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Monday, October 10, 2011

Mos Def the start of a good season, but this one wasn't too memorable

Dexter - "Once Upon a Time"

This week, the pendulum swung the other way. Last time, religion didn’t come out looking rational. This week, it still doesn’t look rational, but it was portrayed as ballsy, life changing, and powerful. We do not deny that religion has effected and changed individual lives for the better. Our only complaint is that the good religious person is black. That sounds bad, so let us explain. There is nothing wrong with black Christians, but it’s just another example of the fact that TV has trouble having nice Christians who are also white.

It’s like if you are white and a Christian, you are the devil. But if you are black and spiritual, you are a magical Morgan Freeman type. Examples: The Shepherd on Firefly/Serenity, Mercedes on Glee (compare to Quinn), Rose on LOST, Mr. Eko on LOST, Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy, and Chris Turk on Scrubs. 7th Heaven is a big exception, but that wasn’t really a mainstream show in that it catered to a specific audience (white Christians). Also, some of those characters sucked.

It’s a rule in TV and movies that if you make your Christian character black, then they are allowed to be sympathetic, and your show will get away with it rather than appear preachy. This is really odd to us. What’s the reason? Because we’ve noticed it multiple times. Is it because people remember Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. as the last respectable popular minister in the media? Is it because they are seen as underdogs not using it to gain political power?

Just as it’s not fair for white Christians to always be portrayed as hateful, it’s unfair to black atheists and agnostics to always be portrayed as Christians. We knew one young black woman who told us that she grew up thinking “all black people are Christians.” This is interesting to us, because we don’t know why TV has embraced these stereotypes. If you don’t believe us, just keep an eye out. You’ll start to notice it’s the rule rather than the exception. In any event, now we have Brother Sam on Dexter, and he is, in fact, a brother. He’s played by Mos Def, whom we love.

What’s going on with Travis and his older boss? They are those guys who put snakes in people. Is it a weird cult? What’s going on there? Dexter seems to think it’s a person in a league of serial killers who treat their dark passengers like a religion. They seem to think some sort of end is near, and Travis isn’t allowed to see his sister? Very weird, and very creepy. Also, fun. We liked the shot of Travis at the end, about to hit a fatally helpful guy in the head with a rock.

Poor Quinn. We actually don’t dislike him, like a lot of fans do. Deb is his boss now (the perks of being a YouTube star), and they are definitely not getting married. We sort of hope that Deb misses him and decides she wants to marry him at the end of the season. But, more than that, we want her to find out about Dexter. After last season, she can handle it. We like that Deb is the Lieutenant, and she handled things perfectly with Angel. It was kind of sad at the end where Dexter realized that it was time to hide his true self from Harrison. Aww, he had another year before the memory would become a problem, at least.

Overall, this was a set-up episode. Pretty much a 50-minute teaser to the creepy things to come (hopefully).

Episode grade: B-

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