“Like a beautiful man who farts as he leaves the room, Dexter changed the world for the better, but left a noxious stink behind…”
Dexter: The TV series. 2006-2013
I discovered this series as I was checking out the box sets on my TV. Eight series, each containing 12 episodes, enough to keep me happy throughout the long winter months.
Boy, was I in for a treat!
It turned out that what I had discovered was a lethal formula of black comedy and revenge-killing procedural. From its debut in 2006, Showtime’s adaptation of Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter novels expertly marshalled its own absurdities to deliver a confident, darkly funny show like nothing around at the time.
It was television’s first serial killer procedural: a monster of the week format where Dexter assessed, tracked and killed whichever rapist, spree killer or assassin was in his sights. Rooting for the villain was nothing new, of course, but this took fanboying the bad boy to the next level.
Working as a blood-spatter analyst for Miami-Dade police offered Dexter the Intel and expertise to carry out his campaign. He was the psychopath you could introduce to your parents.
With every episode pored over in forensic detail, it only took the first episode to make me a devoted fan. As a budding crime/thriller writer, this series was like my own personal podcast, viewed from the comfort of my armchair. Every week, there would be something interesting to learn, some nuance or idea that could be utilised in a story of my own.
Dexter Morgan, bless him, played by Michael C Hall taught me so much about the perfect villain. One you could actually like and almost approve of.
And I did!