Thursday, July 17, 2014

TV Series of the Month – Dexter

This month’s TV Series: Dexter (2006-2013)

Dexter Morgan is a serial killer; but, he is a different type of serial killer. He only targets bad people who have slipped through the cracks of conventional justice (like the police). Dexter is perfectly situated to feed his need to kill, working as a forensic blood-splatter analyst for Miami’s Metropolitan Police Department Homicide Division. He has an inside track to those escaping their due justice. And yet, for Dexter to maintain his forced persona as a normal guy, he must try to fit into the normal world (which is hard for him, as he is a sociopath) – meaning that he must interact with friends/family and find a girl to settle down with all while continually going out at night and murdering criminals. It is a tough juggling act – and worse, his own sister, Debra, happens to also be a cop. Dexter constantly walks a thin line between being free and a condemned criminal himself.

Running eight seasons, the series is based on a novel series from Jeff Lindsay, which James Manos Jr. adapted for television.

The cast of Dexter is fantastic. Michael C. Hall stars with Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas, James Remar, C.S. Lee, Lauren Velez, Desmond Harrington, Julie Benz, Geoff Pierson, Aimee Garcia, and Erik King rounding out the other main series actors during its run. The show also features a wonderful array of guest actors, including: Yvonne Strahovski (who plays one of my personal favorites in the whole series – Hannah McKay), Keith Carradine, Colin Hanks, Jimmy Smits, John Lithgow, Sean Patrick Flanery, Julia Stiles, Charlotte Rampling, Edward James Olmos, Jaime Murray, Ray Stevenson, Jonny Lee Miller, and Christian Camargo (among many others).

Overall, Dexter is a brilliant drama series – probably the best that Showtime has produced to date; however, there is somewhat of an asterisk next to its name now due to it having a fairly awful ending (as well publicized online) that does somewhat destroy all its goodwill (something that was already weakened by the atrociousness that is season six). That said, I still highly recommend the series, especially seasons one through three, and I do love the Dexter-Hannah relationship in seasons seven and eight (it is just too bad that the show ends as it does). Also, Michael C. Hall is incredible as Dexter (especially in the first few seasons before the character became overextended by hit-and-miss writing), delivering one of the best characters in television history. Jennifer Carpenter’s character arc as Deb is also very strong. Dexter probably should have been five seasons maximum with a full character arc mapped out ahead of time (saving it from itself), but as it is Dexter is still one of the best things to ever be on TV. It is a must see for fans of dramas on the darker side.

Trailer: Here
Available on: Blu-ray

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