Dexter

Discussion in 'Movies, Books, TV & Media' started by Karl Hungus, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    I wouldn't go that far. Seasons 2 and 4 were absolutely amazing IMO. There's a reason I only have seasons 1, 2, & 4 on Bluray. Totally agreed though about "how many serial killers can one city have?" lol.


    Rev.
     
  2. Skyblue

    Skyblue SS.org Regular

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    Personally, I stopped after season 4. I felt like the whole thing started being nicey-cutesy with the whole "I want to start a family and be a serial killer at the same time" thing going on... And of course, all the claims about the insane amount of serial killers in miami.
    I'm never expecting a TV show to be completely realistic, but I'd like it to at least try to balance things out a bit~
     
  3. Mexi

    Mexi SS.org Regular

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    Yeah after Season 4, the show took a real dive. Though I will say that I did enjoy the first half or so of season 7, there was some really good acting/tension between Deb and Dexter when she was finding out more about him. Naturally, eventually the writers shit the bed on that too /sigh

    I also think that the weakness of this finale is also being seen in the context (by many) of Breaking Bad's final episodes. With television that consistently good, I had a hard time being as interested in seeing how Dexter ended than how eagerly I'm waiting for this Sunday.
     
  4. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    I think that even if Dexter was the only show on TV this ending still would have seemed awful! The only thing Breaking Bad changes is that it gives an extra point of comparison to use as an insult.
     
  5. zappatton2

    zappatton2 SS.org Regular

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    I've never watched breaking bad, so I'll be part of the control group that thought Dexter turned terrible without referencial context. And yes, I do suppose my earlier comment was unfair to seasons 2 and 4, but the first season is still the one I felt compelled to tune in to when it was first airing, haven't really felt the same way since.
     
  6. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    I thought dexter season one was nearly unwatchable garbage and as I was watching it felt like it was a good thing I wasn't playing a drinking game that involved taking a drink every time anyone said the phrase "ice truck killer" or I'd have died of alcohol poisoning every episode. The only reason I kept watching was I'd downloaded seasons 1-3 all at once and didn't have anything else to watch and season 2 was like 400x more entertaining to me so it got me hooked enough to watch seasons 3, 4 and 5. :p People always talk about season 1 fondly now, to think that even something that bad was better than the last couple seasons is sad indeed.

    I skipped season 6 entirely cause it seemed to be looked at as the nadir till now, I watched season 7 up until it shat the bed and then this season.
     
  7. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    Wankerness, you're crazy bro... season one was awesome. Come on... they established the character and there was Doax... awesomeness. But yeah, I LOVED season two because of the dichotomy of Lila's character when most people just hated her. What an awesome season. Did you not like season four with Lithgow as Trinity?


    Rev.
     
  8. AxeHappy

    AxeHappy SS.org Regular

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    I really liked both season 1 and 2, and thought everything since then has been getting progressively worse, with season 4 being a bright spot over season 3 (but still shit compared to the first 2 seasons) and than season 5 going down right where season 3 left off.
     
  9. flint757

    flint757 SS.org Regular

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    Are 3, 5 and so on worth watching at all (aside from being worse)? Does 4 make sense if you don't watch 3?
     
  10. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    Dexter is an awful character and isn't likable at all, so no points there for "establishing his character," he'd be the least interesting character on his own show if there weren't people like Batista, Laguerta and Quinn (in later seasons) eating up screen time. I couldn't stand his brother and the Deb romance shit, and as mentioned before "ice truck killer" is one of the stupidest phrases in the english language and having everyone use it nonstop was like fingernails on a blackboard. Doakes's big season is 2, so 1 doesn't really score any points there imo. I dunno. I just remember I didn't enjoy a single episode of season 1. Based on the badness of recent seasons I don't really think I want to rewatch it ither.

    I think season 4 was also probably idiotic and we were just blinded by Lithgow being good. That said, I did like it at the time up until the last reveal, which seemed like a forced stupid end of the season twist which was made even more stupid by how they immediately just wrote out Rita's kids and made it mean nothing in the grand scheme of things other than freeing him up for even less interesting romances. I actually liked the Rita character and never understood all the animosity towards her.
     
  11. LanguageOfStrings

    LanguageOfStrings SS.org Regular

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    so, final conclusion, 8th series and final episode was dissapontment. best was 1st, 2nd, 4th season exactly in this order, (IMHO)
     
  12. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    I rewatched the first season based on comments made on this forums leading me to think I might not have given it a fair chance. After watching it again, I'm not sure if I did or not. I remember hating it and thinking it was retarded the first time (it was back in college, I think I'd just watched either The Wire or The Sopranos or both). I quite liked it this time. But, the first time I saw it, I hadn't seen all the subsequent seasons, so this time my standards were SO low that it seemed like a goddam masterpiece in comparison. I think it really was pretty good, though.

