Dexter: The new season is excruciatingly tense. It’s partly the suspense over how he can continue to get away with it when everyone seems to be closing in on him, but for me it’s also the maddening worry that they’re going soft, trying to humanise and redeem Dexter. In the end it’s a better show for continually threatening to do that without ever making good. I’ve never been so relieved to see a knife sunk into a helpless human torso.
Pushing Daisies: A light-hearted supernatural murder mystery about a pie-maker who can resurrect the dead – for one minute. The premise is gloriously fiddly: his touch brings the dead to life, but he has to kill the resurrectee with a second touch within a minute, or a random bystander will die in their place. The obvious application is asking people who murdered them, but they’re not always much help. The dialogue is sparklingly lyrical, the pace is refreshingly swift and the stars winningly chipper and likeable. And it has narration that doesn’t suck.
Damages: Has somehow stayed miraculously on the rails after a seemingly unfollowable pilot. A legal drama with a symmetrical cast of characters on either side, but where the divide between good and evil is ignored by all – especially the writers. Ted Danson makes such a compellingly sympathetic villain, and Glenn Close such a frighteningly ornery hero, that you end up riveted by the duel but unable to root for either side. The web of bizarre, volatile relationships between characters has the plot spasming wildly, untenably with episode. It seems to become more impossible to resolve with every step the two timelines take towards each other, but never cops out or undoes its awful machinations.