Posts tagged with " showtime"

Dexter – Too late to die a graceful death

Sunday, 26/09/2010 ≅21:32 ©brainycat

I just watched the season premier of Dexter.

I should have spent the hour reading. At least they had the decency to keep it down to a single hour; I wouldn't have been able to tolerate two hours of that. The episode felt directionless; there was a lot going on, and clearly many subplots were being generated, but at no point did we actually get into any of the characters with enough depth for me to feel any affinity.

And most of the plotlines have been done before: coworkers sleeping together (what happened to Deb's boyfriend? I thought she was still seeing the musician guy), Dexter is the primary suspect in a murder, Dexter didn't clean a murder scene properly, Dexter's kids are a handful, Aster is a pain in the ass, and there's tension between the MPD and the Gmen. Yawn.

I had the sneaking suspicion after last season that this series has outlived it's usefulness. The attraction of Dexter, for me, is the way his barely contained inner life navigates the world of the "normal" people. The last few seasons, however, it seems that dynamic has been pushed aside in the interest of showing Dexter in ever more improbable situations with less of a private life. The plots have revolved around him juggling his responsibilities, not the tension of hiding his sociopathy in the middle of a bunch of cops. It seems like his sociopathy has become a burden to the writers, rather than being the creative force to drive the tension and character arcs.

But once he married Rita, it seems like Dexter's arc has been pretty flat. We'll see how things go next episode, but I don't have very high hopes for it. I think seasons one and two, where he's still learning about himself and his inner world is wildly dynamic are the interesting seasons. At season three, it seemed like Dexter stopped changing and it was other characters that were driving all the plots. It's not a good situation for a series named after the lead character to rely on supporting characters to create tension.