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on 28 August 2014
If I describe this excellent series it will sound worse than it is so please do not be put off from trying it.

Dexter, a forensic `blood splatter analyst' for the Miami Police, is a secret `controlled sociopath'.

A sociopath is a person with a currently untreatable mental condition whereby they have no conscience, remorse or sympathy to restrain selfish, destructive or violent impulses.

It is easy for someone like that to become a criminal and many do. However, many others, the controlled sociopaths like Dexter, while realising they are different, learn to live mostly unnoticed among us, mimicking our behaviour so as not to stand out. Such people are restrained in their conduct not by any solid sense of morality or sympathy for others, but by learning that life is easier if they work within society's laws and morality; or at least, to seem to do so enough not to be caught.

In Dexter's case his adoptive father, a policeman, recognised early on that Dexter was a sociopath, but instead of disowning him taught him to direct his more violent and destructive impulses in a way that is, arguably, better both for Dexter and for society than if he had become a straight criminal. By night he secretly tracks down and eliminates murderers, rapists and such like he encounters in his day job as a scientist with the Miami Police Department who are clearly guilty but who cannot be convicted under the law with all its procedural safeguards.

I know that probably sounds terrible, but, as I have said, it will sound worse than it is so please do not be put off from trying Dexter. You may well find you like him; indeed while you might not expect to like a serial killer, Dexter is actually easier to like than the hero of `Breaking Bad' with which this series is often compared.

Particularly good among the cast, in this first Season, are Julie Benz (here playing a very different character from her other best known role as Darla the vampire in Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel) as Dexter's shy, vulnerable girlfriend Rita and Jennifer Carpenter as Dexter's policewoman sister Debra [wrong spelling of the name in my opinion but let that pass]. Both are attached to Dexter but neither knows about his darker, secret life. Like many sociopaths, knowing most people could not take the truth about him, hiding in plain sight has become second nature to Dexter.

Anyone who becomes interested in the subject of controlled sociopaths may want to check out Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding In Plain Sight by ME Thomas (a pseudonym) and her blog 'Sociopath World'. She is a former assistant professor of law who is a diagnosed sociopath herself. She said that this first Season of Dexter while not quite 100% accurate is was so close she suspected there was a sociopath among the script writers (she suggested if one of the writers had a CV that looked 'too perfect' it would probably be them). She thought later Seasons became somewhat less accurate as a portrayal of a sociopath but that it was still a good programme.

The novel on which this series is based, Jeff Lindsay's 'Darkly Dreaming Dexter' is also really good.

PS While standing by my above comments about Season 1 and the first book 'Darkly Dreaming Dexter', I found the second book too gory for me, although cleverly written, and by Season 3 of the TV programme I was beginning to tire of Dexter's girlfriend Rita as the character did not seem to develop. I am not sure I shall watch all 8 Seasons of this programme that were eventually made, although they all do seem to have mostly favourable reviews on Amazon.
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on 6 June 2018
This serial needs killing!
Actually it dies a slow and painful death - painful for the viewer that is.

Dexter is a serial killer but he has been trained by his adoptive father to channel his urges and only kill murderers. The premise is OK and given the right treatment could be made into a very interesting and intelligent TV show. But it isn't.

One of the problems with this show is that Dexter is probably the most emotionally stable character in it! He is the good serial killer. He has occasional fits of self-contemplation but he does not kill many people in this series and he even lets one of his subjects live because the boy has a good reason for his crime. But doesn't everybody?

His sister is a cop. But she is a disaster! She is completely ridiculous as a character. She is the tough but vulnerable woman that is totally confused - as usual. She goes from tough to emotional mess in a split second in almost every episode. When will TV writers learn how to write good female characters? I am sure most of us know a tough but vulnerable woman. She is a real person and can be well portrayed by good writers. Remember Kara Thrace from Battlestar Galactica? That is how it should be done.

Dexter is a psycho but he is warm and humorous and fun to be with. That is the problem with this. He is not what they say he is and it shouts at you whenever he appears on screen. He is thoughtful, intelligent and NICE!

I have given it two stars becasue all of the acting is very good and Dexter can be watched if you switch off your brain, but you have to hold your nose becasue it really stinks.
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on 5 March 2017
5 stars I love it but really should be 4. 5 because it was one of those that come along once in a while which you cant stop watching. Everyone has had this me for this for various things which have this effect on them. and I had with this and with others such as the Shield of which I bought all seven series in a few weeks, not so much as you loved every minute but as you couldn't stop following the story to see what happens.

