Dexter: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray]
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An interesting and original idea that's very skillfully executed, Showtime's Dexter is never less than watchable, often quite compelling, and sometimes thoroughly riveting. As the 12 episodes from the show's first season (packaged here in a four disc set) reveal, it's also the epitome of "high concept," a kind of Silence of the Lambs for the C.S.I. generation. Creator-executive producer James Manos Jr.'s title character, one Dexter Morgan (played by Michael C. Hall of Six Feet Under renown), works for the Miami Police Department as an blood spatter analyst, visiting crime scenes and helping figure out what happened. He has an avocation, too: during his off hours, he tracks down some very, very bad people who for various reasons have eluded the proper authorities. Seems his adoptive father, a cop himself, taught the kid how to channel his dark side in a "positive" direction; and so, having captured these evildoers (including a child molester-murderer and a recidivist drunk driver with a trail of bodies in his wake), Dex dispatches them with clinical precision, thus making him a serial killer who snuffs serial killers. But there's more--much more, as it turns out. By his own description, Dexter is "a monster," an empty shell who fakes all human interactions and admits to no real feelings for anything or anyone, including his foster sister (Jennifer Carter) and his nominal girlfriend (Julie Benz), a former crack addict and battered spouse who's as uninterested in sex as he is. There's an explanation for Dexter's weirdness, of course, one so deep and traumatic that even he isn't aware of it. It's gradually revealed over the course of the season as he and the cops (who include Erik King, Lauren Velez, and David Zayas, all first-rate) track down the so-called "Ice Truck Killer," a fellow monster whose grisly m.o. both fascinates and taunts our hero, leading to a genuinely shocking and squirm-inducing finale. Dexter can be a bit arch, with an ironic, too-hip-for-the-room tone that get a little old. Still, it's a safe bet that anyone who views this first season will be salivating for the second. Extras include audio commentary on two episodes, a featurette about real-life blood spatter analysis, and a variety of DVD-ROM items. --Sam Graham --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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My only complaint is that the DVD has only 2 commentaries first on disc 2 the episode 'Return to Sender' and the second for the season one finale 'Born Free'. The Slim set is my preferred packaging, each disc not just floating around to fall on the floor when the package is opened.
I put off watching it because of my apprehension about its violence and gore but after viewing the complete Season 1 I realize all my fears were unnecessary.
I loved Michael C. Hall's portrayal of uptight David Fisher in "Six Feet Under" and he has the acting ability and personality to pull off essaying a character as complex as Dexter Morgan.
At first, I despised Lauren Velez as Lt. Maria Laguerta because of her self-serving attitude and nasty power-tripping but she has become a very likeable character. The writers have slowly peeled back the layers of Maria and let her vulnerable, human qualities come to the surface.
C.S. Lee as Vince Masuka is hysterical to watch as he makes lewd comments to any females in the vicinity that border on sexual harrassment.
The acting and writing on "Dexter" is all top-drawer.
I feared the story content and locale would borrow from the CSI franchise, which I have seen and cannot say I enjoy at all. The murky photography and MTV-style editing do not sit well with this viewer. I was glad to see "Dexter" does not share these negative traits.
Though it took a few episodes to get hooked, once the Ice Truck Killer plotline kicked in, I was addicted and had to pace myself to one or two episodes a night until I got to the gripping Season Finale. I did have an inkling of the killer's identity though, due to the way the character was introduced.
The creepiest scenes were in Episode #10 ("Seeing Red") where Dexter encounters a horrificly bloody crime scene which unleashes some disturbing repressed memories.Read more ›
Dexter's pursuit of the 'Ice Truck Killer' grabs you the throat in the first episode and doesn't let go until the incredible conclusion. Along the way we're treated to a wonderfully twisted take on the super hero origin story as Dexter struggles to relate to other people while doing what he 'needs' to do. A series this dark isn't for everyone, but anyone that gives it a chance will be treated to some of the best writing and acting on TV.
The two commentary tracks are more self-congratulatory than insightful, lots 'ooo, this is a great scene' with Michael C. Hall's absence being truly unfortunate. Beyond that we get two 'meh' featurettes and a two 'bonus' episodes of Brotherhood. All due respect to that show, I think most fans would prefer the disc space go to material on the show they bought rather than to promoting another one.
The transfer is about as good as you're going to get without going to Blu-Ray. This show was never about blistering visuals, but its unique colour palette and cinematography come through well here along with the cringe inducing sound-effects of Dexter's trade. The menus are fugly but functional.
Substandard extras just aren't enough to drag a series this good down. Dexter really is one of the best things on television and if you're only going to own one season, it needs to be the first.
Most recent customer reviews
I had seen 1 episode on t.v. years ago and found it quite disturbing. It was recently recommended by a friend and so I took a chance and ordered season 1 and am now awaiting the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by from king city