Are television promos ruining good cliffhangers? ‘The Sing-Off’ beats ‘The X Factor’ 16 Ultimate TV Antiheros Inside Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of Larry Kramer’s acclaimed play
Our q u final estions ly an sw by th e pro ered duce rs!
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Features 21.The Finale that Made the CUT Scott Buck and executive producer Sara Colleton defend the creative choices made during season 8 and answer a couple questions about that rumored spin-off. [Cover]
28. Jenelle Arrested! One of the stars of MTV’s Teen Mom 2 has been arrested in South Carolina and charged with breaching the peace. 35. Are television promos ruining good cliffhangers?
‘Breaking Bad’: Saul Goodman spin-off might spend a lot of time in court
18. The Vampire Diaries
11. Matthew Perry to star in ‘Odd Couple’ remake at CBS
9. Countdown: 16 Ultimate TV Antiheros
14. Inside Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of Larry Kramer’s acclaimed play
9. Who Did THAT on Late-Night TV? Best of 2013 Quiz!
20. Sons of Anarchy 31. Mob City 40. American Horror Story
19. ‘The Sing-Off’ beats ‘The X Factor’
13. What do you think? Compair 2013 TV star look a-likes 29. Revamped! New Dog, Old Tricks
ow. n K We
After eight seasons, now we know the fate of Dexter and Debra Morgan. Showrunner Scott Buck and longtime executive producer Sara Colleton take our questions about the final episode.
Before the season started, you said the core idea behind this finale has been in the works for years. What was the original concept?
This episode was unlike any we’ve seen on the show before. How much time and money was put into this hour compared to a typical week?
BUCK: The kernel idea were the last few scenes. They were what I pitched a few years ago. The main idea was Dexter is forced to kill Debra. And there are many ways that could happen. But those final scenes were pretty much unchanged.
SCOTT BUCK: it was considerably more. There were a lot of visual effects that are very costly and then to go out and shoot in astoria added to our price tag. But it was our final episode and showtime was very accommodating. Our normal eight days of production became 10 days.
SARA COLLETON: From the very beginning the paradox was here’s a guy who doesn’t feel he’s a human being, who has to fake it. But in faking it, he’s a better brother, boyfriend, colleague that most real people. People think of him as a monster, but he yearns to be human. We’ve seen him go forward on this journey every year. Now we found out what the final price was. What sums up the entire journey was the scene on balcony of his apartment before going
DID YOU KNOW? If you counted how many people Dexter had killed on-screen it added up to 133
Were there any other versions that you rejected? BUCK: The only real variation was what he would be doing. I knew he would be in a self-imposed prison that would be as far from Miami as possible. We’d find him working in some solitary environment where even if other people were around he would make no contact and not talk to anyone. We would follow him home and he would have no human contact.
In a way that’s his new code — avoiding human contact. BUCK: Yes. For us, that’s the tragedy. The one thing we felt Dexter wanted more than anything was human connections. Even in the first season we see him trying to get with Rudy. Now that he’s finally made that journey and he’s almost poised to have a real human life, he has to give all that up to save Harrison and Hannah. Why was it important to end the show this way? BUCK: It seemed like the ending that was most justified. In season 1, you saw this guy who was so compartmentalized. The last couple seasons have been about breaking down those walls by having his son and his relationship with Hannah and having Deb discover who he is. Still he was able to justify what he did. We felt it took the death of the one person he cared most about to really look at himself. [His fate] wasn’t something that happened to him but his decision. He had to bear the burden of deciding his fate. Deb’s death is interesting choice because Deb basically “dies” off screen when she has her stroke and goes into a coma. BUCK: In some ways. But I think we all feel the real moment is when Dexter hits that button. We also did it that way because in some ways it’s a little more shocking. COLLETON: In their goodbye neither knows that they’re saying goodbye. I so admired [Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall] because they never let that this was their last scene slip through. They just tossed it off in a wonderful way.
DID YOU KNOW? ‘Dexter’ was originally supposed to be a movie and the first season was based on a book
two years before divorcing in 2010 In a way, Deb gets what she’s wanted for most of the season. BUCK: That’s true in a way. There’s one point where she wanted exactly that. But she makes a turn two-thirds through the season. Things are looking up for her. She was seeing a possibility for happiness. The death she may have wanted at one point was the last thing she wants right now.
