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Taste the Difference: Premium Channels October 23, 2007

Posted by jmoran21 in TV.
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Dexter: Season 2 is here, and that means that once again my week will once again be a marathon sprint to Sunday nights for the next three months. While I’ve actually never seen The Sopranos, I’ve faithfully followed several “premium” series over the years: Carnivale, Six Feet Under, and most recently Flight of the Conchords. These shows have only one thing in common (besides Michael C. Hall), they’re too brilliant for network TV. Except Carnivale, that one was too brilliant for people. Buy the DVDs.

You can just sort of feel it when you watch an original premium channel series. For one thing, despite taking the same amount of time to watch as a regular show, the lack of commercials makes every episode a lot meatier. Like, your brain will tell you that the show should be done now, except there’s still more and you feel giddy from it. Secondly, and also obviously, the lack of censorship pumps up the enjoyment for any adult who thinks they should be allowed to choose for themselves what’s acceptable. Conversations in Six Feet Under feel real because that’s really how people talk. Thirdly, the concepts are so much riskier than what you get from networks. Who in their right mind gives a 12 episode deal to New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo?

I don’t know if it’s these or one of the many other little differences that make a premium series so scintillating, but whenever these shows return(ed) from hiatus, I feel it in my bones the same way as when you see an old friend or find a $20 on the ground. As long as they continue to deliver serial-killing with a conscious, I’ll buy into the schemes and fork over my hard earned dough with a smile.

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