which the characters become something more than spear carriers for a joke -- i guess ugly betty would qualify, since i did come to care about some of the characters, and their lives seemed quite real -- but that's a special case, i think. i am also fine with pure comedy where i don't emotionally care about the characters because they're just delivery vehicles for the humour, like in better off ted.

what rubs me the wrong way is if the writers get the melange of comedy and drama wrong. for example:

body parts strewn about in dexter are never comedic; they're dead serious. even if dexter waxes rhapsodically about the artistic arrangement, the body parts are not funny; if anybody is laughing, it is shocked laughter at dexter's alien-ness in that moment.

body parts strewn about in a monty python sketch: funny ha-ha, not serious at all -- no problem with that.

body parts strewn about in eureka: say what? am i supposed to feel bad for larry who got used by nanoids as a "carbon source"? then a) humanize larry for me at the start, and b) don't show me the bloody leftovers with taggart and the sheriff being not phased one bit. and i don't mean they crack "EMT under stress" kind of jokes; they simply do not react like real people would react to finding bloody remains. i cannot take any of the characters in eureka seriously, and in consequence i don't actually care when something bad happens to them. it also doesn't help that the science is horrendously boondoggled, and there too the comedic and serious aspects are confused.

in chuck the timing is off so badly that i don't believe any of the serious action is actually serious. chuck is a likeable guy. i WANT to like him. but i can't really care about anything because he lives in this totally fake-appearing world with all those other unreal characters.

both eureka and chuck get this sort of thing wrong as a matter of course. they try to make me like a character and then fuck with the process at the wrong time. they throw in a bad joke when i am feeling emotionally vulnerable. they constantly yank me out of their own story.

on the other hand, dead like me and weeds succeed because they give me time to move from laughing at the ridiculous stuff to feeling a character's pain. their characters feel authentic, even when they engage in antics that no real person would engage in.

i think that's the central point for me.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
serene wanted to know what i think of the book that inspired the tv series. i rather like the series.

short summary: surprisingly, i was disappointed in the book.

for those who don't know, dexter is a serial killer who dismembers his victims and derives considerable pleasure from that. to make this anti-hero palatable to the reader, he only kills fellow killers who have evaded the judicial system; a utilitarian ethic instilled in him by his adoptive father harry, who was a cop and saw early on exactly what dexter was becoming. conveniently, dexter works as a blood spatter analyst at the miami metro police. to leaven both his professional and his private work, he has a wry sense of humour, and a penchant for alliteration.

things are overall going pretty well for dexter; he has his "dark passenger" under control (well, as much under control as he can be). dexter's half-sister deborah who works (and hates) vice as an undercover hooker, wants to move up into homicide, and her opportunity is a new killer who kills and dismembers prostitutes. she enlists dexter's help in trying to find out who he is. to dexter the new killer has admirable -- and strangely familiar -- work habits, and surprisingly he soon appears to be sending dexter messages through his kills.

this all works well in the tv show, but for me it doesn't work nearly as well in the book. for one, i find tv's dexter is more likeable because he is something of a geek, and while he has managed to adjust sufficiently to society to not stand out like a sore thumb, he behaves much like a borderline asperger's. i can empathize with that. the book's dexter, on the other hand, is smooth and charming, and has women falling all over him; he blends in perfectly and there is not the same degree of fear of exposure.

the supporting characters are paper-thin in the novel, but are rather well fleshed-out in the tv show. dexter's backstory is much better foreshadowed and developed in the tv show. his engagement with the main killer, finding out more about him, and the denouement are given enough time in the show; in the novel the tracking of the killer seems rather deus ex machina, and the denouement feels very rushed. the chilling effect of -- despite us liking him -- dexter being a serial killer who enjoys his kills comes across much more solidly in the show (though this might easily be caused by blood and gore being much more visceral in pictures than in words).

so, while i think the book is a respectable first novel, the show's writers have even more of my respect now, because they took this as a blueprint and improved on it -- quite a different story from so many adaptations.

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piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

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