Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dexter - Showtime Series

(This review was originally published in June 2009.)

I'm pretty picky when it comes to choosing television series to follow. It's been my experience that the ones I really like end up getting cut off at the kneecaps (Like HBO's Rome) or go on for so long that they stray far far away from what made them novel in the first place (Like Showtime's Weeds.) Even worse, they try to go on long after their bag of realistic tricks is empty and start bordering on science fiction as they struggle to find new adventures for their characters to get into (Like HBO's Oz).

I started watching Dexter when it first premiered because the premise caught my interest right off the bat. Dexter being a clever serial killer who was adopted and raised by a policeman and taught to use his naughty inclinations for good instead of evil. Dexter is no Batman, however... there is no mistake that what he does is wrong in the eyes of the law and all his friends in blue wouldn't hesitate to bring him down if they ever figured out what he does after work. This includes his foster sister who is on the force.

What really kept my interest in Dexter was his personality and the way he looked at things. The monster-pretending-to-be-human scenario with a sharp edge of morbid humor. I expected the novelty would wear off after a season or two and then we'd say goodbye to dearly departed Dexter.

When season three was announced, I got a little worried. Dexter had already discovered the truth about his traumatic and soul-shattering childhood, seen all his surviving blood relatives bite the dust, and gotten away with multiple murder even after the Miami police and the FBI discovered his massive dumping grounds. I feared that Season Three would involve jumping a shark, very much like how the third book in the series did.

However, after the third season came to a close, I was surprised to find myself waiting with baited breath for Season Four. The road that Dexter is traveling on is a path of discovery and re-inventing himself as he begins to enter into new phases of adult life, including marriage and fatherhood.

Based on the original novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay, the television series takes a different road than either of the two following books in the series. This is good, because on the third Dexter book I had to keep checking to make sure I hadn't picked up a Buffy the Vampire Slayer novel by mistake.

While at first the supporting characters seemed a little stereotypical, the entire cast has developed quite well as the show continues on and they become more involved in Dexter's life.

All and all, it is a fun series to watch, a nice mix of drama and dark humor with a sprinkling of plastic wrap.

Info on IMDB: Dexter

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