Dexter, series 1 to 4

One evening a week is ‘reserved’ for watching series. I usually do not watch series that have more than three seasons and particularly not series that still run and of which it is not possible to say how much longer they will drag on. Still, after finishing “Danger Man” a friend highly recommended “Dexter”. Meanwhile we have watched four series, in America the sixth just started. “Dexter” is about Dexter Morgan, a serial killer whom we follow in a soap-like series. The voice-overs are Dexter’s thoughts and Dexter proves to be a very human character. Slowly but surely he actually becomes more and more human even. In the beginning he keeps to himself trying to avoid his “dark passenger” to become known. He works at the Miami Metro Police office as a forensic expert in blood splatter patterns, a capacity in which he is able to select his victims. Dexter lives according to a “code” which he got from his foster father, a police officer who found him and who soon discovered Dexter’s dark side and learned him to control it and use it for good. During the series we learn about Dexter’s relationship with Harry, his foster father (whose presence becomes more and more irritating when he starts to act as Dexter’s consciousness), his past, his daily struggles to appear normal and his relationship with his foster sister and colleague Debra (who also struggles with her father’s past). There are some colleagues at the police station, most stay throughout different series. Some characters (such as forensic colleague Vince) hardly develop, others (such as head Maria LaGuerta) are hardly the same for two episodes. Soap, drama, humour and then Dexter’s bloody nightly tasks are the elements the series thrive on. “Dexter” supposedly gets better and better and when I write this the IMdB score is 9.2 based on 40.000 votes! Frankly, the series are not that good! Well done is the fact that Dexter is a completely ‘other than normal’ person who normally would be the bad guy. Making him into the very normal main character with doubts, fears, relationships and even fatherhood, makes him completely emphatisable. Furthermore, he has a great sense of humour, especially since the viewer knows his secret. In every series Dexter has a competitor serial killer which are the red threads for every series. Other than that there are a few red threads throughout different series. Of course this mostly concerns Dexter, but also his sister and sometimes his colleagues. I find the series amusing, but not brilliant. There are scenes which appear to be to be superfluous, they are not always convincing, some elements start to work on my nerves. In fact, three series would probably have been enough. I cannot say that four was better than three. I wonder if I will ever watch five, six (and up?) are even less likely, but who knows. “Dexter” is not bad, but since I seldom see contemporary TV series I cannot compare its level with other series. Compared to series that I have seen (and reviewed), “Dexter” does not stand out.

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