Dexter -- An early look
The Premise: Michael C. Hall (of Six Feet Under fame) plays Dexter Morgan, a forensic investigator and blood-spatter analyst for the Miami-Dade Police Department. But that's only his day job. Beneath his chipper attitude is a dark secret, one that harbors his disgust for those who do wrong. When he isn't investigating a murder for the boys in blue, Dexter takes matters into his own hands. An efficient killer, he hunts down and brutally murders the horrible people (child molesters, rapists, other serial killers) that actually deserve to die. When he isn't chopping up his latest victim, Dex deals with the rest of his mundane life: mentoring a sister who's also a cop, fending off sexual advances from his boss, and trying to figure out a girlfriend who he doesn't really want to sleep with.
My Thoughts: 9 out of 10. This show is legit, well-worth watching. The only reason I'm holding back that last star is because the screener DVD I received only had the pilot episode and I suppose it's possible that the show could go downhill after that. But I wouldn't bet on it. For those of you still cursing out Showtime for canceling Huff, and I'm one of them, believe me when I say that Dexter may well make up for it and then some.
I suppose the one thing I'm going to have trouble adjusting to is Michael C. Hall in a new role. I'm so used to seeing him as David Fisher, so that if I close my eyes, that's the character I see. A gay funeral director. Not a slick sociopath wielding a knife. That being said, I know after a few episodes viewers will adjust just fine. Hall is spectacular in this role as he moves in an out of personas, from lovable co-worker, to nervous lover, to stone-faced killer. He's good. One scene in particular jumps to mind as Dexter moves through a crime scene and describes the blood patterns as if he were giving you a tour through The Louvre. It's disturbing that you find yourself enthralled with his grotesque explanations, but you do.
The supporting cast is very well assembled, and that reminded me a lot of Huff, in the sense that the minor characters stole a few scenes from Dexter. Look for some great performances from David Zayas as Detective Angel Batista and from Eric King as Sergeant Doakes. Showtime definitely knows what they're doing when it comes to the supporting role department.
The cinematography and lighting grabbed me too. Daylight scenes were very CSI: Miami-ish, but not quite as orange. Scenes at night were heavily diluted in blacks, whites, and reds. But I'm sure you can imagine what happens at night, so those shades are par for the course.
Also worth noting were the handful of flashback scenes, to Dexter as a child. I think audiences will really find themselves attached to the character as they see him interacting with his foster father. But that's the whole point according to Showtime President Robert Greenblatt: "Dexter is the unusual exploration into the mind of a sociopathic killer - whom, in spite of his vigilante justice, the audience will find incredibly sympathetic and charismatic."
Another thing that has me excited is the source material. The show is based on the title character in two novels by Jeff Lindsay, Dearly Devoted Dexter and Darkly Dreaming Dexter. With two books to pull ideas from, the writers and producers of Dexter will hopefully be able to craft some pretty intense episodes, especially once original ideas are thrown into the mix.
Dexter premieres on Showtime on Sunday, October 1st.