Thursday, October 11, 2007

Why I Pay For Showtime.


Since the success of HBO's Six Feet Under, many series on subscription based networks (HBO, Showtime, etc) have continued to up the ante on the theatrical and conceptual possibilities of episodic basic television. Though I do not envy the production team's task on these projects- attempting movie-level quality at the pace of television- I have very much enjoyed the results. There is little doubt that the ad-based major networks have been scrambling to produce their own brand of edginess, but from what I've seen it simply can't compare, thanks to boardroom and FCC restrictions, to say nothing of the restrictive lash of the advertiser's purse strings. House is a good example of this kind of show, a mind-numbingly formulaic foray into the hospital drama milieu that is only saved, partially, by Hugh Laurie's gravitas. (It does help that his character pops vicodin, LSD, and just about everything else he can get his hands on, and then operates on patients. To that point, Hunter would be proud.)

So, to follow up the recent article on Dexter, (New American Hero, by Jason Stackhouse), here are some other series you really should check out.

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