dexter tca
By: Kevin Kelly, Special TCA Correspondent

Talk about Showtime!

The little network that could, or as we around are now calling it — HBO 2.0 — decided to pull out all the stops my rolling up the WEEDS, CALIFORNICATION, DEXTER and BROTHERHOOD panel into one enormous joi…. ummm fantastic panel.

Heck, even one of the executives joked, “This is the Showtime mixer!” Granted, I’ve never seen Brotherhood, but at least I hear it’s good. The other shows I can vouch for. And I admittedly had a chill go up my spine when Michael C. Hall walked onto the stage. How can people not be afraid that this guy is going to stick a knife in their backs?

What’s really impressive was how much everyone looked like they had tried to dress like their characters, except Michael C. Hall who wore a sharp suit. David Duchovny was wearing a black button up shirt with a wrinkled black sportcoat, and Mary Louise Parker had on a sharp little cocktail dress and looked radiant in her gleaming white skin. How she’s lived in California all this time and not become tan, I’ll never know. She’s sitting on the far left, right next to David Duchovny, who’s sitting next to Michael C. Hall, who’s sitting next to Jason Clarke in an awesome row of Showtime star power.

Here’s what we learned from the panel:

Jimmy Smits is joining the cast this season on DEXTER as an assistant D.A. in Miami with great political ambition, and becomes the “first adult friend” to everyone’s favorite serial killer/blood splatter expert. When asked how he felt about that, Michael C. Hall remarked that he “now feels really short.” Ka-zing! He’s changing up his approach to the character a bit, as he did when he faced Keith Carradine last season. It’ll be hard to wait to see what he ends up tweaking.

Albert Brooks only appears in four episodes of WEEDS this year, so if you’re been keeping up and watching what’s already aired, shalom Mr. Brooks.

Tom Kapinos (creator and executive producer) said that this season of CALIFORNICATION will be all about the mystique of happy endings. Hank got everyhing he wanted last season, and now they’re going to investigate what happens to someone when they get what they’ve been striving for.

When asked about the fact that their shows are all critically acclaimed, but reach relatively small audiences, Blake Masters (creator and executive producer of BROTHERHOOD) said “Britney sells about a million more albums than Tom Waits does, but I listen to Tom Waits.” I get what he’s saying, but what a weird analogy.

Jenji Kohan of WEEDS said they felt like they’d covered all of the territory they could while poking fun at life in suburbia, which was why they decided to burn down Agrestic / Majestic and move the Botwins and her clan to a new locale entirely, which is why they’re living beachside now. In fact, Mary Louise wanted the show to begin the fourth season with the same old theme song, but to have a needle scratch suddenly cut it off midway through and eventually have the record break.

On whether on not they were planning anything big this season, Duchovny responded with: “We’re having a big WEEDS / CALIFORNICATION crossover.. and it starts right now. Next question.”

On playing Mulder again in the new X-FILES movie, Duchovny said he’s trying to play Mulder from 2008, and not from six years ago. “I can’t play in the same sandbox, I don’t walk as fast.”

Michael C. Hall related how he was exposed to CALIFORNICATION. “I was really hung over a few months ago, and I watched all of CALIFORNICATIONS first season over the course of one afternoon.” Duchovny: “And then he was admitted to the hospital.”

Someone asked David and Tom if everything had been resolved with the Red Hot Chili Peppers (there was a legal squabble over the name of the show, which is also a Chili Peppers song), and Tom said he’d been too busy making the show to even find out. One of the Showtime execs popped up to let us know that it’s all been resolved, to which Duchovny quipped, “The show will now be called ‘Hank Moody.’”

Zinger of the panel: Someone asked Michael C. Hall how his family felt about him portraying a serial killer. He replied “Hey, as long as I’m not kissing a black man!” Which of course got a big round of laughter. However, a reporter somewhere behind me said “What’s wrong with that?!” (and yes, he was African-American), which was pretty damned funny. Hall came back with “Absolutely nothing!”

Most clueless question of the panel: “David, I enjoy watching Evan Handler and Pam Adlon in your show. Who else do you and the rest of you enjoy watching?” I mean, do we really expect anything other than the party line from these actors? Of course they enjoy watching all of the other actors on their shows, which is what they said. Although kudos to Mary Louise Parker for saying that Hunter Parrish “Keeps growing every day as an actor.” He’s one of the best child actors I’ve seen working… spinoff Showtime!

Runner up:I s Dexter a sociopath? That was the basis of the question that some reporter asked. Simple enough, right? Well, he kept reiterating what he was asking, over and over, and before too long that turned into a rambling, long, ten minute diatribe. Michael C. Hall cracked up everyone by simply answering, “Yes.”

  • Tarn

    Thanks for the report. Sounds like a fun panel! I heart Michael C Halll & David Duchovny for their wit and talent.

    ‘Brotherhood’ is the only show on the list I haven’t seen – maybe I ought to, if it’s as high quality as the others, which I love.

    Mmmmm.. Jimmy Smits… ;-)