The writers seemed to have a higher opinion of Hannah as a suitable mother. Couldn’t Dex’s criticism of himself be said about Hannah too? BUCK: We wanted to believe Harrison would be happy and safe. Dexter judges people on a different level. That Hannah is a killer, Dex understands that. She kills for self protection.
It’s surprising that Miami Metro never realized Dexter’s secret. Everybody expected them to figure it out in the final season. BUCK: We toyed with that idea, but it felt off-point. The story was ultimately about Dexter’s personal journey. We have one moment in that interrogation room with Quinn and Batista. Watching the tape, Quinn has known all along that there was more there to Dexter. Batista is seeing a hint of the darker Dexter. There was a hint in that moment. But we didn’t want to blow it all up and revel he’s a serial killer. But a fan gripe was the season had Dexter dispatching new threats like in a typical season rather than a sense of that the show was arcing toward a finale with Dex’s world unraveling. BUCK: It felt like we had done that with LaGuerta last season and with Lundy in season 2. I felt like it ran the risk of feeling repetitious and familiar. COLLETON: Going that way felt pedestrian to me. I don’t know how else to put it. Years ago it was discussed and tabled as a very predictable non-interesting way to go.
DID YOU KNOW? The woman who played Rita originally auditioned for the role of Debra.
DID YOU KNOW? Michael C. Hall (Dexter) and Jennifer carpender (Deb Morgan) were once married. they lasted two years before divorcing in 2010
Have to ask: How did Dex get from his boat to the shore in the middle of a hurricane? BUCK: Hopefully it’s not a question that will be examined too closely. The show has always been a half step away from reality; it’s a hyper-reality. We established there is an emergency life raft with an outboard motor on the boat. He could have gotten in the raft and made it safely to shore. The episode felt more serious, focused and emotional than Dexter normally is. But it made me wonder why the show doesn’t normally have that grounded tone. BUCK: That’s interesting. I’m glad you liked it. The show started out in such a different place. The first season, the level of reality was more suspended. We felt like we were gradually making it more real. Michael always said about the ending, ‘Let’s make it real, let’s deal with it more realistically.’ I think it was more a gradual move rather than a sudden turn at the end of the final season. I found the episode compelling partly because there was so little voiceover and no Ghost Harry. Was that deliberate to ditch those devices? BUCK: It’s a little late to ask. It’s a compelling question. We very purposely had Dex say goodbye to Harry in previous episode and made a conscious decisions to do very little voiceover, particularly in those final scenes. I didn’t want voiceovers to explain things. I didn’t even want music.
What flipped the switch for Dexter in the penultimate episode in terms of no longer wanting to kill? Is it simply because he loves Hannah? BUCK: It’s really an accumulation of everything that’s he’s experienced over the years. He finally has a woman who understands him and they’re incredibly physically attracted to each other. And there’s Harrison. Some fans were disappointed by this final season. Were you both happy with the episodes leading up to the finale? BUCK: Even if I don’t write an episode, I’m still in charge. I take full responsibility. We all work cohesively as a team. If people think the final episode stood out, it’s probably because it’s been sitting in my mind for so long. It’s a difficult question to answer. COLLETON: I think some episodes worked better than others. But as a whole the Deb and Vogel story lines worked and we wanted to change it up and have the big bad hide in plain sight. Darri Ingolfsson, who plays Saxon, he’s fabulous once you realize [he’s the brain surgeon]. The scene where he comes to Dexter’s apartment is a wonderful scene. I try not to read any of the blogs because then I become paralyzed. If they knew how much we agonized internally about everything … if we then tried to factor in an assortment of opinions it would dilute the process.
