06 July, 2007
"Dexter is based on the compelling novel "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" by Jeff Lindsay. Orphaned at the age of four and harbouring a traumatic secret, Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) is adopted by a police officer who recognizes Dexter's homicidal tendencies and guides his son to channel his gruesome passion for human vivisection in a constructive way - by killing those heinous perpetrators that are above the law or who have slipped through the cracks of justice.
A respected member of the police force, a perfect gentleman and a man with a soft spot for children, it's hard not to like Dexter. Although his drive to kill is unflinching, he struggles to emulate normal emotions he doesn't feel, and to keep up his appearance as a caring, socially responsible human being."
Dexter is second only to Heroes in terms of quality for new shows last season and even then I'm wondering if maybe it isn't actually better. But they are so different. Heroes and the ultimate anti-hero.
You had the same amazing characters and gripping storylines but most of all the frustrating wait for the next week's episodes. The cliffhanger is a fine television tradition but it should be banned. Or rather it should be kept but shows should be shown not weekly but in blocks so you would have the whole series in a day. No, that's not 'a stupid idea'. You watch Dexter and tell me if you don't feel the same way.
Dexter is on FX which is only available on Sky but I find it hard to believe the free to air rights haven't been snapped up yet.
Actually, come to think about it, the show is disturbing. It's not too graphic but it's about pathological disorders and death although there is dark humour running throughout. It was actually scheduled for spring when a real life serial killer was in Ipswich and I suspect that's why it was moved to summer.
I found myself identifying with a serial killer and wanting him to get away it. For my own peace of mind I'm putting that down to the quality writing and performances and not to any potential killer instinct I might have. Although that is perhaps something buried deep inside all of us, in some deeper than others.
Look how this is done, everything is set up in the first twelve minutes. There is narration in the book and the series has it too. Instead of just seeing what Dexter is doing, we're hearing his thoughts and making us identify with him.
The conflict in my head is played out in the show. Do even killers deserve to be tortured and killed? Do wanting nonces and murderers dead in fiction the same as wanting them dead in real life? Are they equally morally wrong?
Whatever. It's just so clever and funny and thrilling. Highly recommended.
Chapter 1 of the novel
FX, Sunday 8 July, 10:00pm