Musings on Dexter

A few posts ago, I talked about response bias. I asked your help to talk about This Must Be the Place, because my dislike for the director prevented me from judging the movie fairly. Well, now I  have to call for response bias again. Though I can’t really say which movie is my favorite, I can for TV series: it is definitely Dexter. I love Dexter Morgan. I love all the secondary characters, none of them excluded. And usually the ones I hate (Lyla, Miguel) get killed at the end of the season, so that’s even better. So, whatever I am going to write, it’s not going to change my worship. I will never drop the series.

That being said, Showtime has just renewed Dexter for two more seasons. Now, let’s sit down and talk about it. Are you guys sure you want to do this? Mr. Hall, are all the money you’re getting worth this? What is Dexter going to do in two more seasons? What are you guys going to write in two more seasons? Flashforwarding time and making Dex teach Harrison the Harry’s code? In which case, please remember the I have the copyright for the idea. Anyway, let’s talk about Jeff Lindsay’s books. The first one, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, is really great. And so it’s Dexter‘s first season, which is an almost faithful adaptation of it. Then the book series and the TV series’ narrations start to diverge. Deeply. And I think that TV’s storylines, for once, are way better the the literary ones. But there’s this one thing that in the books stays pretty much the same and that makes them so appealing: Dexter himself. Do you remember the first season, when Dexter used to drive around Miami like a predator in need for blood? Do you remember when he used to draw a cold, detached, yet perfectly true analysis of human behaviors? When he was just a neat, emotionless “monster”? He was so lovely. Well, in the books, though he marries Rita, he doesn’t really change in his nature. In the series, people and circumstances make him evolve, make him grow up, make him change. And this is good, because a character needs to evolve, especially in a serial narration. But what I’ve been noticing lately is that Dexter isn’t true to his basic nature anymore. First season’s Dexter is long gone. C’mon guys, what about him literally fucking around with girls he just met? That’s not him. Not even the grown-up-him. Where did his cold look on society go? I can’t see it anymore, though he surely questions himself and his beliefs. So, unless this two more seasons are going to take us back the basics, I don’t think they’re going to improve the general frame of series that started as “awesome” but ended up as “good”. Still, response bias: whatever happens, Dexter, I will always love you.

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6 comments on “Musings on Dexter

  1. You’re a much more faithful viewer than I.

    Alas, me and Mr. Morgan parted ways this season due to scheduling. It doesn’t speak highly of where the series was at though that I was so willing to let it go.

    I haven’t seen this season at all, so my comments have to be taken in that context. I thought S1 was an A++ one of the greatest TV Seasons ever. S2 was still good, but a significant drop off. I’d give it an A, one of the best season on tv that year, but no legend or anything. They played the whole FBI found out about him card WAY too early, and then having Deb get romantically involved with Carradine was a huge mistep. I thought. Plus Dexter’s NA sponsor being a pyro? Just… started to get strange. The Dex/Doakes stuff was excellent though. I miss Doakes.

    S3 was the most disappointing season in TV history aside from LOST S6. After two straight As, I have to give the Jimmy Smits season a D. Dexter did so many things that were out of character. And he was seriously beginning to get bogged down in family life, which is NOT where we want this character.

    S4 gets remembered better than it was because of the great last few episodes, but the meat of the season was stretched out, watered down and strange. Dexter posing as “Kyle”? WEIRD. That said, the final few episodes with Dexter v Lithgow were awesome. B+

    The JUlia Stiles seasons had moments, but it also had moments where I was like COME ON! Deb? Letting the killers go at the end without looking behind the plastic sheets was pretty much a deal breaker for me. Left me in a place where I was completely on the fence with the series and… as fate would have it, all too willing to let it go.

    To me, like LOST, this will always be a case of sad, squandered potential. The premise of a Serial Killer who only kills bad guys was SO ingenious, SO brilliant and could have been taken in SO many different, interesting directions than this show did. I mean, you’ve got the audience ROOTING for a serial killer! Crazy. How awesome.

    But they misplayed the hand, and even at its heights, the only seasons that delivered on the excellence of the premise were the first two, and even then the second one didnt fully…

  2. Jersey says:

    Wow, that was an in-depth comment!

    Overall I agree with you. As I said, I think that the main mistake was changing the character’s nature. That was the show peculiarity, what made it different from anything we ever saw before.
    I feel like most of the storylines are still mind-grippin’ but, because of Dexter’s too drastic evolution, seasons are never going to be as good as the first one again.

    But yes, I’m hopelessly faithful!

  3. Jaina says:

    I think Dexter probably has run its course. Though, I’m quite happy to watch on for as long as there are episodes. I’ve never once thought, “I think now’s the time I drop Dexter”. NEVER.

    I like that he’s still developing. Though, sometimes I wish for that cold hearted Dexter again. But isn’t that the point of the show?

    Even at Dexter’s shittiest points, it’s still far better than a lot of things on TV at the mo which keep getting renewed over and over again.

  4. Jersey says:

    I totally see you point, Jaina.
    Dexter has changed and we all liked the old one better.
    But he’s still the best one over there, isn’t he? 🙂

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