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Author Topic: DEXTER  (Read 26330 times)

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Offline torgosPizza

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DEXTER
« on: December 17, 2006, 08:37:49 PM »
For those of you who haven't caught it, this is a new show that just had its first season finale tonight on Showtime.

However if you HAVE seen it - then you know what I'm talking about when I say it's one of the best shows on TV or cable. If you get Showtime, I highly recommend catching repeats (or taping a marathon if / when they have it) or better yet, catching the entire season on DVD. Word is that it got picked up for another season, and I'm already excited with anticipation. Granted the show can be pretty violent, heavy, and dramatic - it's definitely not for everyone.

The show itself is brilliant and tonight's finale was no exception. For once, a season finale that really delivers. The likes of which are extremely hard to come by these days. No surprise here that it's on one of the most innovative channels in all if cable.

In conclusion, if you like your dramas complex, thought-provoking while being violent, funny and exhilarating, then do yourself a favor and check out DEXTER on Showtime.


Offline Teaflax

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Re: DEXTER
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2006, 03:09:07 AM »
Ugh. Almost everybody I know seems to love this show. Am I really the only one who finds it mannered, forced, speculative, sensationalist and ultimately incredibly stupid both conceptually and in execution? (pun not intended)

The logic and storytelling flaws were as bountiful in episode one as silicone jiggle in a Baywatch episode. Nope, I just don't get the praise this show gets.
Fear destroys. - Jon Anderson


Offline torgosPizza

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Re: DEXTER
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2006, 10:00:31 AM »
Ugh. Almost everybody I know seems to love this show. Am I really the only one who finds it mannered, forced, speculative, sensationalist and ultimately incredibly stupid both conceptually and in execution? (pun not intended)

The logic and storytelling flaws were as bountiful in episode one as silicone jiggle in a Baywatch episode. Nope, I just don't get the praise this show gets.


If the pilot episode is the only one you've seen, then you need to give it another chance. Pilot episodes in most cases (except for say, Lost) are almost always the weakest of the bunch. However subsequent episodes, especially the last handful, have been incredibly powerful and terrifying at the same time. I'll admit that I got hooked on this show after seeing the third episode as my "first".  I don't agree with your "speculative" and "mannered" arguments, but then again it's not really for everyone.

If you're staying away from it solely due to the pilot, I'd suggest giving it at least one more shot. If you still don't like it, that's okay too. I'm probably one of the few who used to love Lost but it lost me (no pun intended) for some of the same reasons you mentioned Dexter lost you.


Offline gammer

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Re: DEXTER
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2006, 10:06:44 AM »
If the pilot episode is the only one you've seen, then you need to give it another chance. Pilot episodes in most cases (except for say, Lost) are almost always the weakest of the bunch.

The only time I have ever seen this be the opposite, was with the short lived series The Lone Gunmen
In this case, I thought the Pilot was the strongest ep, and all the others were just "meh"...  :-",


Offline Joe Don Faker

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Re: DEXTER
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2006, 08:44:58 PM »
The show itself is brilliant and tonight's finale was no exception. For once, a season finale that really delivers.

In conclusion, if you like your dramas complex, thought-provoking while being violent, funny and exhilarating, then do yourself a favor and check out DEXTER on Showtime.

Amen, brother.  I finally got a chance to see the finale after a couple of nights of errands and last minute shopping.  Quite a capper.

The season has 12 episodes.  I watched the first few as a novelty, and was initially skeptical of the serial-killer-as-protagonist idea -- but then I got sucked in.  The triple run of episodes 8-9-10 sealed it for me as the show I most looked forward to.  Each subplot -- concerning Dexter's police associates, his girlfriend's troubles with her ex, his sister's exploits -- interested me enough that I'd be reasonably absorbed before the show inevitably swung back to our man's struggle.

I think the main character's role as a serial killer serves a couple of purposes.  The most obvious purpose is the literal, that this person is engaged in larger-than-life activities that raise the dramatic stakes and make the show fantastical.  But what I connected to is the more mundane notion that every person feels, to some extent, an isolation by the mere fact of his individuality.  In Dexter's case the isolation and feeling of "otherness" is dramatically heightened -- because what other person in reasonable society, knowing the truth about him, could accept him?  His murderous behavior is made palatable to the viewer only by the fact that (1)  it's a tv show, after all, and art, not real life and (2) he applies a code to his urges, and seeks to (as Arnie did in True Lies) only kill "bad" guys.

Anyway this post may only serve to reinforce the idea of this show as "mannered." :)  But for the curious, I highly recommend it for its story, its acting (A+ performance by lead Michael C. Hall) its look (great title sequence), its dark humor, and even its music.