Myself I watched this whole Dexter series in two sittings one today within a long weekend, even suffering the horrible foul mouthed thing, who plays his half sister to follow the story! It may not grab you like this but can guarantee an origina theme and compulsive viewing.
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on 15 April 2012
This show is one of my all-time Top 5 favourites the reason being is because this show Outstanding!! The show is about Dexter the blood spatter analyst (analysing blood in crime scenes to give an idea of who the killer was e.g. height, direction of attack.....). But he's also one Americas biggest serial killers, only the people he kills are killers themselves that have escaped justice (not found guilty in the courtroom or wasn't caught in the first place) This allows the audience to except Dexter because if he was going around killing children and other innocents we would all hate him but he doesn't so in a way he is a twisted hero that delivers a fatal dose of justice. And gradually as learn more about Dexter we grown to like the guy even if he's an anti-social, no emotion murderer.
The main plot of this season is the hunt for another serial killer who goes by the name of The Ice Truck Killer whose signature killing method is to kill his victims in a extremely cold environment to stop all major blood from spattering everywhere so when the bodies were discovered there was not a single drop of blood. This method hugely impressed Dexter and soon he began tracking down the killer, even though he was under his nose for most of the way. Towards the end there is a shocking discovery and a very good ending. As the story develops we are show Dexter's past as it is very important to the plot further down the line and it also shows us the standing stones of Harrys Code (Dexter's adoptive father realises that Dexter has a dangerous need to kill because of his past and therefore he trains Dexter how to kill and how to get away with it too)
What makes this so engaging is Dexter commentary of what is going on in his mind throughout the episodes, this gives an idea of how alien emotions are to killers and how every interaction he has with other people is completely superficial. The show is incredibly original (well the books are technically) and is a breath of fresh air among the crap TV that plagues the television industry. This is a show to die for ;)
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on 23 August 2013
Well presented as a box set and as for the content, the show immediately grabbed my attention and hasn't let go since although the end is nearing with season 8 (the final one) being almost over! The running plot line and character development really work together, and you soon have your favourite character. None of them are weak, they're all excellent and they really develop as the seasons go on. Continue watching, you will not regret it as it's hard to find tv shows like these where the quality remains high!

P.s. Breaking bad is also another definite to watch!
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on 9 April 2010
When this series came out,it was an enormous shock.
Had TV yet again gone beyond the boundary of good taste in making a series about a serial killer as some kind of anti-hero?And the shock of grisly murders and blood spatters shown regularly in detail-was this not glorifying murder and those who perpetrate these crimes?And all this insight into the mind and thoughts of such a killer-would it not seem like a "normalisation" of the abnormal?And once more,would we become gradually inured to the horror of what we were seeing to no longer feel outraged?
Well,the writers knew all of this,and developed solutions in the storyline to ensure that the characters were indeed interesting without straying into these pitfalls.The device used to make Dexter's crimes more "palatable" is that he does not kill just anybody.He has an elaborate set of rules,a code given to him by his father,that govern the selection of his victims and the murders he commits.In essence he only kills terrible criminals who "got off" because of the failures of the legal system.
There is unbearable tension in these stories,and humour too,as well as visible character development.
A great success,and worth buying.
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on 20 July 2016
After not watching Dexter for a really long time and no longer having the box set I decided to start watching it on here as it's really cheap to buy a few episodes, I have done a review of Dexter in the past but am very happy that this works very well and am able to watch full episodes. I have only very recently discovered that you can buy TV shows and episodes and have been using this for a while now, works very well.
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on 28 July 2009
I missed Dexter when it showed on UK TV, but read the books and decided to buy this on DVD.
While the dark, sometimes campy humour of the books is toned down for the TV series, the way that the show fleshes out the supporting characters is excellent and makes this a must-see companion to the books. When Episode One concluded with a scene from a little over half way through "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" I worried that the show would run out of steam but the additional storylines and the emotional depth that the outstanding cast bring to their performances have kep me gripped for the whole twelve episodes.
Other reviewers have commented on the one dimensional supporting characters, but this is simply not true. I love the sardonic humour in the books, but the characters there really are sketches rather than full characters. Here they are brought to life fully, and in the case of Angel almost completely reinvented from the briefest of mentions. When one of the characters dies in the novel, I felt little emotion for them (probably as a result of some clever writing which puts the reader firmly into Dexter's own emotionless and warped mind-set), but in the TV series that same character takes on a life and personality as a real human being which makes their fate in the book far more difficult to handle.
I would strongly recommend this show to fans of the books, but it stands alone as a very enjoyable, entertaining piece of television on its own merits.
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on 15 February 2014
Dexter. Took a while to get into this; not really into serial killers! But, after a while began to find the series addictive. Not for the feint hearted I must say; lots of grisly bits and pieces. All in all a great series but don't watch if you suffer bad dreams! Plenty of strong characters both male and female and lots of twists and turns. Some good acting too. I must admit that some of Dexter's victims are thoroughly unsavoury. Do they deserve to die so horrifly? You decide. I've made my mind up!
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on 31 December 2014
Dexter is a fantastic and highly original TV series which follows the life of Dexter Morgan (Michael C Hall), a serial killer who also happens to work as a forensics expert for Miami PD. He is hugely likeable despite his penchant for killing people, and Hall plays the role perfectly. This opening season is gripping, addictive and gory, with plenty of action and plot twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat. The cast is stellar and the production is brilliant, thoroughly recommend!
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