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The Story - TV Show Review: Dexter vs. Boardwalk Empire Head-to-Head Comparison
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posted on Nov 2, 2011 at 5:26PM

TV Show Review: Dexter vs. Boardwalk Empire Head-to-Head Comparison

The Story

By Jeremy Whitley
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Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire embodies the early 20th century gangster
(Credit: Buzzbox)

BOARDWALK EMPIRE

Boardwalk Empire, pure and simple, is a gangster story. It’s a really well-made gangster story with the sort of pacing and historical venue that make it something really special. Somehow, even when they’re placing fictional characters and events into real history, the writers avoid that canny “Law and Order” ripped-from-the-headlines feel. This is a show, not unlike Mad Men, that lives and breathes in history. Unlike Mad Men, however, it also smuggles, steals, rapes, and kills in history. It’s a show about good, evil, and all the shades in-between. The characters are interesting, the acting is first rate, the setting is second to none, but ultimately it’s a story you know. It’s the rise and fall of good men and bad men with too much power.

 

DEXTER

Originality is where Dexter ultimately wins out. Dexter is also a show about good and evil, their shades of gray, and their battle for the soul of a man. Dexter is, in its very essence, a superhero story. It just so happens that Dexter’s superpower is being a sociopath. He is a bad guy in the most absolute sense of the word. There is a complete disconnect between him and the moral fiber which we like to imagine binds us all.

 

Michael C. Hall at a crime scene in Dexter, compared to the set of boardwalk empire on HBO
(Credit: Chicago Tribune)


That’s what makes Dexter’s story compelling. A story about a good man selling his soul is one of the most common in the world. But the story of a man who lacks morality, studying and endeavoring to be one of us, that’s fascinating. I’m not going to go much into the story of Dexter, as it’s impossible without giving far too much away, but the writers of this show allow you to see through the eyes of someone who you should fear. They allow you to walk in the shoes of a man who kills for fun. Somehow, these writers make that sensation fun and often even funny. Through the eyes of a sociopath, you begin to understand that the rest of us are psychopaths.

 

WINNER: Dexter takes this round on sheer originality.
 


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The Story - TV Show Review: Dexter vs. Boardwalk Empire Head-to-Head Comparison
BETA
HEAD-2-HEAD REVIEWS
Top Reviews>>
posted on Nov 2, 2011 at 5:26PM

TV Show Review: Dexter vs. Boardwalk Empire Head-to-Head Comparison

The Story

By Jeremy Whitley
 

H2H ROUND-5: The Story

H2H USER SCORE
View Official Scorecard
Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire embodies the early 20th century gangster
(Credit: Buzzbox)

BOARDWALK EMPIRE

Boardwalk Empire, pure and simple, is a gangster story. It’s a really well-made gangster story with the sort of pacing and historical venue that make it something really special. Somehow, even when they’re placing fictional characters and events into real history, the writers avoid that canny “Law and Order” ripped-from-the-headlines feel. This is a show, not unlike Mad Men, that lives and breathes in history. Unlike Mad Men, however, it also smuggles, steals, rapes, and kills in history. It’s a show about good, evil, and all the shades in-between. The characters are interesting, the acting is first rate, the setting is second to none, but ultimately it’s a story you know. It’s the rise and fall of good men and bad men with too much power.

 

DEXTER

Originality is where Dexter ultimately wins out. Dexter is also a show about good and evil, their shades of gray, and their battle for the soul of a man. Dexter is, in its very essence, a superhero story. It just so happens that Dexter’s superpower is being a sociopath. He is a bad guy in the most absolute sense of the word. There is a complete disconnect between him and the moral fiber which we like to imagine binds us all.

 

Michael C. Hall at a crime scene in Dexter, compared to the set of boardwalk empire on HBO
(Credit: Chicago Tribune)


That’s what makes Dexter’s story compelling. A story about a good man selling his soul is one of the most common in the world. But the story of a man who lacks morality, studying and endeavoring to be one of us, that’s fascinating. I’m not going to go much into the story of Dexter, as it’s impossible without giving far too much away, but the writers of this show allow you to see through the eyes of someone who you should fear. They allow you to walk in the shoes of a man who kills for fun. Somehow, these writers make that sensation fun and often even funny. Through the eyes of a sociopath, you begin to understand that the rest of us are psychopaths.

 

WINNER: Dexter takes this round on sheer originality.
 


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6 Comments So Far …

  1. Joey Boots Joey Boots says:
    Boardwalk Empire is the best show on tv in the last 20 years! I like Dexter, but it's kind of common. It's good, but B.E. is really unique. Steve Buscemi is also the best actor on tv!

  2. RitaS RitaS says:
    Thank god for dvr's... these two shows are the best on tv...great rivalry!

  3. PhotoCrater PhotoCrater says:
    Buscemi crushes it - but I think Dexter's a better show.

  4. Life In Melody Life In Melody says:
    Boardwalk Empire is by far my favorite show, with Dexter running a close second. However, I find Debra Morgan to be a more engaging, interesting, relatable female lead than Margaret. Especially in Season 2 of BE, where I felt Margaret's character was significantly weaker than in the first season.

  5. Ruyman Ruyman says:
    Great, great episode of a tferiric show definitely the best currently-airing show on television. Looking forward to another A+ season of Boardwalk Empire. I also missed the significance of the title of the episode, "21." Unless it has to do with prohibition/drinking age? But I don't believe there *was* a legal drinking age in most states before prohibition. Anyway I agree, I only wish this episode could have been extended, because I wasn't ready for it to end when it did.

  6. H.Dumansky H.Dumansky says:
    Hahah, My laptop crashed when I was browsing www.head-2-head.com last time I was here. And for the past 2 months I have been looking for this weblog, so thankful I located it once again! :D best regards!

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