Overview

Dexter is a popular TV series which combines the crime, drama and mystery genres. It aired on Showtime between 2006 and 2013, with eight seasons total and a whopping 96 episodes available to binge watch.

From 2008, reruns aired on CBS after the Writers Guild of America strike. The first four seasons were wildly popular, but reception went downhill dramatically after this. Golden Globes have been won by key actors on the title.

In October 2020, news emerged that Dexter was being rebooted with a limited series comprising ten episodes. It is expected that it will premiere in fall 2021.

Premise

The series focuses on a forensic technician called Dexter Morgan, played by Michael C Hall. He specialises in bloodstain pattern analysis for the Miami Metro Police Department.

However, he is leading a double life as he is also a serial killer with a vigilante slant, taking down murderers who managed to evade the justice system.

The story begins when Dexter is adopted by a Miami police officer called Harry Morgan after being orphaned aged three. When he witnesses his mother being violently murdered with a chainsaw by drug dealers, Morgan realises the boy has developed trauma and is a potential sociopath, so he manipulates him into channeling his bloodlust.

Instead of taking on anyone and everyone, Dexter learns how to only kill heinous criminals, with the logic that he will save more lives than he takes.

Dexter becomes a forensic analyst and works extremely cautiously, using gloves and plastic-wrapped kill rooms to segment corpses and dispose of them in the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream.

He does his best to juggle his double life, but struggles from time to time. The audience sees him primarily experiencing homicidal tendencies, but he does sometimes feel normal emotions and he also maintains an appearance as a human being with social responsibilities.

Cast and characters

  • Michael C Hall – Dexter Morgan
  • Julie Benz – Rita Bennett
  • Jennifer Carpenter – Debra Morgan
  • Erik King – James Doakes
  • Lauren Velez – Maria LaGuerta
  • David Zayas – Angel Batista
  • James Remar – Harry Morgan
  • C S Lee – Vince Masuka
  • Desmond Harrington – Joey Quinn
  • Yvonne Strahovski – Hannah McKay
  • Geoff Pierson – Thomas Matthews
  • Aimee Garcia – Jamie Batista

Filming locations

Despite being set in Miami, Florida, most of the outside scenes are shot in Long Beach, California. What’s more, there are many landmark buildings from this location featured as the series progresses. The airport scene in the finale takes place at Ontario International Airport in Ontario, California.

Episodes and reception

The first, second, fourth and seventh seasons of Dexter received a positive response from critics. However, the sixth and eighth seasons were subject to either mixed or negative reviews. Generally speaking, people had a positive opinion of the third and fifth seasons.

In 2008, the season three finale aired and was watched by 1.51 million people. This was the highest ratings for any of Showtime’s original series since 2004. When the season four finale aired in 2009, it landed 2.6 million viewers – making it a record for all of Showtime’s original series, not to mention its highest rated show episode in over ten years.

Dexter has been nominated for a whopping 24 Primetime Emmy Awards, and was notably nominated for Outstanding Drama Series four times consecutively between 2008 and 2011. Unfortunately, the show has influenced a number of criminals to commit violent acts, such as 17 year old Andrew Conley in 2009 said it inspired him to strangle his 10 year old brother.

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