Understanding Dexter

by Roy Hui Featured 1 Comments 9 Votes 1990 Views 12/06/2012 Back to Articles

Dexter has been airing since 2006 for a number of reasons. It's unique in the way that is explores the psychology and actions of Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a blood splatter analyst (and Miami Metro Police Department loyalist) by day and vigilante serial killer by night. James Manos, Jr., who adapted the literary text to television, specifically, from Jeff Lindsay's novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter, should be commended on the series, which continues to impress.

The show is created out of an intersection, or concoction, of many genres, or generic elements. In many ways it employs elements of the psychological thriller, but manages to do so using aspects of the black comedy, a genre realm that Hall seems most comfortable with, probably due to successful casting experience outside of the show, such as on the set of Six Feet Under, a successful HBO black comedy of yesteryear. The series also belongs, in a number of ways, to crime, drama and mystery television genre traditions, which further reinforces the show's diverse form and content. Manos, Jr.'s portrayal of the Miami Metro Police Department in Dexter is highly intriguing; it is marked by events that happen on and under the surface of the department's bureaucracy.

Dexter is still, after years on the small screen, a strong, engaging television series. It is a credit to Hall; he was able to break typecasting as a reserved and restrained gay funeral parlour worker in Six Feet Under and reinvent himself in another equally successful series. His performance, as the show’s leading antihero, has seen nominations and wins for a string of television awards, ranging from the Screen Actors Guild to the Golden Globe award.

Dexter season 6 is now available on DVD & Bluray.

By Chris Traficante

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A complex series that is successful because of the back story of its anti-hero.

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