« Last Edit: December 19, 2006, 09:16:53 PM by Joe Don Faker »


Offline Teaflax

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Re: DEXTER
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2006, 08:51:51 PM »
If the pilot episode is the only one you've seen, then you need to give it another chance.

Alright, I might do that. I mean, I dumped BSG after the bore-fest of a pilot as well, and had to be cajoled back by friends who kept praising it. You're the first to say that the pilot of Dexter differed from the rest of the series, though.

It's just that my suspension of disbelief is thrown entirely out of whack by the concept of a sociopath who cares about who he kills because his dad told him to. It does not make any sense on any level, because it requires a degree of empathy, caring and impulse control that you don't get in a sociopathic killer. It's as absurd as if you were going to do a show on someone with Tourette's whose dad convinced him to only swear at bad people, or a narcoleptic whose dad talks him into only falling asleep in beds.

So the central conceit of the show is built on what to me seems to be an entirely unresolvable contradiction which might have sounded good as a high concept pitch, but that really doesn't hold up to scrutiny. I have seen no indication that this is handled or resolved, just that you're expected to buy it, like you're supposed to buy David Caruso as smart and witty in CSI: Miami, despite all evidence to the contrary.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2006, 08:53:44 PM by Teaflax »
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Offline Joe Don Faker

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Re: DEXTER
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2006, 09:12:15 PM »
It's just that my suspension of disbelief is thrown entirely out of whack by the concept of a sociopath who cares about who he kills because his dad told him to. It does not make any sense on any level

I agree, in that I think storyline of the show is highly unlikely to happen in real, literal life.  My experience watching the show disregards (or maybe more accurately, incorporates and accepts) the unrealistic part, in sorta the same way I do with Superman's powers/flight, and all other manner of fantastical tv/movie flourishes. 

I think the show manages to connect to viewers for the more common aspect of alienation or 'otherness' that everyone tends to feel, for admittedly more 'normal' reasons.  The narrator's feelings along these lines exist in the heightened 'i'm a serial-killer' reality of the show, but in a general sense they're very recognizably human.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2006, 09:14:46 PM by Joe Don Faker »


Offline torgosPizza

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Re: DEXTER
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2006, 09:41:24 PM »
If the pilot episode is the only one you've seen, then you need to give it another chance.

Alright, I might do that. I mean, I dumped BSG after the bore-fest of a pilot as well, and had to be cajoled back by friends who kept praising it. You're the first to say that the pilot of Dexter differed from the rest of the series, though.

It's just that my suspension of disbelief is thrown entirely out of whack by the concept of a sociopath who cares about who he kills because his dad told him to. It does not make any sense on any level, because it requires a degree of empathy, caring and impulse control that you don't get in a sociopathic killer. It's as absurd as if you were going to do a show on someone with Tourette's whose dad convinced him to only swear at bad people, or a narcoleptic whose dad talks him into only falling asleep in beds.

So the central conceit of the show is built on what to me seems to be an entirely unresolvable contradiction which might have sounded good as a high concept pitch, but that really doesn't hold up to scrutiny. I have seen no indication that this is handled or resolved, just that you're expected to buy it, like you're supposed to buy David Caruso as smart and witty in CSI: Miami, despite all evidence to the contrary.

I think you're putting this under TOO high a scrutiny. Granted there has to be some level of belief for everything, but basically all this show is about, is Dexter the vigilante. However the subplots and the conflicts they weave around him are what really brings us back. Oddly enough its the central theme you mentioned that is given the least bit of emphasis - it's his relationships with everyone else, and the facade of "his true self" and how he deals with these issues, internal and external. It's the web of lies he's created and how he has to maintain the facade in order to keep his world from collapsing that brings the most tension.

Like Joe Don said, it's also about feeling like an outcast and what that can do to us. I know I've been there, I think most of us have at some point.

However I think the show also could be considered a "vigilante" show, and who doesn't like a good vigilante story. It's not that Dex cares about his victims - it's that he cares about his victim's victims. His stepfather taught him to live by a moral code, as twisted as it may be to the average viewer, kind of makes sense. It's definitely strange to think about "rooting for the bad guy" but, how many movies have been made with this concept? The DIE HARD movies, Kill Bill, Commando, V for Vendetta, there are a dozen others I can think of off the top of my head. Yes they kill but they kill but with a purpose, I guess you could say.

And that's why I like it!

On a personal note, I hate David Caruso and all the other CSI ripoffs out there. Honestly I can't even watch the original CSI (as much as I used to like it a LOT) after watching Forensic files etc and watching how the real thing is done.


