Dexter...first time watcher

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by GregM, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. GregM

    GregM Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Daddyland, CA
    I just ploughed through all 8 seasons of Dexter over the past few weeks. I liked it, but some of the writing, acting and execution left me wanting more. With more effort it could have been great. One problem that immediately jumped out at me was the attention to detail (or lack thereof) that went into the blood and laceration work. Even in the show's opening that starts with the mosquito and the shaving injury, the blood looks totally fake, like catsup. I just finished season 2 of Westworld and the blood/guts looked far more convincing. Even movies like No Country, where Sigur was treating his shutgun injury to his leg, had incredibly realistic, detailed graphics of the injury. For a show about a blood spatter expert, one would expect more attention to detail on this. The other thing that bothered me throughout was the constant use of the father not just as a voice of conscience but as an actual character appearing in many (most?) of the scenes each season. I realize this came directly from the book, but it may have been interpreted too literally in producing the show. For me, it really got in the way of the pacing and urgency of many scenes and the series overall. But it was a great idea for a show, and well executed in most respects.
     
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  2. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic
    I thought the first season of Dexter was great; the few other seasons I saw seemed average or less. The first season has an almost perfect narrative arc and was quite memorable. I should note that I am not a TV series watcher (since the 1980s at any rate) and so it has to be noteworthy for me to comment on one. I watched it only because a friend recommended it.
     
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  3. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    I am a huge fan of this show. Seasons 1 and 2 are my favorites of any show ever, and Season 4 was outstanding as well. The others all range from good (3 and 5) to choppy (7) to mostly mediocre (6 and 8).

    Michael C. Hall was always incredible. Between Six Feet Under and Dexter, that is 13 years of all-time great acting.
     
  4. Ron Stone

    Ron Stone Offending Member

    Location:
    Deep Maryland
    The idea that a city police department would have a dedicated spatter expert seemed dubious. Is that for real? Obviously they have CSIs, but to that level of detail?
     
  5. GregM

    GregM Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Daddyland, CA
    A lot of what went on in that department seemed unbelievable, but I've never worked in a police office and I bet fact is stranger than fiction. It was clever how they got the audience to root for a serial killer by having him prey upon other serial killers. Once that fundamental suspension of disbelief is out of the way, I guess the audience is theirs to manipulate at will. Still, much of the writing was sophomoric right up until the final episode where the writers had Dexter kill the bad guy with a pen as an homage to themselves. Cheesy!

    I agree with the relative merits of the seasons you mention, but I don't think even at its best it rose anywhere near to the greatest shows ever, e.g., Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men. My jury is still out on Michael C Hall. Sure, he was excellent as Dexter but it really didn't call for challenging acting. He was typically aloof and dispassionate as the role required, but even when under duress he wasn't very impressive or scary. Some of the physical acting and hand-to-hand combat was more impressive but they may have used a stunt actor. I haven't watched Six Feet Under, so can't comment. The gal who played Dexter's sister had a much tougher role, and she did a pretty good job with some of the bizarre dialog and relationships they threw at her.
     
  6. tommy-thewho

    tommy-thewho Forum Resident

    Location:
    detroit, mi
    Started out great....

    I felt it was a big mistake killing off Doakes.

    Season 4 was decent with great acting by John Lithgow.

    Anything after Season 4 was a let down. Especially the Colin Hanks season. Disaster.
     
  7. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    I do not agree at all. His mannerisms, body language, voice inflections, etc. were all masterful. Besides, I do not think he was supposed to be scary, at least not "scary movie scary"; he was just a regular guy who hid in plain sight and had a very, very dark side that few ever saw (outside of his victims).

    While I hated to see Doakes go, it would have gotten tedious for him to be suspicious of Dexter for too many seasons and never find anything out until x-number of years later. The pacing and trajectory of the Dexter/Doakes showdown was handled just right, IMO.
     
  8. Maccaroni

    Maccaroni Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    I agree with the season by season breakdown above, but season 8, including the ending, left a very bad taste, so much so, that it really tarnishes the show's overall reputation.
     
  9. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    Agreed.

    Had the show ended after Season 4, I think the show would be regarded much higher on all-time lists of TV shows we often see, but the decline over the last few seasons, culminating with the mostly blah Season 8 and then capped off with a bad ending, left a bad taste in the mouth of many.

    The fact that Dexter was never exposed for who he really was, was a terrible error by the writers.
     
