DEXTER The First Season

Developed for the Television by James Manos Jr.
Based on the Novel by Jeff Lindsay
Original Music by Daniel Licht
Cast: Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter, Erik King, Lauren Vélez, David Zayas & James Remar

2006/10 hours 50 mins/Color/Dolby Surround 5.1
1.78:1 anamorphic/US/English/NTSC Region 1

Review from the Showtime Entertainment DVD

Michael C. Hall stars as Dexter. He's smart, clever, intelligent, good looking and has a very dark sense of humor. He is also a Miami forensics expert studying blood spatter crimes. But by night, Dexter is a serial-killer killer making the world a better place, one homicide at a time.

After a terrible event, Dexter became an orphan at the age of three. He was adopted by a Miami police officer named Harry Morgan (James Remar). It wasn't long before Dexter's need to kill became a problem. Under the instructions of his dad (the "Code of Harry"), Dexter learned how to use his passion to kill in somewhat of a constructive way, killing those who actually deserved it. Thus starts our journey with everyone's favorite serial killer.

The first season focuses mostly on "The Ice Truck Killer", a serial killer who communicates with Dexter through his ingenious and bloodless crimes. What first starts out, as an interesting and twisted cat and mouse game will become a nightmarish return to his own self for Dexter who will find out more about his past then he ever imagined.

If you haven't seen the TV show, please skip this paragraph as it contains major spoilers. The Darkly Dreaming Dexter novel by Jeff Lindsay inspired the first season of DEXTER. Most elements from the novel were translated directly into the TV show but the biggest change is the lead-up to and revelation of the identity of the Ice Truck Killer. In the novel, Dexter (and to a certain extent, the reader) is led to believe that Dexter himself might be the one committing the murders, due to a series of strange dreams that connect him to the murder; the possibility that Dexter’s “Dark Passenger” is committing crimes when Dexter is asleep is brought up. The final clue is a blurry photo, taken from surveillance footage, of a man who resembles Dexter at a crime scene. After the Tamiami Killer (renamed the “Ice Truck Killer” for the TV series) kidnaps Deborah, Dexter (who is followed by Detective LaGuerta) finds and confronts him. It is subsequently revealed that the killer is actually Dexter’s nearly identical long-lost brother, Brian (changed to Rudy in the TV series), who, like Dexter, witnessed their mother’s brutal murder. In the ensuing conflict LaGuerta is slain by Brian, Deborah finds out her brother is a killer and Dexter helps Brian to escape, an act referenced in the next novel. As a morbid trophy, Dexter adds a drop of LaGuerta’s blood to his collection.

For me DEXTER was an addictive, fascinating, creepy, charming and gruesome original TV series... something rarely seen in television anymore. Each episode glued me to my TV screen, leaving me wanting for more after each episode. Revisiting this amazing first season on DVD was perfect. Now I can watch it all in one crazy DEXTER marathon!

Superbly written and executed from the entire cast, DEXTER manages to be hilarious or terribly sick and twisted. Michael C. Hall is perfectly cast as the tormented Dexter and the entire supporting cast is actually living their characters. DEXTER also features one of the coolest opening title credit sequence ever.

ShowTime Entertainment unleashed DEXTER The First Season on DVD in a cool package. First of all, each episode is presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio and is anamorphic. The image looks sharp with rich color saturation and no defect, artifacts or compression. We have the choice of English Dolby Surround 5.1, English Stereo or Spanish mono. For this review I've listened to the Dolby Surround 5.1 track, which is clear, loud and crisp.

The 12 episodes are spread onto four discs. On the second disc you will find an optional commentary track with Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas, Lauren Velez and Erik King for the "Return to Sender" episode. It sure sounds like they had a blast working on this series and got along great. On the fourth disc you will find another commentary track, this time with producers Sara Colleton, Clyde Phillips and Daniel Cerone for the last episode "Born Free". It’s an interesting commentary track looking at the more technical aspect of the show. A big disappointment is that there is no track with Michael C. Hall, which would have been way cool. There is also a true crime documentary 'Witnessed in Blood -- A True Murder Investigation' that has nothing to do with the actually series. There are two episodes of Showtime's BROTHERHOOD series, biographies of he cast and previews of other Showtime’s TV series. Unfortunately, some of the extras mentioned on the back of the box are nowhere to be found. The disc features animated 3D menus with music and the DVDs come in small transparent keep case, which are actually in the box set.





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Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2008. ©