Review for Dexter - Season 1:
An interesting and original idea that's very skillfully executed, Dexter is never less than watchable, often quite compelling and sometimes thoroughly riveting. As the 12 episodes from the show's first season reveal, it's also the epitome of "high concept," a kind of Silence of the Lambs for the C.S.I. generation. Creator-executive producer James Manos Jr.'s title character, one Dexter Morgan (played by Michael C. Hall of Six Feet Under renown), works for the Miami Police Department as a blood spatter analyst, visiting crime scenes and helping figure out what happened. He has an avocation, too: during his off hours, he tracks down some very, very bad people who for various reasons have eluded the proper authorities. Seems his adoptive father, a cop himself, taught the kid how to channel his dark side in a 'positive' direction and so, having captured these evil doers (including a child molester-murderer and a recidivist drunk driver with a trail of bodies in his wake), Dex dispatches them with clinical precision, thus making him a serial killer who snuffs serial killers.
But there's more--much more, as it turns out. By his own description, Dexter is 'a monster,' an empty shell who fakes all human interactions and admits to no real feelings for anything or anyone, including his foster sister (Jennifer Carter) and his nominal girlfriend (Julie Benz), a former crack addict and battered spouse who's as uninterested in sex as he is. There's an explanation for Dexter's weirdness, of course, one so deep and traumatic that even he isn't aware of it. It's gradually revealed over the course of the season as he and the cops (who include Erik King, Lauren Velez, and David Zayas, all first-rate) track down the so-called 'Ice Truck Killer,' a fellow monster whose grisly m.o. both fascinates and taunts our hero, leading to a genuinely shocking and squirm-inducing finale. Dexter can be a bit arch, with an ironic, too-hip-for-the-room tone that get a little old. Still, it's a safe bet that anyone who views this first season will be salivating for the second. --Sam Graham
Review for Dexter - Season 2:
Dark and sinister is the new sexy, thanks to Dexter, which in its second season has proven to be the most successful series Showtime has offered up yet. Remember how much you squirmed in your seat during the season one finale? Believe it or not, the premiere of season two felt like it could have been a season finale--because jaws were on the floor when the credits rolled. For being a supposed sociopath, Dex is pretty broken up about the gruesome events that concluded last season. The one and only person who could possibly understand him is six feet under, and it seems our unlikely hero is losing his homicidal grip. He’s even having a little trouble slicing up a few of his latest victims (from a murderous gang member to a chainsaw-wielding fiend from his past). Enter Lila (Jaime Murray, Hustle), a lady with a sweet British accent and a few dark secrets of her own. She seems to accept Dex for who he really is, and he finds himself feeling relaxed for the first time in his life. In contrast, his relationship with his girlfriend Rita (Julie Benz) has been stretched almost to a breaking point. The problem is, he should be anything but relaxed. Someone picked a poor place to go scuba diving off the Florida coast, and came across an underwater graveyard: Dex’s primo spot for dropping dismembered bodies wrapped in heavy-duty trash bags. Word about the "Bay Harbor Butcher" gets out quick, and the F.B.I. sends the best of the best, Special Agent Frank Lundy (Keith Carradine, Deadwood) to work alongside the police to sniff out Miami’s latest serial killer. This guy is no schlub, and Dex may have met his match. And, yes, Dexter gets to work with Lundy on a daily basis, which provides some wonderfully awkward moments. It certainly doesn’t help that the intuitively paranoid Sergeant Doakes (Erik King, Oz) is hot on Dex’s trail. Season two of Dexter is all about decisions. Lila or Rita? Old code or new code? Run or fight? Right or wrong? Well, one thing’s for sure: When it comes to writing, casting, acting, and production, the makers of this show made all the right decisions. Michael C. Hall is simply superb as the title character. You’ll never find yourself more willing to genuinely root for a serial killer. It’s bloody liberating. --Jordan Thompson
Review for Dexter - Season 3:
Showtime's breakout hit series Dexter, about a lovable psychopath, a serial killer who targets only the scummiest of the scum, hits its stride in season 3. Dexter Morgan, played with nuance and glee by the outstanding Michael C. Hall, begins the season somewhat chastened by the events of the previous season--where whiffs of his secret life became known to others and he was nearly found out. "I need to find out what it's like just to be normal. If that's something that's even possible for me," he muses, as he tries to settle in to domestic life with girlfriend Rita (the baby-voiced Julie Benz) and her kids.
Yet Dexter is soon back to his compulsion for seeking out criminals who've somehow escaped traditional justice. Hall, one of TV's most talented actors, manages to make Dexter's off-kilter moral compass totally believable, if not quite sympathetic. The rest of the cast is stellar, including Dex's sister, Debra, played by Jennifer Carpenter as the seemingly more combustible Morgan--a hot-tempered Miami detective in the same division where Dexter toils in the background as a blood-spatter specialist. Deb wears her heart on her sleeve, as a cop and a sister, and her deep love for her brother is a key part of what makes Dexter so human. (And Carpenter's chemistry with Hall is amped by the fact that in real life, the actors are married.)
Season 3's breakout guest star is the amazing Jimmy Smits, who plays District Attorney Miguel Prado, a polished pillar of the community, an ambitious politician--and a guy with a secret every bit as dark as Dexter's. As Miguel and Dexter peel away each other's unsavoury layers, Dexter tries to tamp down Miguel's blistering desire for revenge, and Miguel begins leading a double life--one that could threaten Dexter's life and family as much as the growing list of bad guys in Miguel's crosshairs. The other main star of Dexter is the city of Miami, its teeming beauty and corruption celebrated in equal measure, and its blistering sun shot without tempering. The city is so integral, visually and viscerally, that it's impossible to think of Dexter being shot anywhere else. It's a killer season. --A.T. Hurley
The complete seasons 1-3 of the award-winning US drama starring Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan, a jovial Miami police forensics expert who moonlights as an avenging serial killer. After a traumatic childhood incident, orphan Dexter is adopted by a police officer, who soon realises the boy has a homicidal bent. Matching his skills to a worthwhile profession, Dexter is encouraged to join the Miami Police Department as a blood spatter analyst, plotting the gruesome aftermath of murders. Soon however, the borders of work and play start to blur as Dexter begins dispensing summary justice to those who, in his eyes, have unjustly escaped prosecution. Season 1 episodes are: 'Dexter', 'Crocodile', 'Popping Cherry', 'Let's Give the Boy a Hand', 'Love American Style', 'Return to Sender', 'Circle of Friends', 'Shrink Wrap', 'Father Knows Best', 'Seeing Red', 'Truth Be Told' and 'Born Free'. Season 2 episodes are: 'It's Alive!', 'Waiting to Exhale', 'An Inconvenient Lie', 'See-Through', 'The Dark Defender', 'Dex, Lies and Videotape', 'That Night a Forest Grew', 'Morning Comes', 'Resistance Is Futile', 'There's Something About Harry', 'Left Turn Ahead' and 'The British Invasion'. Season 3 episodes are: 'Our Father', 'Finding Freebo', 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight', 'All in the Family', 'Turning Biminese', 'Si Se Puede', 'Easy As Pie', 'The Damage a Man Can Do', 'About Last Night', 'Go Your Own Way', 'I Had a Dream' and 'Do You Take Dexter Morgan?'.