I Dream Of Dexter (Review/opinion piece)
[This is copied from my external BLOG, which I advise you read for the accompanying pictures ]
One of my favourite TV shows of all time happens to be Showtime’s Dexter, starring the deliciously-rugged Michael C Hall in the role of the world’s favourite serial killer. It’s my belief that this is the best crime/thriller on television to date, and right now, I’m all about telling you why.
Jeff Lindsay truly created the most uniquely plausible killer, making no excuses for his darkly demented mind other than the purest truth: he kills because he needs to. Dexter is a man with a dark past, one that he continues to unravel throughout his career in the Miami forensics department as a blood-spatter specialist; and yet it’s his constant struggle with pretending that I found so intriguing, as opposed to the former aspects.
Unlike most psychologically-influenced shows, Dexter doesn’t tend to dwell on all the usual tedious drivel of living with themselves as killers; Dexter fits the psychopath skin well, and reacts as though each kill were like slipping into a warm, inviting bath, or a pair of cosy jeans. It’s being human that’s second nature to Dexter, which creates problems as he finds himself developing nurturing feelings towards Rita and the kids, whom he describes as being ‘Just as damaged’ as he is. Huzzah for original approaches on an already well-explored theme, I say.
When it comes to Dexter, for me, it’s as simple as this: Michael Hall is Dexter. If any other actor were to portray his character there would simply be no comparison; it’s in the penetrative depth of his voice, those devilish eyebrows, his cruel, calculating smile. His stance, his presence, it speaks more than just power; even his walk seems to seep a kind of dark reckoning, only recognisable to us secret surveyors (viewers).
After thoroughly enjoying his performance as villain Ken Castle in the sci-fi film Gamer, I really fell in love with the guy. He’s diversity all over, going from cool, calculating Dexter to smarmy, cackling Ken Castle in all kinds of awesome that I can’t even begin to describe. I adored Gamer, by the way; go buy it. It’s every nerd’s passion on screen. Incidentally, I’ve just begun watching another one of Hall’s performances in the show Six Feet Under, in which he plays a gay funeral director. If that doesn’t spell out his quality as an actor, then I don’t know what will. I’m both concerned and grateful however, to learn that Hall is currently in remission after receiving treatment for cancer. He soldiered on and kept his private life discrete and respectful, which I find to be a truly admirable quality above all else.
You might’ve noticed my extensive use of alliteration thus far, and those who’ve read the books will realise the reference. It’s Lindsay’s style, which is almost as unique as the story. However, (and this’ll be a first for me) I have to say that I suspect the TV show is actually of a much higher quality than the books. Granted, I’ve only read part of the first, so I can’t be completely valid in this opinion; but I have to say, the writing didn’t do Dexter as much justice as the screenplay did. The dialogue is delivered by the actors with great clarity, and the cast truly have me believing in their performance; Debra, Masouka and Angel being a few of my favourites.
Finally, the score of the show is consistently cool and sinister, the kind of spine-tingling eeriness that tugs you deep into the depths of Dexter’s mind. You won’t find any Americanised-high-speed pumping beats in this drama, thank you very much; nothing less than quality atmosphere here. Speaking of which, the opening sequence speaks a thousand awe-inspiring words that I couldn’t even articulate.
The entire show emits a superior sense of style and quality that’s difficult to come by these days, and although you don’t need me to tell you this, I shall say it out of duty anyway. Watch this show, damn you. Watch it, love it, honour it; nurse it to your heart like a baby at your breast. Do it, and experience the swell of glee in your stomach like a heartily consumed meal. Lord knows I do.
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