Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Television Breakdown: Dexter (2006-2013)

Since Lost, I don't think I've completed the full season of any other show. So in the first of many shows I hope to finish, I started with Dexter. Of the shows I've started to watch and talk about this is by the far the most compelling one I've watched. Also you dislike SPOILERS then I suggest not reading ahead. Anyways, the last season, season 8, definitely was the weakest though. It wasn't because of all the characters, or even the acting, but because there was something that wasn't cohesive in how it fit in with the others seasons. It was too obvious it wasn't supposed to be.

Summary: Dexter is a blood splatter analyst by day, and a serial killer by night. He only kills those who have murdered though, but this is only a way to safely channel his urges that would come out some other way if he didn't. Killing though is eventually going to leave a trail back to him though, and while the growing speculation of who he is is made by some who work with him, others like his potential love interest and adopted sister seem oblivious to who he really is.

Acting: The acting from everyone involved is really just top notch, even if you dislike the person they still contribute something emotionally to the show. There are certain seasons to really spotlight where the acting is at it's best. Like Season 3 that features Jimmy Smits in a guest role as Miguel, who is a man who wants to begin killing in the way that Dexter does. There is also the most popular guest star in Season 4 with John Lithgow as the killer who seems to bring Dexter his biggest threat in all the seasons. For the main actors involved they shine in these seasons as well, but Season 7 is where I thought Michael C. Hall, who is Dexter, and Debra who is portrayed by Jennifer Carpenter really shine. The building emotions of the past seasons finally come together to where we see just how far their relationship is tested, and in a way I felt the whole time that this was the end, because it has that vibe, so it throws season 8 off. One other guest star I really enjoyed though was Yvonne Strahovski as Hannah. Now many I know did not like her addition into the show, but I thought it added something that the show had been looking for Dexter.

Filming: The show is shot in Miami, so it provides this interesting backdrop that contrasts so well with the dark life that Dexter leads. The colors are usually pastel, and light greens, pinks, and blues. It's just very well done. Then on top of that you have music that is playing that is very Latin. As the seasons go on the type of music does decrease as well. It makes me want to go back and rewatch Season 1 again already! The direction of the show does very well to capture the changing atmosphere of Dexter's world as the seasons go on.

Plot: The show was summarized earlier by me, but this is where some spoilers might get crazy. With each season you can expect that the guest stars time will run out by the end of the season, with each season though the guest star brings on an unique exploration testing Dexter's personality. With the first season, it was the revelation of Dexter's family, and the second season it revolved more of how far Dexter will go to keep his secret safe, and we see that Dexter won't touch someone who is innocent. In Season 3 Dexter tests out friendship, and in season 4 he makes the huge leap into becoming a husband and father. In Season 5 Dexter begins to explore having feelings that are more real and not just based on maintaining appearances, which revolves around the guest star. In season 6, Dexter's spirituality is explored. In Season 7 we see Dexter potentially find real love, but also break down barriers with his sister that kept her from ever knowing Dexter fully. In Season 8 the ties that Dexter has are wrapped, and he decides what his life is capable of handling if he is to continue killing. I like how each season is given a purpose and a way to develop Dexter. I don't think a lead character has ever had the open development that makes him likable yet a persona that would be hard to get to know in real life. There are seasons like season 5 of season 8 that may seem weaker to some, but it still doesn't take away from the overall effect of the story for me.

Dexter is the only other show I've completed besides Lost. I already miss it and I only finished the show a couple of weeks ago. Even if I disliked a character they grew on me, and they had their place in the show that worked. By the end of the show I saw just how attached I was to certain characters, and just how devastating it was to see some of them go.

Rating 10 of 10.

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