  10. Pines Brook

    Pines Brook That sums up Squatter for me

    Location:
    New York, NY
    I loved the early seasons of the show at the time, but some cracks started to appear during season 4, and after that I found it very painful to watch a once exciting and compelling show fall into terrible cliches and unbelievably lazy writing.
     
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  11. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    Season six is the only real turkey.

    That season was crap.

    1-4 are the best.
     
  12. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    It really fell apart when they brought in the ole female psycho-therapist ala Dark Shadows.
     
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  13. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    This is one show I'd love to see them bring back!
    Dexter 2019!
     
  14. GodShifter

    GodShifter Negative Creep®

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Was the Colin Hanks season where he was a religious fanatic? I can’t remember the seasons very well anymore, but that one was bad.

    Secondly, Dexter always seemed more like a super hero than a serial killer. Whatever fight or plight he would get in, he always seemed to either win or find a way out of it with little to no problem. Still, a good show. I enjoyed it.
     
  15. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

    Location:
    englewood, nj
    Yeah, Colin played a religious nut who slaughtered pretty brunettes in ritual fashion, including his own sister, eventually. Edward James Olmos was the evil guru.

    This was the season Deb found Dexter out, and for that reason, I still liked it, even though it wasn't as well done overall as the early seasons, or the one with John Lithgow (Trinity) onboard.

    I don't think Dexter fell off as badly as Weeds (another big favorite of mine) did.
     
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  16. Nice Marmot

    Nice Marmot Paddlin’ the school canoe? That’s a paddlin’.

    Location:
    Tryon NC
    Dexter had the superhero thing going when the show started. Always getting his prey with stealthlike accuracy. I liked that. Once the show got all about how his actions affected the innocent people around him (as many of the modern tv shows do) I found it boring. It was like seeing the new, same old thing again in a different tv show. Innocent characters dying, and not deserving to, based on the anti-hero’s actions is a theme in many of them.
     
  17. socorro

    socorro Forum Resident

    Location:
    pennsylvania
    Count me as another vote for liking it a lot through season 4, then it stagnated then it fell off a cliff. Watching season 8 felt like an obligation. It was freeing, though -- I no longer feel inhibited about abandoning a series when it starts to flag. Wish I had gotten there before I subjected myself to the late seasons of Weeds (should have ended with the fire) and Sons Of Anarchy (should have ended after Ethan Zobel split).
     
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  18. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    Yep. While Season 5 was a drop-off from 4, the drop from 5 to 6 was much more severe, although Travis meeting his maker in the final scene of the season was one of my favorite Dexter kill scenes because of how great the dialogue is between the two. "It must be nice...to be so certain."
     
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  19. GodShifter

    GodShifter Negative Creep®

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Ugh. I apparently need to rewatch the series but don’t really want to :(. I remember many aspects of it, but have forgotten a lot also.
     
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  20. That80sBaldAsianBadGuy

    That80sBaldAsianBadGuy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    orange county
    Seasons 1,2, and 4 were among the best of the series. Season 7 had its moments based mainly on Ray Stevenson's characters. Seasons 5 and 6 were let downs but the final season takes the cake among the worst
     
  21. BZync

    BZync Senior Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Season two. Jaime Murray. *sigh*
     
  22. GodShifter

    GodShifter Negative Creep®

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Who was she again ?
     
  23. daca

    daca Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    After you get through the season with John Lithgow (which arguably is the best season):

    STOP WATCHING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Seriously!

    Just STOP WATCHING!

    The last season will just piss you off.

    And if you do watch the last episode, which many (including myself) consider the worst episode ever in the history of television. You will go through the five stages of grief, and never get out of stage 1.

    Yes, it is that bad.

    You will look back on your time spent watching, saying: I could have watched paint dry, or have taken a long nap, had a root canal, or volunteered, or literally any other activity known to mankind.

    End of over-dramatic, but real as hell, rant.
     
  24. GodShifter

    GodShifter Negative Creep®

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    I will agree that the last episode was one of the worst things I’d seen to wrap an otherwise good, if flawed, series. Utterly awful.
     
  25. daca

    daca Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Agree with the above. 1,2,4 are the best. 3 is tolerable, and starting with 5, it just takes a left turn into crazy town and bottoms out 100 times deeper than the Mariana Trench.

    Even though Michael C. Hall was brilliant as Dexter, and Lithgow phenomenal as the “Trinity Killer*” Due to the final episode, I cannot envision myself watching this show again within my lifetime.
     

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