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Dexter -The Complete First Season
After playing a mild-mannered funeral home director in SIX FEET UNDER, Michael C. Hall makes a smooth transition to a serial killer in this... Read More
After playing a mild-mannered funeral home director in SIX FEET UNDER, Michael C. Hall makes a smooth transition to a serial killer in this Showtime original series. But the twist in this smart show is that Dexter chooses to prey only on other serial killers. As a child, Dexter was adopted by a cop (James Remar) who quickly realizes that his new son is no ordinary boy. Since Dexter is compelled to kill, his law-abiding father pushes him to choose his quarry in a way that will best benefit society. As Dexter grows older, he works as a blood splatter expert in Miami, giving him a close view of other murderers and their handiwork. Stylish and blackly comic, this drama is adapted from Jeff Lindsay's novel DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER. This release includes the entire first season, which largely focuses on Dexter's pursuit of the coldblooded Ice Truck Killer and his own efforts to evade detection. Minimize
31 Reviews from Epinions.com
May 17, 2009
Dexter - The Complete First Season - Not Your Average Serial Killer
Pros: Very entertaining, unique show with good cast.
Cons: Could be too gory for some people. Few characters can be annoying at times.
The Bottom Line:
Dexter is a very entertaining well done series. Dexter - The Complete First Season is a great set for fans of the show.
Over the last several years, some of the premium movie channels have started airing original shows in addition to movies. Showtime began to air Dexter in 2006 and the show has been very popular. I've read and heard good things about the series, so I decided to pick up Dexter - The Complete First Season on DVD. I just finished watching the episodes.
Dexter is based on a series of books by Jeff Lindsay. Three books have been published so far and the fourth is due out later in 2009. I've read that Lindsay has started working on a fifth book for the series. I haven't read any of the books, so I don't know for sure what has been changed for the series. From the research I've done, the first season is mostly based on Darkly Dreaming Dexter, the first book in the series. Three seasons have aired so far and Showtime has a fourth planned.
Dexter follows the life of Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter expert for the Miami Dade police department. He is also a serial killer. Dexter was adopted by a cop named Harry Morgan when he was a young child who had witnessed something horrible. As Dexter gets older, Harry starts to notice that his son is showing signs of becoming a serial killer. Harry comes up with rules for Dexter to follow that will allow him to kill without being caught. Dexter only kills criminals, usually murderers, who have gotten away with their crimes.
Dexter doesn't feel emotions or have feelings for anyone, including his adopted sister Debra or his girlfriend Rita. Late in the season, he does realize that he feels fondness for some of the people in his life, the closest thing to love he has been able to feel. He does seem to deal with Rita's children, Cody and Aster, better. Dexter pretends to be normal while always watching for his next victim. He manages to blend in fairly well and is well liked by most of the people he works with, though one of the detectives doesn't like him and is very suspicious.
The first season of Dexter is mostly focused on the search for one serial killer by the Miami police. The killer, called the Ice Truck Killer by the police and media, targets prostitutes and leaves the bodies in pieces around Miami. The first victim is discovered very early in the first episode and Dexter seems very impressed with what the killer has done. Debra sees the case as her way out of vice and into homicide. As more victims are found, the Ice Truck Killer shows that he is interested in Dexter as well and starts leaving special clues just for him. Dexter is very intrigued and sees it as a game for a while. Over the course of the season, Dexter tries to help find the Ice Truck Killer while also dealing continuing to kill. He helps Rita deal with situations when her abusive exhusband returns. He also a few things tied to Debra to deal with as well.
There is a decent amount of mystery throughout the first season of Dexter. The main mystery deals with who the Ice Truck Killer is. The killer leaves behind very few clues, so the police doesn't have a lot to go on at first. Some of the mystery is also provided by the fact that the Ice Truck Killer is interested in Dexter and leaving clues just for him. Some other murders were also dealt with during the season. The investigation into the Ice Truck Killer is very interesting and not predictable. I did manage to figure out one thing connected to the killer, but there were still other things that were surprising. The show had a good amount of suspense in several episodes that helped to keep things interesting.
Dexter shares his thoughts with the audience through voice overs in every episode. The voice overs work well and are an effective way to share his thoughts and lack of feeling. He only shares his true thoughts in the voice overs. The things he actually says out loud to other characters are things that are actually part of his disguise as a normal person. He has some rather interesting thoughts at times. Every episode had at least one episode showing a younger Dexter. Harry, Dexter's adoptive father, is only seen in the flashbacks as he teaches Dexter the code he will live by. A lot of things related to Dexter are a mystery at first. As the season progresses and more flashbacks happen, more things are learned about him. Dexter even learns some things by the end of the season.
