The following is a complete review of Dexter (2006-2013).
Dexter tells the story of Dexter Morgan, a Miami Police forensic expert who moonlights as a serial killer in his spare time. He lives by a code that forces him to only kill other criminals. The show deals with Dexter's journey as a serial killer while also highlighting major investigations by the rest of the department.
The show gives us an interesting look into the mind of a serial killer. The show is mostly shown from Dexter's point of view as he gives us insightful narration throughout the episodes. We get to see the many different sides to him as he tries to maintain his cover. He's an excellent forensic expert, a loving brother, and a ruthless serial killer, all while being oddly sympathetic.
The most interesting aspect of the show is that nobody knows his secret. He's working with the police and they have no idea who he actually is and what he's capable of. Even his sister, a detective, doesn't suspect a thing. He's right under their noses and they don't even realize it.
Dexter also gave us an interesting moral dilemma. How do we root for our main character when he kills people? Can the killing of criminals be justified if they "deserve" it? The show focuses on many questions like this early on but got away from in the later seasons.
At it's peak, Dexter is up there with some of the greats. Sadly, it's a show that lasted a few seasons too many. The first two seasons are two of the most exciting and intense seasons I've ever seen on T.V.
The show was edgy, exciting, and downright creepy. When they changed show runners after season 4, it all went down hill. The first four seasons are great. The last four aren't and don't even seem like they same show. While it used to be intelligent and intense, it became boring, tiresome, and just plain dumb. It's full of plot contrivances, terrible writing, and poor character development.
The show stopped taking risks and gave us the same storyline each season. They introduced a new guest actor each season to play another serial killer to face off against Dexter. After the first few times, we know how it's going to end. It wasn't nearly as suspenseful.
What made Dexter so successful early on was the fact that he was a serial killer working for the police and the incredible suspense that went with it. Would the police find out? What would happen? After visiting this idea early on, they got away from it and focused more on Dexter's journey as a person, which wasn't nearly as interesting. The show lost it's edge.
Dexter used to be a great show and the first few seasons are still worth checking out. Just don't expect expect the same level of greatness after that. It's a sad fall for a show that could have been of the great shows of all time. Having one of the most disappointing final seasons in recent memory doesn't help much either.