My daughter started telling me about Dexter during the first season. We were all fans of Michael C. Hall because of Six Feet Under. I was a little startled that my daughter told me that he was a serial killer that I'd LIKE.
I appreciate acting. I remember reading something about Michael C. Hall during Six Feet Under. His character in that show was gay and was really good at it. An interviewer seemed stunned that he pulled off a different sexual orientation so well and his response was "It's called acting."
This guy has the skills.
We don't get Showtime, so I invested in the first season of Dexter on DVD.
The intro to the show is striking. It's very up close and personal. The music is kind of quirky but makes one kind of beebop along. The image of breakfast cooking, ham being cut, Tabasco being spread, flung like blood spatter across the plate is intriguing. The constant reference to blood leads us into the character of Dexter.
Dexter Morgan is a forensic scientist for Miami. His specialty is blood spatter. He's the one that gets the call to interpret the blood spray on crime scenes. He's a very congenial fellow, pleasant and polite. He's very good at his job and has a deep understanding of murder. He's a serial killer who has likely killed dozens before this show begins.
How does one get to be a serial killer? Well, in the first season, this is explained very well. One understands how Dexter was set on his path to "off" other serial killers. He follows "The Code of Harry." Harry Morgan (James Remar) was a police officer who rescued Dexter from a crime scene when he was three. He raised and adopted the boy and understood that Dexter had "urges" that were offbeat. He raised the boy to cover himself and to only punish those who were human trash that needed to be "taken out". Dexter researches other killers and applies his own special brand of justice which involves a lot of plastic, injections, and power tools.
This series has the typical police office set with cubicles and desks. This gives the viewer the familiar sense of "police drama." The forensics department take will certainly remind the viewer of endless episodes of CSI. The police staff gets a bit unusual after that. Dexter works with his adopted sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) who wants to work homicide. She gets her break in the department and is constantly coming to him for his hunches which invariably pay off.
Throughout the first season, there is an elusive killer known as the "Ice Truck Killer." Clues point to him and point away from him and Dexter is fascinated. The killer knows him and has made the "game" very personal. The killer has broken into Dexter's home and left very personal clues that tug at his repressed memories.
What I love about this series is the constant evolution of Dexter's character. The producers created an entire season getting this character from point A to point B. The complexity of the journey is the charm of the show. The viewer doesn't want Dexter to be caught.
The show is set against the background of Miami. We see alligators and palm trees and pristine beaches and seedy motels. Dexter has a boat, appropriately named "Slice of Life" that he takes to open waters. Sometimes he rides into the sunset, sometimes he dumps bodies.
All through the first season, Dexter is suffering an angst that he can't quite pinpoint. He knows something horrible happened to his birth mother. He has flashbacks that involve lots of blood. This might be why he's fascinated by blood.
This show has developed a nice ensemble cast. Julie Benz appears as Rita Bennett, Dexter's damaged but sweet girlfriend. Erik King is Detective Doakes. We want to hate him most of the time, but he occasionally redeems himself. Lauren Velez appears as Lt. Laguerta. The viewer really wants to hate her but she becomes a sympathetic character by the end of the season. David Zayas is Angel Batista, a good cop who is haunted by duty and honor and is trying to mend a failing marriage. C.S. Lee is the very creepy Vince Masuka--another forensic worker who is the guy at work we don't want to be nice to in case he might follow us home.
The villains are evil nasty people for the most part. One understands why Dexter needs to "take out the trash."
This show has such an interesting premise, it's engaging and keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat all the way through.
I can't wait for season two to come out on DVD. It's long over on Showtime, but I'm waiting for the DVD so that I can watch it in a Dexter marathon.
Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age
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