Have you seen Dexter? That show with the guy who goes about killing bad guys, only to go to work in the morning at Miami Vice. It’s actually a great watch, and you should give it a shot. Despite the fact that it’s not on regular cable (Showtime in fact), get your hands on the seasons, 4 of them so far, and plough through this show, because you’re gonna wanna get caught up before the next season starts.
The concept is a strange one. Who would watch a show in which the protagonist is a serial murderer, and who you are supposed to root for episode after episode? But it works. You see, Dexter kills bad people. As Robert De Niro’s character from Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” puts it, someone’s got to clean up the grime and filth on the streets. Apparently there’s something in Miami’s water supply because it is creating a disproportionate amount of terrible people. And Dexter takes care of the ones that slip through the cracks in the judicial system. He does this through a meticulous process, one laid out by his father early out in his adolescent years.
Dexter is as interesting as character get. Michael C. Hall plays the conflicting forensic blood splatter analyst Dexter Morgan to the tee. He is as layered as any other character on television. Hall’s character has to balance his social life, his working life, his family (his sister Debra Morgan who works with him in his precinct), and his personal necessity to kill. You see, Dexter has a Dark Passenger. This Dark Passenger was born out of the brutal death of his mother in a storage cart when he was a young child. Dexter’s Dark Passenger feeds his desire to kill, and has imprinted itself in everything he does, leaving him devout of emotion or feeling.
Dexter is a student of death. He studies death for work, and delivers it after hours. His interaction with those he kills is what makes this show so special. The people he kills are evil people, yet what he is doing, many would consider to be evil. Dexter negotiates this by following a code, created by his father. The people he kills must fit the code. When Dexter gets them onto his chopping block, he reminds himself why he is different from those he kills, and that is because of his code.
Dexter’s main winning point is its story, which is held together by the main villains in each season. This past season, it was John Lithgow, and was he brilliant. If you don’t remember who he was, think back to your childhood, the paternal unit from “3rd Rock from the Sun”. Yes him, the same guy from the Stallone flick “Cliffhanger”. He plays a true psychopath on the show. His broody nature is masked by a superficial layer of civilian life, and only until he interacts with someone like him, or when he strikes, does this layer come off. He is a lot like Dexter, and when they interact, it’s brilliant to watch.
Dexter is a show you should watch because if you don’t soon, you will be terribly sorry. You don’t want to watch it from the newest season which begins in September hopefully. Michael C. Hall was diagnosed with cancer a few months back. He received treatment, and is on his way towards recovery as his cancer is in remission now. That’s great news for a great actor who has many more years to hone his art up from the intense level it already is. The show is balanced with the intense ambience that follows death, as well as a dark wit that follows the facade Dexter has created to fit in to society as naturally as he can. Watch it and be amazed.