Jul 12, 2009

Dexter - Season 1 and 2 Comparative Review


image from tvjab.com

watched by myself, and hopefully you,
on Netflix Instant Watch if you don't have Showtime

Premise:
Dexter Morgan is a mega-violent vigilante, a sociopathic serial killer who follows "The Code of Harry", a series of rules and moral lessons his adopted father taught him when young, that causes him to target other serial killers as his victims. Every Superman needs a Clark Kent however, and when he's not prowling in the night, he's working with the police to catch criminals as a blood-splatter forensics specialist. He's also fulfilling responsibilities as a brother to his co-worker and sister, Debroah, boyfriend to a psychologically ex-spousal battered girlfriend, Rita, and loving pseudo-father figure to Rita's two kids, Cody and Astor. But Dexter's bloody secrets lie only on his shoulders.


Season 1:
Utterly intoxicating. As soon as I started watching, I couldn't stop. It had all the righteous glory of a Super Hero and all the twisted narrative of a real serial killer. Dexter discovers he's not the only serial killer on the block with a penchant for an artistic sense of pride in his work. Bloodless body parts begin sprouting up week after week, enticing Dexter to find what he calls 'a friend'. This 'friend' even singles out Dexter personally, seemingly aware of Dexter's own similar past time and begins leaving him non-threatening yet curious clues. Meanwhile, Dexter's girlfriend Rita, who loves Dexter dearly, experiences leaps and bounds of character development, slowly going from total shut-out to opening up to him. My one complaint was the backstory given to the hunted serial killer, dubbed "The Ice Truck Killer", but being based off of the novel they did a great job with the source material.


Season 2:
The second season of most shows often see a drastic change from the first season and this show is no exception. Rita has come out into her own by this point, and the character development pendulum seems to swing heavily towards Dexter's sister Deborah, and of course himself as well. I loved this season as well, but I have a handful more complaints about this season than the last. Every episode in Season 2 felt like it needed excessive shock value and bordered on jumping the shark at times. All the over-complication between Dexter stuck in a love-triangle and his police force teaming with The FBI to track him down when his victims are uncovered made me wish for the simplier, happier times from Season 1. Still an excellent season, but it makes me weary to watch Season 3, hoping that they don't try to continue making things over-the-top crazy.


Final Thoughts:
Dexter is in a league all on its own. I wish I had Showtime so I could watch it regularly, but, hey, I'm not gonna shell out the extra cash for a pay-network. Thank God for Netflix and the first two seasons being out on DVD, the third coming out next month. Far and above one of my favorite shows right now and an easy suggestion to anyone who's looking for quality television these days.

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