But enough about me, today I want to talk about Dexter, the star of the original Showtime series of the same name. I realize that the show first aired in 2006, but I have just discovered it, thanks to the Black Friday machinations of my fellow Babbler, Johnny. He, Jeff, and I have been unfolding Season 1 over the last couple of weeks, and I think I can speak for them as well as myself when I say that I like what I see.
Dexter (Michael C. Hall) is a forensics expert, employed by the Miami police department. His specialty is in blood, and his expertise comes not only from his professional work but also from his personal pastime. Dexter, you see, is a serial killer. He kills cleanly, carefully, and conscientiously; only the bad guys who go unnoticed by the law or escape the hands of justice end up on his radar and in his collection. He avoids detection himself by maintaining a façade of caring brother, loving boyfriend, and all-around nice guy.
Therein lies the rub. Dexter is a cold-blooded killer, liar, and probable psychopath. For all of that, you can’t help but like him! Mr. Hall skillfully wields both sides of his character’s personalities such ambidexterity* that you can never forget his true nature, yet you are willing to overlook it. In fact, despite his complete lack of societal ethics, it is hard not to cheer for him as he accomplishes what the police cannot.
Dexter is supported by a cadre of clever characters: Harry, his foster father who (via flashbacks) helps Dex understand his place in society. Deb, his foster sister, a rookie homicide cop who swears like a sailor and has no idea what her brother really is. Rita, his emotionally fragile girlfriend with a dark note in her own past. Sgt. Doakes, a hard-nosed detective who senses something awry with Dex. Masuka, a fellow forensics expert is played to comedic effect by C.S. Lee (whom you might remember as Buy More manager Harry Tang from TV’s Chuck).
I highly recommend Dexter, Season 1, even as I haven’t finished watching it myself. Be advised that the show does contain adult themes, strong language, violence (duh), and occasional sexual situations. That said, Dexter is extremely well-written, acted, and produced, and fully deserves its 3.5 Babbles.
*Pun fully intended, and no doubt what the writers had in mind when they named the character.