Every episode in the first season of Dexter includes some scientific things connected to the work that Dexter does for the police department. He works out of the crime lab, but he focused in specifically on blood left behind at crime scenes. By looking at the blood, he can figure out a lot of things about the crime. I think that part of the show is very interesting. Many different crime scenes turn up and several of them are very bloody. One in particular is really bad. All the blood and gore could upset some viewers. This is not a show for everyone and definitely not one for children. There is violence in some of the episodes, though it wasn't as much as I had expected before starting to watch the show.
To say that Dexter has issues is putting it mildly. He lived through some kind of traumatic event as a young child that twisted him. He doesn't have emotions or feelings. He only manages to fit in with society because his adoptive father Harry realized that Dexter was a future serial killer and taught him how to survive. Dexter is very careful to follow his father's code. He basically wears a mask around everyone to hide the fact that he doesn't feel anything. He seems to enjoy his work, or at least his version of enjoyment. He does seem to have some fondness for Debra, Rita, and the kids and he is realizing that having people in his life causes more complications. Things do get confusing for him once he starts to remember things he had forgotten long ago. Michael C. Hall is really good in the part, somehow making Dexter a likable character. Because of the flashbacks, Dexter is shown at different ages every so often.
Debra is Harry's natural daughter. She fully accepted Dexter into her family when Harry adopted him. She seems to really love her brother. She is a cop hoping to get out of vice and she sees the Ice Truck Killer case as her ticket into homicide. She frequently expected Dexter to help her out. She seems nice enough, but she is also annoying and irritating at times. Jennifer Carpenter was fine in the part. I didn't recognize her as the actress from The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Carpenter and Hall are actually married in real life. Harry only shows up in short flashbacks. The flashbacks were enough to show that Harry was very determined to do everything he could to protect Dexter. James Remar handled the part well.
Rita is the woman that Dexter has been dating for a while when the first season began. Rita is still recovering from her relationship with her abusive exhusband. Her past has a big impact on her life, making her very hesitant about certain aspects of her relationship with Dexter. She has no interest in sex, which suits him fine. Once she feels more comfortable in the relationship and is ready to be more affectionate, Dexter isn't sure how to deal with it. Rita is a very kind, loving woman who is protective of her children. Julie Benz is really good in the part. Cody and Astor seem to like Dexter a lot. I only knew her as Darla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel before seeing this show. Cody doesn't remember how it was with his father, and he still wants him to come home. Cody and Astor do seem to like Dexter.
Dexter usually works with a small group of homicide detectives. Angel Batista seems to be the most normal and stable, though he has some personal problems he is dealing with. David Zayas is fine in the part. Vince Masuka works in the lab with Dexter and he has issues. Vince is always making sexual comments and it seems like he would have sex with every woman he met if he had the chance. The guy really is a pig. C.S. Lee is good in the part.
James Doakes can't stand Dexter and thinks there is something wrong with him. Doakes is hostile all the time, especially toward Dexter. Doakes is not a nice guy and I don't like him. Erik King is fine in the part. It seems like he is going over board at times, but it could be how the character is written. Maria Laguerta is the lieutenant in charge of the homicide division. She is very ambitious and eager to further her career. She seems to have a crush on Dexter and she doesn't like Debra that much. Maria did annoy me a bit earlier in the season, but I didn't find as annoying later in the season. Lauren Velez did well with the character that is more complicated than she seems at first. The captain is around briefly in a few scenes, usually applying pressure to Maria to make an arrest in the Ice Truck Killer case.
Julie Benz - Rita
Jennifer Carpenter - Debra Morgan
Daniel Goldman - Cody
Michael C. Hall - Dexter Morgan
Erik King - James Doakes
C.S. Lee - Vince Masuka
James Remar - Harry Morgan
Christina Robinson - Astor
Lauren Velez - Maria Laguerta
David Zayas - Angel Batista
Dexter - The Complete First Season has the twelve episodes on four discs. There is an option to play all the episodes one after the other or the episodes can be selected individually from the menu. The fourth disc also has the extras. The two featurettes, The Academy of Blood - a Killer Course and Witnessed in Blood - A True Murder Investigation are interesting and worth watching. There are also two episodes of Brotherhood, another Showtime series on the disc. There are audio commentaries that I haven't listened to. When the fourth disc is used in a computer, it has the first two chapters of Dexter in the Dark. There is also an option to download an episode of The Tudors.
Dexter is a very entertaining, though twisted show. It won't appeal to everyone and is definitely not family friendly. People who have issues with blood and gore should avoid this series. It is a really good show for anyone that likes this type of series. Dexter - The Complete First Season is a great DVD set for fans of the show.
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