Offline mdh65120

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Re: DEXTER
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2006, 11:40:02 AM »
Amazing series.  I had really admired Six Feet Under, so I was curious about the series just based on the lead.   I have to say it was unique and unusual that I was fairly captivated from the first episode.   There aren't a lot of series I can't miss, Deadwood, Rome, Sopranos, Battlestar mostly, but I was a regular and loyal viewer for Dexter.   
Kenny:  I don't care! (Time of the Apes)


Offline Qrusher14242

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Re: DEXTER
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2006, 08:48:09 PM »
Just finished watching this season wow!! what a show. Haven't been this excited about a show since when i first saw the Office(US). Can't wait to find out which way they go with it next year.

BTW, in the finale, it goes by real fast, but when dexter is on the couch near the end and the ITK comes in, on tv it appears that he is watching Santa Claus! lol. I just watched that yesterday and the reindeer sure do look like the ones in SC.


Offline gbeenie

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Re: DEXTER
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2007, 02:20:45 PM »
For those of you who haven't caught it, this is a new show that just had its first season finale tonight on Showtime.

However if you HAVE seen it - then you know what I'm talking about when I say it's one of the best shows on TV or cable. If you get Showtime, I highly recommend catching repeats (or taping a marathon if / when they have it) or better yet, catching the entire season on DVD. Word is that it got picked up for another season, and I'm already excited with anticipation. Granted the show can be pretty violent, heavy, and dramatic - it's definitely not for everyone.

The show itself is brilliant and tonight's finale was no exception. For once, a season finale that really delivers. The likes of which are extremely hard to come by these days. No surprise here that it's on one of the most innovative channels in all if cable.

In conclusion, if you like your dramas complex, thought-provoking while being violent, funny and exhilarating, then do yourself a favor and check out DEXTER on Showtime.


How weird that you and I disagree completely about Heroes, but agree SO VERY COMPLETELY about this show. Dexter is simply marvelous. This very nearly makes up for abruptly canceling Dead Like Me.
"All I ask of you is one thing: please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism -- it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere.
Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."

- Conan O'Brien


Offline gbeenie

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Re: DEXTER
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2007, 02:47:53 PM »

It's just that my suspension of disbelief is thrown entirely out of whack by the concept of a sociopath who cares about who he kills because his dad told him to. It does not make any sense on any level, because it requires a degree of empathy, caring and impulse control that you don't get in a sociopathic killer. It's as absurd as if you were going to do a show on someone with Tourette's whose dad convinced him to only swear at bad people, or a narcoleptic whose dad talks him into only falling asleep in beds.

Your comparison doesn't hold water. Tourette's and narcolepsy are conditions with a quantifiable, physical cause; Dexter's sociopathy is the result of an EXTREME childhood trauma, and is a mental problem, not a physical one. Indeed, as the show progresses, Dexter shows signs of making decisions on an emotional basis, and his image of himself as cold and emotionless is substantially challenged.

But more to the point of your post, Harry at no time attempts to make Dexter CARE about the people he's killing, but only to choose his victims carefully. The purpose for this is twofold; it keeps Dexter out of prison/the mental ward, and allows Harry to feel okay with the idea of allowing someone he knows to be a sociopath out into the world. When Harry realizes that Dexter has VERY compelling homicidal tendencies, he has two choices: either live with the idea of having his son locked in an institution (either psychiatric or correctional) for the remainder of his life, or give Dexter the tools he needs to fulfill his compulsions, while both avoiding detection and, at least in Harry's mind, performing a useful task for the good of society.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2007, 04:41:57 PM by gbeenie »
"All I ask of you is one thing: please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism -- it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere.
Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."

- Conan O'Brien


Offline gbeenie

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Re: DEXTER
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2007, 02:53:23 PM »
Honestly I can't even watch the original CSI (as much as I used to like it a LOT) after watching Forensic files etc and watching how the real thing is done.

Penn Jillette has the best bit about CSI; he dwells on the fact that they all hang out in the lab without hairnets, contaminating every single piece of evidence they touch: "Holy cow! I killed this guy! Wait! I killed this one, too! And I robbed this bank! Oh my god, I committed all these crimes!"
"All I ask of you is one thing: please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism -- it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere.
Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."

- Conan O'Brien


Offline gbeenie

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Re: DEXTER UPDATE!
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2007, 05:01:37 PM »
For those interested in catching Dexter from the beginning, Showtime will start rerunning the first season starting Sunday, April 1.
"All I ask of you is one thing: please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism -- it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere.
Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."

- Conan O'Brien


Offline mrbasehart

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Re: DEXTER
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2007, 05:33:06 PM »
I'm shocked I haven't posted my love for this show before.  Dexter was a real surprise for me, but I immediately loved it.  The cast is great, and the tone of the show is almost perfect: Dexter is a murderer, but you still root for him.