Dexter: Season 1
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Dexter is based on the compelling novel "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" by Jeff Lindsay. Orphaned at the age of four and harboring a traumatic secret, Dexter Morgan (Dexter Morgan (Emmy- and Golden Globe- nominated actor Michael C. Hall from "Six Feet Under") is adopted by a police officer who recognizes Dexter's homicidal tendencies and guides his son to channel his gruesome passion for human vivisection in a constructive way - by killing those heinous perpetrators that are above the law or who have slipped through the cracks of justice. A respected member of the police force, a perfect gentleman and a man with a soft spot for children, it's hard not to like Dexter. Although his drive to kill is unflinching, he struggles to emulate normal emotions he doesn't feel, and to keep up his appearance as a caring, socially responsible human being.
An interesting and original idea that's very skillfully executed, Showtime's Dexter is never less than watchable, often quite compelling, and sometimes thoroughly riveting. As the 12 episodes from the show's first season (packaged here in a four disc set) reveal, it's also the epitome of "high concept," a kind of Silence of the Lambs for the C.S.I. generation. Creator-executive producer James Manos Jr.'s title character, one Dexter Morgan (played by Michael C. Hall of Six Feet Under renown), works for the Miami Police Department as an blood spatter analyst, visiting crime scenes and helping figure out what happened. He has an avocation, too: during his off hours, he tracks down some very, very bad people who for various reasons have eluded the proper authorities. Seems his adoptive father, a cop himself, taught the kid how to channel his dark side in a "positive" direction; and so, having captured these evildoers (including a child molester-murderer and a recidivist drunk driver with a trail of bodies in his wake), Dex dispatches them with clinical precision, thus making him a serial killer who snuffs serial killers. But there's more--much more, as it turns out. By his own description, Dexter is "a monster," an empty shell who fakes all human interactions and admits to no real feelings for anything or anyone, including his foster sister (Jennifer Carter) and his nominal girlfriend (Julie Benz), a former crack addict and battered spouse who's as uninterested in sex as he is. There's an explanation for Dexter's weirdness, of course, one so deep and traumatic that even he isn't aware of it. It's gradually revealed over the course of the season as he and the cops (who include Erik King, Lauren Velez, and David Zayas, all first-rate) track down the so-called "Ice Truck Killer," a fellow monster whose grisly m.o. both fascinates and taunts our hero, leading to a genuinely shocking and squirm-inducing finale. Dexter can be a bit arch, with an ironic, too-hip-for-the-room tone that get a little old. Still, it's a safe bet that anyone who views this first season will be salivating for the second. Extras include audio commentary on two episodes, a featurette about real-life blood spatter analysis, and a variety of DVD-ROM items. --Sam Graham
More TV Head-cases on DVD
The Book that Started It All
More from Showtime
- All 12 Episodes from the Fist Season (2006) on 4 Discs
- The Academy of Blood - A Killer Course
- Witnessed in Blood - A True Murder Investigation
- The First Two Chapters of Dexter Novel "Dexter in the Dark"
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Top customer reviews
The best part of the show is the narrantive that runs continuously through Dexter's head during the show. It is easily some of the best written dialogue for thought processes ever. The show is not about shootings, slashings, or hackings. You are treated to only small tidbits of violence, because the violence is secondary to the characters and Dexter's mind. So don't be fooled by the cover, yes, there is blood, the aftermath of mayhem, but not the actual act, usually. Violence is very understated here. Like viewing Nagasaki two days later.
Dexter Season One is excellent, and should be given every opportunity to play on your Home Theater machine. Oh, as a last note, on this BluRay version I did notice that this was not the best quality at times, which was usually the darker scenes of the show. Not a deal buster, but at $5 for BluRay, who cares. HBO shows are getting better now with their Qfactor. The old 4:3 HBO DVD shows were absolutely horrible "Q", which looked less than 480i. Get Dexter and try a new cheap BluRay from other sellers for a big savings.
I don't know if I'm just deprived from watching a good series or if it is truly a reflection of just how good this one is, but this is probably the best TV series I have ever watched. I was a bit worried that the gore factor would be too much for my stomach. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of clever crime drama movies like Seven or Silence of the Lambs or Zodiac, but the newer Saw-type movies leave me more nauseated and feeling weird than truly intrigued and in a state of mystery/suspense. The power of Dexter is two-fold: the characters you grow to love in the stories and the intriguing plot lines that exponentially pull the viewer in with each subsequent episode. The following are a couple of non-spoiling thoughts.
The Gore Factor:
This series is not the Saw-like gore fest. There is more than enough blood and CSI-like crime scenes 'after the fact', and there are plenty of times when you know what is about to happen before a killing, but you never see the actual acts the way Saw movies show, thank goodness. After watching a couple of shows, you get to trust that the makers are at least merciful in that respect. That being said, if you get queasy with the themes in a movie like Seven or Silence of the Lambs or even with CSI-type series, this is not for you (there are plenty of disembodied dead corpses you see on the crime scenes--Dexter is a `blood splatter analyst'), and of course, the subject matter is fairly dark (though thematically the show is `lighter' than something like Seven or Silence of the Lambs, because the characters involved are quite likable, and there are sprinkles of comedy relief throughout).
Here's an oxymoron that might disturb the viewer: he's an affable serial killer. Within a few episodes, if one buys in to the scenario, one may actually find oneself vaguely rooting for Dexter as if he were a comic book figure making right the injustices in the world that cry out for a reckoning. The moral dilemma comes when you ask yourself if it is good to be rooting for someone like this. His likability comes in part by the relationships the series' characters develop with him, and his narration throughout the series, which reveal his struggle to fit in with the rest of normal society, and with the sub-plotline involving past scenes of Dexter's relationship with his adoptive father (a former beloved and decorated police officer). In some ways, Dexter's likability comes by his unbeknownst `good' effects that he has on the various people he's involved with in everyday life. The viewer may also get a sense that Dexter begins to approach his own humanity as the series progresses, due to his own explorations of his past, and the other external events happening around him, which force him to begin a journey into his own psyche.
I found that by the closing episodes, I had fallen in love with the various supporting characters in the stories. With that comes suspense. One starts to worry about his partner, sibling, office comrades, boss, etc., and there are subplots to the show not directly relating to Dexter, which allows the viewer to get glimpses in the other characters' lives. This only adds to the overall suspense in many respects.
Plot lines (absolutely no spoilers):
Though this is a series, there are on-going story lines involving mysterious characters and events that will intrigue the viewer. There are unexpected twists, `who done it?' type questions, and character development stories: all of which are absorbing and keep the viewer considerably more attentive with each passing episode. Due to the fact that each episode is built on previous plotlines, it's important to watch them in order.
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Bought this just for the case. Yeah so I guess it filled the purpose I bought it for.
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