    One thing that is a good example of something I sure didn't identify as a strength the first time I watched it is that you frequently get reaction shots of Dexter where he's confronted with something that you know challenges his worldview or is ironic or humorous to him or something and he just sorta makes a weird face that makes it obvious what he's thinking and then it CUTS TO THE NEXT SCENE. NO VOICEOVER!!! This is a ....ing miracle when you look at all the subsequent seasons with the most overdone voiceover in tv history which felt it was necessary to explain every single thing that any three year old could conceivably have not caught.

    Another thing that just floored me was that they actually put in dialogue about there only being a 20% solve rate on murders, and another line that was something like "Somehow, in an entire building of supposed police officers, the only one who notices anything wrong with me is Doakes." I feel like the show basically never acknowledged how stupid both of these things were again. Just putting these two throwaway lines in there does wonders for making me accept the dumber elements of the plot this season. Good for the writers!

    Also, there is no ....ing Ghost Harry whatsoever. There are tons of flashbacks to him, but at this early point in the show, most of them actually have relevance and flesh out Dexter's character and none of them are really used as a second voiceover, saying something totally worthless that just tells us what we should be able to figure out ourselves.

    Another thing that was shocking was that basically all of the supporting characters were fleshed out enough that they weren't total cartoons and very few of their scenes felt like a waste of time. Even Doakes, who is probably the closest to being a cartoon character (other than the comic relief Masuka), is given that scene where Deb goes and eats with his family, and there's the flimsy backstory about him being in black ops in Haiti or whatever that at least is an honest attempt to make him more interesting that I think worked. Plus, he's just fun to watch.

    La Guerta starts out a bitch of nearly comedic levels but they did a great job of humanizing her through the season and I thought she was fine by the end.

    Angel's actually pretty likable here. I remember distinctly hating his character by the time they instituted the romance with him and Laguerta in some other early season and from then on he was pretty useless to anything, but here he seems like a real well-meaning guy.

    Deb is ....ing intolerable but she's clearly designed to be such and she's at least three dimensional. Scenes like where she freaks the .... out at Dexter for talking to her boyfriend instead of her are just dead-on accurate for a certain type of psychotic female that's unbearable to interact with and I think they knew what they were doing with her. Unlike the later seasons where she stops seeming like an actual human in any way and the character is only kept afloat by Jennifer Carpenter becoming a good actress at some point. Also, her antagonistic "friendship" with Masuka is legitimately funny and their chemistry is great.

    I absolutely love Rita. I feel like it's a bit tasteless to throw in a completely seriously portrayed character and define her as being someone that was "raped all the time" and then repeatedly throw her into some rather low-stakes scenes where she's confronted with her rapist and pretty much just gets flustered, but oh well. She's so goddam sweet and she's really the only reason I like Dexter's character in this season. I really wanted things to work with her and him and even her kids are pretty appealing here and she's just a great earth-mother sort of character. I'm probably irrationally biased cause I think she's physically adorable and her voice does funny things to me, but yeah, I think she was the soul of this show and the show was utter garbage from the first episode without her on. I feel like Dexter was only interesting as far as he tried to integrate with society, and that was only interesting cause she was such a strong motivator for this change since you wanted to see him get with her and she was warm enough that you could just about believe their romance. Unlike all the stuff with Lumen/Hannah.

    The first six episodes of this season are pretty great. Episode 7 is where it starts rearing its head and showing what it would eventually become. This is where it introduces Rita's ex-husband, which is sort of a gratuitous subplot, but at least they hired a capable actor for the part and it's at least interesting. It's just still pretty STUPID. The narration starts becoming gratuitous here, too.

    The next big step in the stupid-ification comes with the introduction of the romance with Deb and the ice truck guy whose name I already forgot. It's just boring and obnoxious to watch, but at least they only spend like one episode on it before they reveal he's the killer, and then only like one more before he proposes to her. It's still quite stupid, but at least Deb is thoroughly established as being a gigantic moron that would fall for this.

    Episode 11 was the first to have something really mindblowingly dumb like all the gifs posted in this thread...there'd been a bunch of emphasis on the killer leaving "103" as a clue, and then it shows Dexter going through a ton of newspaper articles. He finds one that's on October 3rd eventually. Not only is the date formatted 10-3, but the camera does a closeup on it. THEN, Dexter gets out a pen and draws a big circle around the 10-3, as if we didn't get it. THEN, there's a voice over of him saying 103. Just in case.:wallbash:

    I started watching season 2 but now I think the person who told me season 1 was good and season 2 and on is stupid is probably right. Just seeing the start of this stupid "Rita's husband died in jail" plot is making me absolutely dread all the Lila crap and all that forced drama, and if this is the season where Angel and Laguerta get together....*shudder*
     
  13. Waelstrum

    Waelstrum All Fourths Advocate

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    I recently made my way through all of Dexter, and am in agreement with the gist of this thread's opinion of the ending. For some reason I was expecting that either Dexter would end up being arrested by Deb or that he'd die in some horrific murder/suicide involving Deb.
    To be fair, that nearly happened.
    I'm not necessarily saying that is what I wanted, but it would make more sense than what actually happened.

