Dexter: The First Season

DEXTER: THE FIRST SEASON.

Never have I fallen so in love with a show, (and so fast) as I have with Showtime’s DEXTER! I didn’t catch it on its initial airing, but thankfully with the advent of DVD, I was able to see the entire first season in one shot.

First, the basic story of the show. SIX FEET UNDER’s Michael C. Hall plays Dexter Morgan, a forensic “blood-splatter” analyst for the Miami police department by day, and by night? … a serial killer. But not just your average serial killer. He only kills killers. People that get away on technicalities or allude the police. People who deserve it. His habit was molded by his step-father Harry, a former detective, who after finding several dead animals was able to figure out exactly what Dexter was and would ultimately become. “If you have to do it, son. Do it to people that deserve it.” And with that, we’re off!

This show is so well acted, so well written and at times really, really funny that I can’t contain my excitement while reviewing it. The following should be a testament to the show’s strength in terms of quality. I initially started out by renting the first few episodes to check the show out. I often do that with shows I’m curious about just to test them out and see what they’re all about. See how they feel to me. See what they establish in the first couple of episodes. By the time I made it to the second disc, I simply could not wait to see how the season would continue and ultimately end. I ran to Best Buy and bought the whole season box set. After I finished season one? I re-watched it again from the beginning, and shortly thereafter I went to the book store to purchase the 2 novels the show was based on. (Both by author Jeff Lindsay, if you’re curious.) I LOVE the character of Dexter Morgan.

There’s several different storylines we follow during this first season. For one, we have Dexter’s relationship with his loving sister Deb (played by Emily Rose actress Jennifer Carpenter), an on the field officer that desperately is trying to climb up the corporate latter to become a homicide detective (Much like their father, Harry). Dexter also has a girlfriend, Rita (the beautiful Julie Benz), who has two kids and a troubled past with a former husband who was a drug user and an abuser. (Both to her and substances.) Then there’s Sergeant Doakes (played by Erik King), the one and only police officer that gets the creeps around Dexter and senses him for what he really is. Doakes has always got his eyes on Dexter. Last but not least, the police department is investigating “The Ice Truck” killer, who leaves neatly and systematically cut up body parts through town that are completely bloodless. His methods and madness completely baffle the police, yet intrigue Dexter. So much so that the “Ice Truck” killer is the only one that knows who Dexter really is and what he does. He leaves him chopped up Barbie dolls as a means of saying, “Hey. Wanna play?” Do they have some sort of connection? A killer’s bond? Or is the “Ice Truck” killer just playing?

The star of the show has to be Michael C. Hall who does an amazing job as Dexter Morgan. Funny, likable and impossible to resist, it’s no wonder that Showtime advertises the show being about “everyone’s favorite serial killer”. Being a killer, Dexter lacks any real emotion. So it’s fun as hell to hear his inner monologue as he tries his best to understand his relationship with his girlfriend Rita, or even with his sister, Deb.

There are also a handful of twists through out the season, most of which kept me on marathon sessions, going from episode to episode non-stop just to see how they’d resolve themselves. The season finale (and episode leading up to it) are absolutely fantastic television, and I felt that season one ended on a very satisfying note. Should the show end here? It’d be perfect. BUT since season two is just about to kick off, I welcome further exploits in the life of Dexter Morgan.

Special Features: There are several special features listed on the back of the box, 99 percent of which sadly are not on the disc. All we’ve got is a featurette titled “Witnessed In Blood – A True Murder Investigation” which is pretty self explanatory. No matter, while some features would’ve been nice, the actual show itself it totally worth it. DEXTER gets my highest possible recommendation. –Robg.

Buy it on Amazon.com!