Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dexter's Back and It Bothers Us that We Love Him

Some drama series get you in the mood from the very first moments of the opening montage. The Sopranos was that way; Tony and his fat cigar driving through the Jersey wastelands with Alabama 3 wailing in the background. DEXTER is most certainly that way, and a more original opening sequence would be hard to imagine. While creepy, almost silly, haunted house music sets the tone, Dexter slices blood oranges, snacks on raw meat and cracks eggs into a frying pan...all in extreme close-up. It's like a food snuff film. I should be appalled, we all should be appalled. But I'm not, because I know that I'm about to experience one hell of a great hour of TV. Tonight's season premier (9-30-07, 9pm eastern on Showtime) lived (died?) up to all expectations.

When we last saw Dexter at the end of the first season, he had saved his step sister and dispatched, in the usual creative Dexter-like manner, his evil, irredeemable serial killer brother. As everyone surely knows by now, Dexter is a serial killer too, but none of his victims are innocent. In fact, Dexter, in a code enforced by his deceased adoptive cop father, only kills the worst of the worst.

But Dexter has a problem. He's trying to get back in the groove again, first with a blind voodoo murderer possessed by the Devil and then with a monstrous 6 foot 10 inch gang banger who's killed at least three people. Dexter is unable to finish the job in either case and he just can't figure out why. A curse? A conscience? What the heck is the matter with Dexter? What's worse, scuba diving treasure hunters discover the underwater graveyard where Dexter has been stashing his victims. Black plastic trash bags full of body parts, as far as the eyes can see.

I love everything about this series, and then hate myself for it. The sly humor, mixed with the darkest crimes. The Miami setting so authentic, you can practically smell the pressed pork sandwiches. The supporting cast is dynamite, and they look shiny and sweaty all the time, which is as it should be in the 110% humidity of South Florida. Best of all, there is Michael C. Hall, who is superb as the enigmatic, enormously attractive and oddly sympathetic Dexter. Pour yourself a tall Mojito, turn on the ceiling fan, and enjoy the rest of the season for one of the most fantastic crime dramas you will ever see.


Lisa said...

I agree totally, Jane! How great is "Dexter"? Unbelievably great! So great, in fact, that I watched it again right afterwards. Wow...what a show. And here it's only the first hour and we're already straight into a predicament that is alternately hilarious, horrifying, and melancholy. What a neat show. Wonderful! Absolutely can't wait until the next episode!!!

Jane said...

The supporting cast is absolutely awesome in Dexter too, don't you think Lisa? From Dexter's flawed and slightly nerdy cop sister to the geeky Asian crime scene photographer...they are all just spot on quirky and wonderful. And sweaty. They must film this thing on location, everyone looks like they've been through a sauna!

Lisa said...

I absolutely LOVE Jennifer Carpenter as Dexter's sister Debra. Loved her last year and I think she was amazing in this first 2nd season episode. I love her speech patterns, her excellent use of profanity. Wow. Everybody is incredible. They're making the demoted Lt. LaGuerta really interesting so far, too. According to the Showtime site, she's supposed to be hot for Dexter. Not sure I've picked up on much of that, but I like her dynamic with her female boss with the dangerous bum boyfriend. Great female characters in this show. And Dexter's gf Rita is going to be fascinating this year. I actually felt kinda bad when her husband Paul was killed. This season is going to be magnificent! I completely love this show! We must spread the word about this, certainly the best show on TV right now!