    If I were watching it without the knowledge that there were 6 more series after series 2, I might have held out hope that Doakes would
    convince Dexter to turn himself in
    but then Lyla spoiled that like she spoiled everything else. I also hated that because
    she killed my favorite character. Sure, he was a stock character, but he was played very well.

    They did a similar thing at the end of series 6 and 7, with both my expected endings coming close, then being left open for another series. It seems that what ruined Dexter is they drew it out too long. If it had the brevity of a British comedy, it could have had a decent ending with some closure. As it is, with the length of an American drama, it was less dramatic.
     
  14. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    My uninformed guess is that they had a lot of really high quality writers working on the show at first to make sure that it launched well and that as the years went on they steadily left for other shows, so every season got consistently worse. It doesn't help that they did the most interesting things with the concept they could right away (ex, the bodies all getting discovered in season 2, him killing an innocent in season 3). I think they also made the mistake of deciding that they loved Dexter and that he was the non-ambiguous good guy at some point. In the first seasons Rita serves as his "moral center" and the show seems to acknowledge that he's a crazy man, but then by season 5 it's just like oh dexter is the hero of this show everything he does is great. This is hammered home by the finale bigtime.
     
  15. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    I believe this is exactly what happened. There was some sort of turnover after season 4 (at least the showrunner and I think some of the writers) and things went downhill from there. In the beginning, it was great as a very dark comedy, but it really struggled becoming a full-on drama; to wit, how Dexter's dumb luck and Miami Metro's incompetence went from being funny to an eye-rolling deus ex machina.

    After the series finale, there was interview with the original showrunner published, and he said that his plan for the end of the series was for Dexter to get the death penalty. Instead,
    the worst Dexter gets is to feel guilty about how his actions affect other people; since he's a sociopath and it was left entirely unclear how much empathy he's capable of, there's no idea how severe of an outcome it was.
     
  16. Waelstrum

    Waelstrum All Fourths Advocate

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    Oh, yeah, I forgot that he killed an innocent in series 3. I feel like that should probably have had a bigger deal made out of it. Then again, in the last couple of series he had killed a fair few more.
     
  17. sawtoothscream

    sawtoothscream SS.org Regular

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    Just started watching it. On episode 7 now and so far Im liking it.
     
  18. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    Rewatched season 2. It's worse than 1, but manages to get some real excitement going. This is another entire season with no ghost harry rearing his stupid head! The major thing that starts sucking this season is the narration gets REALLY overused and obvious and rarely adds anything. There are a lot of really groan-worthy moments with it.

    The Doakes plot is pretty well-done, especially in the last few episodes where Doakes actually seems like a human instead of a cartoon character, and I even think the Lila one is pretty good until the last few episodes where she just goes totally off the deep end because not being able to simply write her off the show via murder would have been too much work, I guess. There are a good number of scenes with her early in the season that work pretty well, though. It's too bad they basically do the exact same shit with some other guest star nearly every season to increasingly diminishing returns. She also works better since she's such a counterpoint to Rita, who I still love utterly in this season. The subplot with her mom is completely pointless, though. JoBeth Williams sure stopped being a MILF somewhere between Poltergeist and 2007!

    Again, like season 1, the supporting characters like Angel and LaGuerta come off quite well, in stark contrast to what was to come. I was invested in their subplots and they never became annoying at all. Masuka is almost UNDERUSED which is probably a good thing cause he remains funny. The best scene with him is when he comes to Dexter's rescue in the bowling alley with a ridiculous huge silver gun.

    Everything with Deb is just ass-cancer of the screen, though, especially the agonizing bullshit with her and Lundy "picking up each other's habits." It's the kind of garbage you'd expect to see in a show about 14 year olds and it made me want to scream when she'd insist on OH IT'S 1:00 TIME TO EAT CUCUMBER SANDWICHES and he'd go BULLSHIT OH WHOOPS I SWORE HA HA I GUESS YOU ARE RUBBIN OFF ON ME HEH HEH. It's so repulsive! I also liked the line where she was like YOU'RE 20 YEARS OLDER THAN ME!!!! when he's 30 years older than her IRL, I don't know what the motivation was there, not that that's the major reason they're awful to watch together. Just absolutely no chemistry and it's horrible and creepy and Deb comes off as a retarded 13 year old with a VERY serious daddy complex. I'm sure that the latter is intentional, but I'm not so sure we're supposed to be completely revolted by their stupid relationship. MAN I hated every scene they had together. Lundy's not even that bad of a character, every scene he has without Deb is fine.

    Time for season 3! No Lundy, at least.
     
  19. tristanroyster

    tristanroyster SS.org Regular

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    Started watching Dexter a few weeks ago. I just started season 3 tonight. Such a good show!
     
  20. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    I finished rewatching season 3, it's pretty damn bad, I dunno why I liked it the first time. It's another huge step down from season 2. I have this vague memory of season 4 being much higher in quality, but maybe it was just that Jon Lithgow was good. But yeah, season 3 was so bad that I have no interest in rewatching any more of it right now.
     

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