Dexter was another show that I totally missed the boat on for a while. I never had Showtime or any of those special channels, so unless I had it on DVD or felt like watching it on the internet, Dexter was totally out of the question. Until I went to school and met my friend Jess, who is now single-handedly responsible for getting anywhere from 15-20 people obsessed with the show.
I started watching it online at her behest, and yeah, I liked it a lot. It had a fantastic, engaging plot, but with thirteen episodes in a season, the warning that “the last two episodes are fucking insane,” hour long episodes, and way too much to do in a semester, I got to the sixth episode and the show fell to the wayside for a while. Once my girlfriend moved up to Connecticut for school, I got back into it with her. Serial killers fascinate her, so I suggested we start rewatching the first season.
I went out and bought the DVDs and off we were. The first six episodes, yeah, they were good…but during the seventh things went absolutely batshit insane. We were now irresistably hooked, rearranging our lives and class schedules to fit in an hour of Dexter whenever we could. I wouldn’t say the first season had a slow start, but once it hit its stride, there was no turning back until that thing was done.
The first season of Dexter is virtually flawless. The characters are compelling and multi-dimensional, the plot twists and turns beautifully; my only complaints are some of the cheesy flashback sequences to Dexter’s youth, especially when he hits his early 20s and they start using Michael C. Hall with a mop wig to play young Dexter.
The second season…not so much. It started out engaging, hit a huge lull in the middle, and ended fairly strongly. They introduced the character of Lila, a woman so completely frustrating that I’ve never wanted to punch a fictional character in the face worse. Her accent, her demeanor, her actions are all just irritating, and while she’s somewhat necessary, she’s a total bitch.
Then came the third season. I actually watched this one in real time, being forced to take week-long breaks in between episodes. I and my group of friends I watched the show with were all apprehensive at first; that second season was pretty shaky and we doubted Dexter would recover and return to everything that made the first season so great.
A few weeks later, we simultaneously choked on our words.
Dexter‘s third season was pretty fucking good. Jimmy Smits’ character of Miguel Prado was fascinating, and Michael C. Hall did an incredible job of conveying Dexter’s hesitance to accept a new friend into his life. Jennifer Carpenter’s Deb got a lot prettier and less one-dimensional and Julie Benz’s Rita became more stable and self-sufficient. There was a feeling of tangible character development, one that was sorely missing in the last season.
The last episode fell flat on the delivery, as there was simply too much to wrap up in one episode, but I’m anxious for the DVD release to take the whole season in as one continuous whole. Maybe my opinion will change then, but the rest of the season is not to be missed.