Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On Daddy Dexter Driving Into A New Season

I’m a Dexter fan. Yes sir. Watching his murderous exploits each week tickles me like most shows cannot. I own all three seasons and the soundtrack. I even named my cat after him... So suffice to say, I can’t wait for the fourth season to start. And I have massively high hopes. The guest star this year is John Lithgow!
How awesome is that? But all is not as it seems in Dexter-ville. Oh no.
Each year, just before we are about to be hit with a splendid array of plots, characters, and continuity that’ll make your head spin... we get pummeled with a novel that has nothing to do with one of the greatest characters of our time. This blunt attack on our senses provided by one Mr. Jeff Lindsay.
Mr. Lindsay had a great idea. And he got that idea published: Darkly Dreaming Dexter. This was a lovely novel... compelling and quick witted. And despite the almost “evil twin” like dynamic forced upon us in the last twenty pages or so... it still holds up as a good read.
Then came the good one: Dearly Devoted Dexter. This is the definition of a page turner. Quite clever and filled with surprises. And when I first read it (and the mind boggles knowing what I know now) I thought the novels had a chance of being better than one of my all time favorite shows.
But I was wrong! Oh so wrong! Dexter In The Dark was a boring schlop of a read... utterly unentertaining. It feels more like a “new” Anne Rice novel than a crime thriller (or whatever you’d call it).
However, the follow up gave me hope. Dexter By Design at first seemed to be fun. Not at the same level as the first two... but a massive step up from the third. Then it took a drop. Things started to make less and less sense until the ending which leaves you with nothing to hold onto. Not even the excitement that the next one will be better... because I don’t want another one. I don’t want another poorly written book tainting the good name of Dexter Morgan and all that he stands for. Lindsay’s problem is a classic one... he assumes that Dexter is a smart guy and tells us so repeatedly, but never actually shows it. Nothing that happens in these later books can be traced back to a clever/quick witted mind.
But... I digress. Season One is splendid on Blu-Ray and some of the best television you’ll likely ever see. Season Two is faster and funner (if that’s a word). Season Three is such a brilliant build... Jimmy Smits keeps you guessing all season long until you hit the climax and  a pleasure cloud envelops your whole body with the wicked joy of it all.
And Michael C. Hall is one of the greatest working actors out there (so yes I will see Gamer). His performance in Six Feet Under is absolutely nothing short of brilliant, especially when you hit that one episode in season four. Mm-mm good.
So I’ve seen the first episode of the upcoming (much anticipated) season four of Dexter. And while I think it may have been a slightly less than finished cut, it still maintains that edge we’ve so often come to expect from the show. But the new season comes with its own surprises.
My expectations were for a clean connection to season three as we saw coming out of season one and into two... they are literally only weeks apart. That’s what I anticipated here. But no dice. Rather, we skip out on all of that pregnancy stuff. No big loss. We saw enough of that in Angel
Thanks Julie Benz for the good memories. But we also miss some of the Deb investigation. And yes some awesome characters reappear and most relationships are exactly where you’d expect them to be... there’s a strange leap for two specific characters. You’ll know who when you see it. Too bad. I liked the season three subplots. But I guess the writers just didn’t need the specific one in question.
I’m trying pretty hard not to spoil the event for anyone, so I should really stop this article now. Let’s just say, the season four premier packs a real good haymaker. And Dexter just rocks. Been reviewing old seasons on beautiful Blu-Ray. And they look just perfect.
The new season premiers September 27th.

No comments:

Post a Comment