TV on DVD: Dexter – The First Season

While it technically released yesterday, I figure that today is as good a day as any to suggest that any TV fan out there should get their hands on Showtime’s Dexter. The show’s first season debuted on DVD yesterday, at a fairly reasonable price for its 12 episodes, and the show’s second season premieres on September 30th.

The show’s first season, perhaps out of any series that aired last year, feels like a cohesive piece of storytelling. Based on Jeff Lindsay’s novel, the series take the characters and over-arching plot of that book and expands it into something I personally feel is far superior. Dexter – The First Season

It tells the story of Dexter Morgan, who according to press for the series is America’s most lovable serial killer. I think this is perhaps an oversimplification: if anything, I think that Dexter isn’t lovable at all. Michael C. Hall’s award-nominated performance is unsettling, as it gets under your skin. He isn’t someone you like, necessarily, but someone you’re rooting for even in his creepy, creepy way.

The first season tells the story of the Ice Truck Killer, a Miami serial murderer focusing his efforts on prostitutes. Dexter, of course, is himself a serial killer who uses his adopted father’s code to dole out vigilante justice against criminals who fell through the cracks of the justice system. And these two individuals share a kindred spirit, a strange understanding of the actions of the other.

But Dexter isn’t just a serial killer, he is also an empty box in terms of emotion. That is really the other story: his relationship with Rita (Julie Benz), his interaction with his adopted sister (Jennifer Carpenter), as well as his interaction with employees who seem oblivious to his creepy nature…most of the time.

I’ve seen the first two episodes of the first season, and it appears that the stakes are raised even further. I can only hope that it achieves the same level of finality: while the first season’s effects certainly linger, it tells an isolated story of loss and, well, isolation if you will. I am guessing this will play extremely well on DVD: I watched the last few episodes of Dexter’s first season back-to-back, and it was an engrossing way to watch the show.

Special features on the DVD include a few commentaries, but I’m kind of disappointed there isn’t more. This is a show with a lot of really intriguing content that would make for a great set of documentaries, but I’m guessing that Showtime wanted to cut costs. The DVD is reasonably priced, so I guess that’s a good start.

Not very many people watched Dexter on Showtime, this being the reality of the cable programmer. However, despite this fact, I think that it is a great show to find on DVD. Hopefully Hall’s awards buzz, sadly not extending to an Emmy nomination for some unknown, illogical reason, and this DVD set allows the show’s second season to get the attention it deserves.

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Filed under Dexter, Television, TV DVD

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