View Single Post
Old October 23 2008, 06:34 PM   #17
Temis the Vorta
Fleet Admiral
Temis the Vorta's Avatar
Location: Tatoinne
Re: Sell me on Dexter

Watch the premiere episode. If you like it, stick with the show. If not, drop it. (Rent it, don't buy it. If you really like it you can buy it later. I'm buying all the seasons of Dexter and I don't normally buy anything on DVD.)

I've had too many cases of me watching shows that others rave about and being disappointed for me to do that to anyone else. If a show has a good, representative premiere episode, then you only need to invest an hour of your life to find out whether you'll like the whole thing.
the idea of the protagonist being a serial killer (even of criminals) seems a bit distancing to me
Me too. I was envisioning something off-putting like those dumbass slasher movies I find so contemptable. But Dexter is the polar opposite. Slasher movies are cynical exercises in throwing blood and gore at the audience without dealing much with the consequences of the violence. Dexter actually downplays the violence - when you really start noticing it, you'll see they cut away from violence rather than dwelling on it.

The show is all about the elaborate emotional and moral consequences of the violence they hardly even depict. Instead of reminding us how scary Dex is by showing him chopping someone up, they rely on Michael C. Hall's amazing acting skills to occasionally freak us the hell out, which is crucial to maintaining the show's credibility. Dexter can never be allowed to become the audience's pet serial killer.
Another thing I'm always very wary of is one-hit wonder shows where they get off to an amazing start the first season, gain a large following, but then never really manage to keep that same intensity as things go on
I loved S1 and wondered how they could keep it up. S2 was even better. Reports from those with Showtime are that S3 is keeping up the level of quality.

Surprisingly enough, Dexter, in his own twisted way, is a very moral person.
Most people don't need to wrestle with morality at every moment of their waking lives. Dexter does. Sometimes he comes off as downright puritanical in the way he parses every action.

but how does this concept lead to several seasons worth of story arcs?
There are many supporting characters who are important in Dexter's life for various reasons. Keeping the secret from them creates an ongoing web of complexity that provides plenty of story material. There's also an arc of increasing self-awareness for Dexter that keeps things up in the air.

The show does not pull any punches.
It pulls a lot fewer punches than most shows, but it's not 100% brutally gutsy. The writers have a tough task to keep the audience in love with a guy who is extremely creepy if you allowed yourself to think about him. I've noticed certain manipulative elements and plot conveniences such as

Last edited by Temis the Vorta; October 23 2008 at 06:50 PM.
Temis the Vorta is offline   Reply With Quote