Dexter Season 1: A Bloody Good Time

14 01 2010

I realize it’s a little late, but with the increase of TV on DVD, shows are gaining new fans well after their initial seasons have aired.  And Showtime’s Dexter just got a new fan!  If you haven’t seen Season 1 beware…there are a few spoilers!  Here’s the breakdown:

Dexter Morgan is as blood spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department.  His adopted sister, Deb, is an officer and they often work together.  What no one knows is, Dexter is a serial killer…with a twist.  He only kills other killers.  Season 1 chronicles Dexter’s life, juggling a girlfriend, sister and job with his vigilante-style killing sprees.  The dreaded Ice Truck Killer is the season’s mysterious antagonist, and as the season progresses, Dexter’s dark and veiled past starts to be revealed…

The Monkey: The show is expertly written.  The humor is dark and witty; Dexter has no emotions, feels no attachments, and watching him fake it is disturbingly funny.  Michael C. Hall plays Dexter with just the right amount of detachment, without alienating the viewer.  Despite his lack of feelings, the viewer roots for him.  The twists are intelligent, the characters likable.

The Weasel: The female characters (especially Dexter’s sister, Deb and his girlfiend, Rita) are sometimes weak and grating.  Rita, a battered divorcee with two kids can come across whiny and needy.  Deb’s foul-mouth can be endearing, but her over-the-top dramatics can be tiring.

SPOILER ALERT!

I was surprised that the twist at the end (it is revealed that the Ice Truck Killer is actually Dexter’s brother) was not explored more than it was.  Both boys witnessed the brutal murder of their mother…and they were both psychologically damaged, becoming killers themselves.  What I found most interesting was the ways in which they view/approach death and killing.  Dexter has an obsession with blood (making his job a perfect fit).  On the other hand, Brian (The Ice Truck Killer) drains his victims of every last drop of blood.  This paradox is intriguing and clever, but is never fully explored on screen.  Whether this connection was meant to be subtextual or not, digging deeper into the psychology of the characters is something I hope gets further development in subsequent seasons.

END OF SPOILERS

While the season wrapped up most of the plot lines nicely, a thread involving Lt. LaGuerta (Dexter’s boss) is left open.  While her character was frustrating towards the beginning of the season, she’s become a likable character, one I hope gets some more development.  Season 2 is a fan favorite, so I can’t wait to start another Dexter adventure!  Michael C. Hall just revealed his battle with cancer, so I hope he has a full recovery…his fans seem like a supportive bunch, and I see many more seasons of Dexter in his future!

4 Death Stars out of 5

What do you think?  Did you like Dexter Season 1?  Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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3 responses

14 01 2010
Tina

OMG, Jordan and I are obsessed with Dexter. Just finished season 3 (or maybe it was 4?) and believe me, it just keeps getting better. Deb continues to be ridiculously annoying but Rita starts to get a lot better. Love love love this show!

17 01 2010
Alyssa

I watched all of this season in 2 weeks! I loved it, it was nice to see a unique premise for once on a tv show.

18 01 2010
Dustin

Yes, it’s definitely unique! I can’t wait to start Season 2! 🙂

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