2008 saw the birth, the completion, and the continuation of a number of great TV series. Here are some favorites.
The Shield’s seventh and last season occurred in 2008. The Shield, which is the story of LAPD cops in the fictional Farmington District, had the sort of raw grittiness and almost Shakespearean tragedy that is rarely seen on TV. Vic Mackey, the rogue cop who makes other rogue cops nervous, finally found that three years and seven seasons of violence, cutting corners, and murder had finally caught up with him. Justice finally came to Mackey and the other surviving members of the highly effective, but thoroughly corrupt anti gang Strike Team. But for the rest, like Dutch, Claudette, and the other moral normal police officers, life and law enforcement go on.
True Blood, based on the South Vampire book series, recently finished its first season on HBO. The premise is that vampires exist and, thanks to an artificial blood drink called Tru Blood, are now “out of the coffin.” True Blood has as its center the relationship between Sookie, a waitress in a town called Bon Temps, Louisiana who has telepathic powers and Bill, a hundred and fifty year old vampire who fought in the Civil War. The series is populated with a variety of quirky characters, including Sookie’s brother, the handsome and dimwitted Jason, her best friend, the loud and perpetually angry Tara, Lafayette, Tara’s gay, drug dealing cousin, and Sam, Sookie’s long suffering boss with a secret of his own. There is a serial killer on the lose strangling women who have had relationships with vampires and a fundamentalist church that has it in for vampires.
Dexter Morgan had his third season on Showtime in 2008. The ethical serial killer found a protégé and a new problem in assistant District Attorney Miguel Prado, who has decided to pursue a rougher kind of justice than can be found in the court room. Unfortunately for Dexter, Miguel is not ready to follow the Code of Harry, which allows only people actually guilty of murder to be subjected to Dexter’s horrific form of justice. Meanwhile a serial killer stalks Miami who skins his victims alive, complicating the lives of Dexter’s sister Debra, his friend Angel, and his boss LaGuerta. On top of all that, Dexter is getting married to his long term girl friend, Rita, a new experience for a man who can’t feel authentic emotions.
Bones continued its formula of murder mystery, forensic science, and weird banter and interpersonal tension. The departure of Zack to go live down the hall from Hannibal Lecter was a welcome change as the character was getting irritating with his Spock-like social ineptness. The addition of Dr. Lance Sweets as the boyish psychoanalyst was also welcome as a foil to the rest of the cast. The sexual and otherwise tension between Dr. Brennan and Special Agent Booth remains. The breakup of Angela and Hodgins was both sad and inexplicable.
House, the misanthropic and acerbic doctor and master diagnostician is, as usual, solving the most baffling medical mysteries every to come to television while making everyone around him, including himself, miserable. House’s best friend Wilson is still reeling from the untimely death of his girl friend Amber, the bitchy yet endearing doctor whom House had rejected for his team. Also suffering is “Thirteen”, the lesbian, dying doctor who House did choose to be part of his new team. The original trio of Foreman, Cameron, and Chase still make the occasional appearance. The burning question has arisen, will House actually make the moves finally on his long suffering boss, Dr. Cuddy?
Sources: The Shield Series Finale, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, November 26th, 2008
True Blood Season 1 Concludes, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, November 24th, 2008
Dexter Starring Michael C. Hall on Showtime: Portrait of an Ethical Serial Killer, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, October 11th, 2006
Bones: Truth and Justice for the Dead, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, March 10th, 2006
House M. D. The Misanthrope as Hero, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, December 7th, 2005