Who hasn’t seen yet Dexter he doesn’t know what he’s missing. An engaging crimewith an ambiguous protagonist, disturbing and sympathetic at the same time, enemies of Machiavellian intelligence, supporting actors who remain in the heart of the viewer and a story that runs fast and does not let you breathe.
The series ended after eight seasons with an uninspiring ending that divided fans, which we’ve talked about plenty. Dexter is back with a new season after ten years: you can read our review here.
There are many reasons to start this series: a fundamental requirement is to be passionate about crime TV series and have a lot of free time: not only because it is a demanding series of eight seasons, but because it will literally take your sleep away.
Here are some of the many reasons why you should definitely start Dexter.
1) Because he is Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The basic assumption of Dexter is simple: a serial killer who kills other serial killers. We will deal with the reason why he does it later, but this first fact is already intriguing: the protagonist is a character that certainly does not leave us indifferent.
Miami police hematologist by day and serial killer by night is typical boy next doorwho transforms as darkness falls and goes out to hunt for victims, to then return to the fold the following morning and present himself jovially to his colleagues with donuts and coffee as if nothing had happened.
A real one Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the most shining example in literature of split personality, of the darkness that even the most ordinary person can have inside. Dexter is a literary creature transplanted to sunny and humid Florida, a living contradiction that finds an almost perfect solution during a complex journey that winds through eight seasons to be devoured in one go.
2) Per Michael C. Hall
Another essential reason to see this series is its protagonist: in the sense of Michael C. Hall, the actor who gave him body and soul and that thanks to it he became famous (and very rich, getting paid 300,000 dollars per episode). Michael C. Hall’s likeable and at the same time creepy face was already known to the public from the series Six Feet Undera black comedy set in the world of funeral homes, but has remained inextricably linked to the character of Dexter: it will be difficult to imagine a prequel set during the childhood of the future serial killer in which he is not there too.
In hindsight it is impossible to imagine anyone else in his place, but it is natural because Michael C. Hall has received genetics as a dowry the slap face perfect for the role of the killer posing as a good guy. His interpretation and his off-screen monologues describing the character’s internal dynamics and thoughts remain an example of acting that has undoubtedly marked the history of TV series.
This actor will always remain tied to the role of Dexter, for better or for worse: but, unlike many other colleagues, he has marked serial history with an interpretation that goes far beyond pop aesthetics and imagery.
3) Because he is an American Psycho
All crime and serial killer enthusiasts know it: serial killers often love to take gods trophies by their victims, to be kept jealously to relive the thrill of murder endlessly. Dexter is no exception and, as a good hematologist, his fetish is the blood samples he takes from each victim, then stored in laboratory slides and hidden in his apartment.
A decidedly more hygienic habit than keeping heads in the freezer at home, like the protagonist of the famous film American Psycho, Patrick Bateman (played by a standout Christian Bale). The two serial killers are very different: Bateman kills in the grip of an irrepressible contempt for human life, Dexter follows precise criteria and has his own very strict ethics.
But one thing they have in common, the habit of keeping parts of one’s victims with them, for personal fetish and for ego. But, in Dexter’s case, also to always remember why he does what he does and to give a purpose to the darkness that envelops him since he was a child.
4) For Harry’s code
The darkness that characterizes Dexter is not an innate characteristic: it is the result of a terrible past which the series explores at different points in time. The future serial killer always knew that he had something different from other people, an impulse that pushed him to commit evil deeds. Dexter’s luck was that he had a guide, adoptive father Harrya policeman, who didn’t judge him but helped him govern this impulse, channeling it in order to do good, at least according to his point of view.
There are people who don’t deserve to live, according to Harry’s philosophy: Dexter’s job is to eliminate them, thus satisfying his most uncontrollable and evil part and at the same time eliminating a part of evil from the world (as well as the competition).
dexter follows Harry’s code, a moral rule that the boy immediately learns to apply and around which he builds his career as a serial killer. Killing only murderers (but also rapists and pedophiles) who have not yet been caught and nailed by the law. Furthermore, the adoptive father provides him with a series of valuable advice and indications that will be useful for him to avoid being discovered in the future. The two will remain linked by a thread of blood that will be impossible to break, even after Harry’s death: Dexter will continue to see him and talk to him, and his “presence” will help him never lose the direction and purpose of his mission.
5) For the dark passenger
“My name is Dexter and I don’t know what I am. But I certainly know that there is something dark about me… and I hide it. I certainly don’t talk about it, but… it’s there. Always. This dark passenger. And when he’s driving I feel… alive. Dominated by this quiver of absolute evil. I don’t fight it, I don’t want to. It’s all I have. No one loves me like this, not even… not even me, unfortunately. And if instead it was just a scam by the dark passenger? Because, lately, in the moments when I feel… connected to something, or to someone. It’s as if my mask slips off… and those things, or people, that I didn’t care about, in an instant become important… Terrifying me“.
Difficult to add anything else to this already masterful monologue. This series is a reflection on the dark side that every human being possesses and which in some is decidedly more… Pronounced. When darkness takes over, for these people it is as if they begin to live for real: the impossibility of having feelings leads them to look for anything that makes them feel the intoxication of a strong sensation.
How to take a life, to feel alive.
6) For the relationship between Dexter and Debra
“Debra, my foster sister, is a bit foul-mouthed. She has a big heart but she doesn’t let anyone see it. She is the only person in the world who loves me. Ah, I think it’s cool. I don’t have feelings for anything but if I could have any I would for her“.
The relationship between Dexter and Debra, a young and ambitious detective of the Miami police, is one of the aspects for which this series is worth seeing. Not just because both Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter they’ve done outstanding character work (and have even been together for quite some time), but because it’s a really hard relationship to pin down and therefore doubly intriguing.
Their story of siblings, the jealousy that Debra, Harry’s blood daughter, felt for her brother, their bond as adults and the deep and taboo feeling that will bind them to each other forever, are among the most controversial and fascinating of this series.
7) Because it has the perfect setting for a crime
If you are among those crime lovers who prefer the rarefied, dark and cold settings of Nordic noir, Dexter it’s definitely not for you. Or rather, you might change your mind by giving yourself the chance to contemplate a different scenario for stories of serial murder: a city, Miamiwhere the sun is shining, people are wearing Hawaiian shirts as they stroll the boardwalk, and there is a buzzing, vibrant nightlife. And every now and then some horribly mutilated corpse turns up.
Like other decidedly less valuable series (think of Hawaii Five-0for example), Dexter overturns the imaginary usually associated with crime TV series by proposing a setting that seems to clash with bloodshed but is actually perfectly coherent.
Where to set a tv series like Dexter, where death reigns, if not in a city that overflows with life?
8) Because he’s the perfect serial killer
Dexter is the ideal serial killer.
His colleagues’ worst nightmare, who find themselves investigating the crimes he himself has committed without realizing that that cute lab rat who always brings donuts to the office is a bloodthirsty beast. There are many serial killers in TV series but none have put such an ambiguous protagonist at the center of the story.