There are no major spoilers in these reviews.
The Mating Game by Bitter:Sweet:
A few songs on this album were classily recommended to me by Pandora -- it consists of sultry female vocals set against strings and brass. Highlights include "The Mating Game" and "Dirty Laundry", but the entire album is pretty good. The timbres are evocative, and only one song, "Our Remains", sounds like it should be blaring over the loudspeakers at DSW.
Final Grade: A-
This six-hour HBO miniseries is based on the book with the same name. On the bright side, this is one of the most solid book adaptations I've ever watched, and would definitely recommend watching it instead of reading the book (reading is for chumps). On the other hand, this is the documentary-style precursor of The Wire, so if you've watched that, you'll get deja vu here. It's especially noticeable and fourth-wall breaking when plotlines are reused or very familar actors play completely different roles.
Final Grade: B-
Dexter, Season Five:
I think this is the first time that Dexter has stumbled from excellence, although I'll need to watch it again to be sure. I was very excited for this season after watching the official trailer (S4 spoilers!), which seemed to imply that the season would focus on Dexter's umbrella of suspicion related to the climactic moments of Season Four. However, the trailer is misdirection, and impact of that plotline is greatly diluted over the course of Season Five. There are some strong points, and it does get good towards the end, but too much of the season is spent aimlessly, and I felt like Dexter as a character took a backseat to his new guest star. I've always felt like this guest star was a distressingly bad actress, so perhaps it was my biases getting in the way, but when I'm watching Dexter, I care about the main characters already in play, not brand new ones. I'm also sick of the time-filler plotlines related to inter-office romances and marriages -- it's like they were channeling the second and third seasons of 24.
Final Grade: C+
Romanians use gift cards to turn donuts into dollars
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