I don't want to look it up to be sure, but I feel like every time I talk about Dexter, I apologize for its existence, adding that no matter how good I think it is, I can't recommend it to anyone. One of my favorite critics, Heather Havrilesky, gets to the point as she explains why she can't watch it:
Even though "Dexter" is a well-written, smart, savvy show, even though it's arguably more sick and twisted to see the same half-naked female victims on "CSI" over and over again, even though this season, the feds are following Dexter's trail in earnest, I can't watch. There's too much blood, Dexter is too crazy, and the whole thing makes me feel sick to my stomach.
So yes, one more time: I understand that people avoid the show, and don't blame them a bit for doing so.
Which doesn't explain why I gave the Season One Box Set to a friend as a birthday present. (Come to think of it, I haven't heard much from her lately.)
And I won't explain it now. Dexter isn't perfect … some of the actors aren't up to the level set by Michael C. Hall, although it's really not fair to hold anyone to that standard, and some of the less Dexter-centric plots lack interest. But the way Dexter (show and character) sucks you into the perspective of a serial killer is impressive, if unsettling. As is the way certain parts are funny in an almost-ha-ha way, so that you want to laugh, maybe even get one going in your throat, but it gets stuck there, because more often than not it's some reference to the titular character's predilections. (Dexter joins a bowling team so that he'll look normal … the team's bowling shirts have their name on the back, "Bowl Till You Bleed.") (If it isn't clear, Dexter's bowling mates have no idea what else he does in his spare time. Get it, "spare" time?)
Dexter makes just the right amount of fuss over the "code" under which he operates. It's there, it allows us to see him as, if not good, then at least an enemy of bad. But the code is really only relevant as something that drives Dexter's psyche, which is why I say the show makes just the right fuss … we may "root" for Dexter when he killss bad people, but in the end, Dexter is one fucked-up human being, and that code ain't helping him any.
Finally, Dexter takes the "something's bubbling under the surface of Paradise" thing a few steps beyond the usual. Weeds, another fine Showtime series, peels away some of the layers under which suburbia hides, and what you find is drinking and fucking and getting high. In Dexter, what you find is an almost soul-less "person" who kills people because it calms him down and establishes order out of chaos. Little wonder that I said of these two that Weeds is easier to like, but Dexter's an even better show. Too bad I can't recommend it to anyone.