I have discovered the joys of Netflix; so much so that I have a full queue. I know! I cannot add more until I delete some. Or maybe I should increase from two at a time....
Anyway; I am almost done watching the first season of Dexter, as originally shown on Showtime. CBS will be showing season one starting Sunday February 17 at 10 p.m.
The Plot: Dexter is a blood splatter expert for the Miami Police Department. He is also a serial killer.
The Good: I adore Dexter; both the show and the character study.
Dexter's adoptive parent, Harry, was a cop who recognized that young Dexter was showing all the signs of a sociopath (or is it psychopath? or both?). Anyway, long story short, instead of locking young Dexter up, Harry tries to teach Dexter to, well, be more human; to fake the emotions he does not feel; and to not kill people. As Harry realizes that young Dexter and later teenage Dexter cannot be stopped, Harry instructs Dexter to channel his impulses for the greater good: to kill only those criminals that the law cannot convict. Flashback theatre, starring a brilliant James Remar as Harry, is featured in each episode.
So that is what grown up Dexter does. The child-killing pedophile? Dexter gets him. The drug dealer who escapes conviction again and again? Does not escape Dexter.
So you cheer Dexter -- but only up to a point. Because Dexter is a killer; and the questions that haunt the show include, whether Dexter will "break" and kill outside of Harry's rules; or whether Dexter will make a mistake and kill an innocent; or whether Dexter will be caught. And the show graphically reminds you that Dexter kills. Again and again.
I think part of the fascination, for me at least (and others) is the whole idea of guilt and innocence, good and evil, as well as whether a killer can indeed by "redeemed" the way Dexter appears to be. Are serial killers born, or made? Can a serial killer be "cured"? If Dexter is so cut off from his emotions, how to explain the attachment to and respect for his adoptive father, Harry -- to the point where years after Harry's death, Dexter still follows his father's rules of killing?
Plus, hey, crime show and I love my crime shows. Even if the hero is a bit, er, unconventional.
Oh, and for the record? No way in Hell would I want Dexter as a TV boyfriend. But you know whose boyfriend he is? Darla!
Also, this is based on a series of books by Jeff Lindsay.
Switch from Showtime to CBS: I imagine that some of the murders (both the ones that Dexter commits as well as the ones he investigates) will be toned down for TV. Also, the language can be a bit much; Dex's sister, especially, is given to spouting the f word every third sentence. (I think she thinks it makes her look tough; actually, I found her rather annoying.) But that can be dubbed.