One point of contention was some of the supporting story lines. Like why spend time with Masuka and his daughter and Quinn taking the sergeants exam in the final season? BUCK: We wanted to give some indication of where these characters were going. We wanted to give them all a bit of resolution toward the end. Masuka was a very small story, it took up a small amount of screen time. This is probably the most sexist character most of us have ever seen and for him to have his first honest relationship with woman and have that be his daughter felt interesting. As for as Quinn, we’re trying to spend time with characters that have been with us for a long time and we’re never going to see again. Since Hannah’s a wanted fugitive, couldn’t she have at least put on a ball cap when walking around Miami? BUCK: We played with the idea of dyeing her hair. In the research we did on fugitives we learned there are countless fugitives out there just walking around that nobody is really looking for. There aren’t funds to hunt down every one of them — particularly Hannah, as she hasn’t been convicted of a crime. She’s not high priority. We put her in sunglasses. Otherwise we didn’t want to call more attention to it. So what is the spin-off concept that Nevins has been hinting? BUCK: No concept whatsoever.I’m going to sit down with Showtime and discuss the possibility. But we haven’t said a single word about it.
Not Satisfied? Visit www.TVJunkie.com to see exclusive videos of the interview and behind the scene photos of the final season given by the producters of ‘Dexter’.
The rumor for a while was the spin-off would star Deb. Was that ever a possibility? BUCK: Never any truth to that. But we sort of played with that idea once that rumor was out there because I think it was beneficial for people to think we were going that direction.
Would Michael C. Hall have any involvement in a spin-off? BUCK: No idea. Who knows what the future of Dexter is? COLLETON: Right now there’s no plans. Scott, you referenced that we’ll never see Quinn again. So is it safe to assume any spin-off would not use the current supporting cast? BUCK: I believe that’s most likely. We won’t see the current cast again. What’s your plan for when the finale airs? Are you going to read viewer reactions? BUCK: It’s always a little scary, but I think it would be disrespectful to not hear what people are saying. What would you like Dexter’s impact to be? COLLETON: If Dexter has made anybody really stop and think about their behavior, that would make me very happy.
New dog, old tricks
For those who missed the Nov. 24 episode, Brian was given a proper burial after being run over by a car. Stewie, who had destroyed his time machine, was unable to acquire a titanium capacitor to build another device, preventing him from changing the course of events on that fateful day. And the Griffins kickstarted the moving-on process by getting a new dog, Vinny (voiced by Tony Sirico).
Smooth-talking, erudite Brian Griffin is really and truly dead… at least, until Family Guy revives him somehow, likely during the show’s Dec. 15 installment. But in the meantime, the pup has gone to that big dog run in the sky — leaving a hole in our hearts, the Griffin family, and the series’ opening credits, which traditionally feature every member of the clan doing a snazzy song-and-dance number.
No one grows ketchup like Heinz. 29
Enter Vinny, the family’s replacement pet — a street-smart hound voiced by Sopranos star Tony Sirico. You can’t hear Paulie Walnuts singing in the show’s new opening credits… but you can see him stepping in for Brian, wearing his very own gold tuxedo.
16 Ultimate TV Antiheroes
16. Jim Profit, Profit 15. Erica Kane, All My Children
14. Jax Teller, Sons of Anarchy 13. Blair Waldorf, Gossip Girl
12. Boyd Crowder, Justified 11. Patty Hewes, Damages
10. Pete Campbell, Mad Men 9. Julie Cooper-Nichol, The O.C. 8. Dexter Morgan, Dexter 7. Benjamin Linus, Lost 6. Eric Cartman, South Park
5. Vic Mackey, The Shield 4. Atia of the Julii, Rome 3. Omar Little, The Wire
2. Tony Soprano, The Sopranos
1. Walter White, Breaking Bad
Who Did THAT on Late-Night TV?
See Answers Page 49
1. Which pop star joined Jimmy Fallon for a kindergarten-style remix of his hit summer song?
2. Which Oscar winner kidnapped Jimmy Kimmel and hosted ‘’Jimmy Kimmel Sucks?’’
3. Which late-night host was in a naked slap fight with Chelsea in a shower on Chelsea Lately?
4. Which action star brought his kids on stage during his interview with Jay Leno?
A. Justin Bieber
A. Andy Cohen
A. Dwayne ‘’The Rock’’ Johnson
B. Justin Timberlake
B. George Clooney
B. Craig Ferguson
B. Vin Diesel
C. Robin Thicke
C. Ben Affleck
C. Jimmy Kimmel
C. Tyrese Gibson
D. Adam Levine
D. Tom Hanks
D. Conan O’Brien
D. Jason Statham
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