Around this time last year, the good people over at Showtime were nice enough to hook me up with an advance screening of their new show Dexter (see my First Impressions) and my biggest problem with the show is that it was a great hour of television. This was a course a problem due to lack of actually subscribing to the premium channel and really too cheap to do so. So I had to wait for the DVD of the show to come out about ten month later to see how it turned out. What, you didn’t expect me to actually read the book that the show was based on did you. (Note to those that have read Darkly Dreaming Dexter: my sources tell me that the show does deviate from the book including fleshing out some of the secondary characters and a different ending).
Some of you may be thinking “Scooter, just last week you said you don’t watch Nip/Tuck because of your low tolerance for blood, how is Dexter any different?” Well I was a little hesitant to check the show out at first, but all the blood is done artistically and the show is definitely in the gore porn of something like Hostel. Plus it helps that Dexter’s arch-nemesis, the Ice Truck Killer, happens to drain his victim’s blood. And even when Dexter succumbs to his own killing temptations, it usually goes from Dexter with his victim tied up to him cleaning up; we never get to see him do his dirty except for his last of the season.
Author Jeff Lindsay set up a fine blueprint for the Dexter character which it translated great to screen thanks in part to Michael C. Hall. The problem with the show is that the other characters just are no where near as good as the title character. In the first episode Sergeant Doakes seemed almost like a sitcom version of a gruff cop, but that got grating when he was put in more situation with his own storyline. Even though the girlfriend was a good diversion, many of her scenes seemed a little forced. Talking about forced, Jennifer Carpenter looked like she was always trying too hard as Dexter’s foster sister. But the best secondary character was the just as weird lab technician Masuka who was always good for some comic relief who can now be seen as Chuck’s co-worker on, you guessed it, Chuck.
Dexter 1.x gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
There are many ways you can catch the first season of Dexter aside from the usual DVD set (see below left). You download the whole season through Amazon Unbox (see below middle) or download Dexter on iTunes. And if your cable provider has an On Demand function, look for your Entertainment On Demand channel and you can watch the firs season for free on demand. For those already caught up through the first season, you can catch the second season premiere tomorrow thanks to the Showtime free preview. Of course if you are like me, you will then have to wait another ten months until the second season DVD comes out. Although if you have some disposable income, I would assume that the episodes will end up on Unbox and iTunes after they air.