Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Blogging A to Z: Dexter

Like Breaking Bad, Dexter is a show not for the faint of heart. But the payoff is worth it if you invest in this series, which remains rather unpredictable, and a bit troubling considering the main character is a serial killer you want to root for.

Not all TV can be The Brady Bunch. (Thank goodness).

Dexter is a serial killer with a specific set of criteria for his kills: they need to be criminals. In one of the story arcs, his kills gain attention and the community applauds the unknown vigilante taking crime into his own hands. Again like Breaking Bad, it isn't enough that he's a killer eschewing the law, he works for the Miami Police Department. So does his sister Deb. In fact, she investigates cases Dexter is intimately involved with. What's truly screwy is when someone on the force in season 1 catches on to Dexter. I'll leave out spoilers, but see who it is you want to get away with it: Dexter or the one person who sees through Dexter's facade.

What I appreciate about the show is the backstory which details why Dexter is the way he is. It's quite a charge to make a serial killer a sympathetic character. Dexter agonizes at times over his need to kill, it's a topic exhausted throughout the series, reminding viewers that murder is never an easy or "right" option. Dexter even has a girlfriend who embodies the sunny, mothering, angelic side of life that Dexter fears/wants most. His sister Deb is a fantastic character: she's foul mouthed, emotional and she will do anything to protect her brother. The stakes are high - Dexter can't let anyone know he's a killer or he'll end up with nothing. 
Not all of these characters will make it alive to season 5
Why You Should Watch: A great supporting cast rounds out the show. If you're tired of predictable telelvision, Dexter puts a spin on the typical police procedural and at times even manages to be funny. 

Factoid: During the writer's strike of 2008, CBS aired an edited version of Dexter's first season, which originally plays on premium cable network Showtime. Seriously, CBS! Yes, the Parent's TV Council was all over it. 


  1. This is a series I have not seen, but according to my aunt it is very good.

  2. Hello, Stephanie! I've never seen this (I'm not much of a TV watcher) but the people I know of who watch it love it. Nice to meet you and happy A to Z!!

  3. @Laura: you could say I am a TV watcher. But I try to be efficient with it and only spend time on shows I like (not much channel surfing these days thanks to the DVR).

    After getting through season 4 of Dexter, I swore the show off because it was so emotionally taxing. But I did end up watching season 5. It's not lightweight TV, but it's a great show if you like dark themes.

  4. Don't watch much TV so have never seen it - but it does sound interesting.

  5. Hi Stephanie!

    Nice to meet you through the A-to-Z, and thank you very much for the visit and comment on my blog!

    This is one series I've heard good things about but have never seen (no Showtime). I don't watch a lot of TV, but this does sound like a series I should at least rent to catch up on.

    Great A-to-Z theme you've got going here!

  6. Sounds intriguing. I would never have thought a serial killer would be a character that anyone would like.

  7. I have to confess, I've always found the premise of this series disturbing. I saw that it was on Netflix and decided that I needed to watch an episode just to make sure I wasn't judging it unfairly. Turns out I'm one of the 'faint of heart' you mentioned lol.

    It's weird because I watched shows like CSI and Criminal Minds for years and was able to stomach the gory corpses and story lines. But Dexter was just too much for me. Maybe a little too realistic or something. Well, at least I gave it a shot, right? :D

  8. Hi Stephanie! Just stumbled across your blog through A to Z. (I noticed 1. That we're both writing YA, and 2. That you used Angel as your letter A, and I used Buffy as my letter B, so basically I think we're BlogMFEO.) :)

    I loved Dexter season 1, and somehow ended up getting distracted during s2, so I never finished it. This post made me remember that I should probably get on that...

  9. loooove this show! I finished season four this summer. The last scene... my heart stopped. BUT Dexter kind of had it coming. In season one, he took out criminals that slipped through the system, but season four was all about keeping someone out of the system so that Dexter could get him! Such a perfect ending! I love all the places they go with the series and that Dexter's actions have real consequences. I never know how he is going to fix the problems he creates for himself!

  10. Is it sad that I've only seen one of the shows you mentioned so far? (Angel).

    New follower here. I’m enjoying reading my fellow “A to Z”ers. I look forward to visiting again.


  11. I sooo want to watch this show, but I'm phobic about blood and there was just too much of it for me to handle. LOVE Castle though. Great challenge theme and awesome post. Happy A-Z blogging.

  12. I love how you dissected how this show works. Classic example of taking something that's been done before (show about serial killers) and putting a new twist on it!

  13. I heard about this show and found the concept puzzling. I'd like to watch one or two episodes to see what it's like.

    Nice to meet you and hope you're enjoying the Challenge!

    A to Z Challenge Host

  14. I know I would find this show facinating; but I'm afraid the premise is a bit too dark. I'm such a lightweight sissy girl...

    Great synopsis, though!!

  15. I usually watch one or two series at a time, and I don't like to start watching them until they've been around for a while. Nothing worse than when they get cancelled after one season.

    I think this may be my next one :-)

  16. I don't have Showtime, but i saw the first season of Dexter at the library so I decided to try it. It's so addicting, but I'm not going to continue to watch it. Wish I could get the edited version on DVD.
    Have you ever read the series - I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells. So good. Sort of like Dexter.

  17. Love Dexter. LOVE Dexter. I haven't seen the latest season yet, but I can't wait for it! Such a well-written show with great characterization and fabulous acting.


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