Saturday, August 30, 2008

'Dexter' gets Wired and starts Rolling

To market the upcoming third season of "Dexter," Showtime made a smart move by copying the covers of Wired, Rolling Stone, Esquire and The New Yorker and using those as templates to lure passerbyers and those who haven't yet hit the "Dexter" bug. It's made some news lately with some surprisingly mixed reactions.

As I made my rounds researching reactions to this marketing ploy, one blogger from the popular technology blog, TechCrunch, said the "Dexter" ad simply "rips off Wired". Really? I beg to differ.

We live in a branded society. If anything, the use of the Wired logo and style is a win-win situation. Hell, associating the show with hip, widely-read magazines that covers the gamut gives the illusion that "Dexter" is indeed a hot commodity. It doesn't mean it is, but as long as people think it is, it'll become one soon enough. The fact that so many people are talking about it should be an indication to its success.

Take a look and decide for yourselves: Did Showtime hit the big time with this ad campaign? Will you be watching when it comes back?

'Mad Men' cools off, but theme song sizzles

Ratings have consistently decreased after each new episode as the second season premiered a few weeks ago for AMC's "Mad Men." Its inaugural season - critics argued that it was one of the year's best - earned a mind-boggling 20+ Emmy nominations. And because I tend to jump on the bandwagon relatively late with cable programming, I tried watching the second season without so much as a crash course to the characters or even the general synopsis.

To say I was lost would be the understatement of the year. Aside from the amazing theme song, "A Beautiful Mine" by RJD2 (more on that later), the pace was slow and lacked the intensity I have grown accustomed to seeing. Perhaps I'm not the demographic they are aiming for, but I can't see any aspect of the episodes I have watched that would make me want to come back for more.

I know shows like "Mad Men" - period pieces about a certain industry - are normally conducive to modest ratings and thrive exclusively on critics' rave reviews so really this shouldn't be much of a shock. But, with the immense amount of hype this show has received, from dozens and dozens of reputable sources prematurely casting their votes for the series, there has to be some substance there.

One thing I did enjoy was the instrumental track of "A Beautiful Mine." Who knew it was originally a hip-hop song? While I might not the biggest advocate for "Mad Men," music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas found the quintessential song to illustrate the buzzing advertising world of the 1960s.

Download: RJD2 - "A Beautiful Mine" (mp3)

Inside the Tube is open for business!

I first succumbed to my demise as a television addict around the time the fantastic spy thriller "Alias" was just closing up shop. Before then, I was a casual viewer, watching whatever was on and not thinking twice about what I was seeing. According to some, I was a late bloomer. According to others, I peaked right at the most opportune time.

Once I got to college in August of 2005 (let's get out those pencils!), I was fully engulfed in the faux reality that was Sydney Bristow's life. I was quickly introduced to a half-hour office comedy, thanks to my new college roommate, and as far as I knew it, life became all about the small screen.

So this will be my new home for the next few weeks, months, maybe even years. I'll do my best to sound intelligent (though I can't really guarantee that I will) and I'll try my hardest to give you my honest opinion - that, at least, is something no one else can claim.

Here we go!