One of Showtime's series of recent hits (see also: "Californication" & "Weeds"), "Dexter" (uh, not to be confused with the animated series) is a dark dramatic (with touches of black comedy) series from the network starring Michael C. Hall ("Six Feet Under") as Dexter Morgan, a man oprhaned at a young age and deeply troubled.
As an adult, Dexter works as a forensics expert for the Miami Police Department, trying to piece together clues and tracking down criminals. However, Dexter has an entirely different job at night: he is a killer, tracking down criminals who have managed to slip through the fingers of justice - and disposing of them.
Dexter was trained as a child by the man who was his adoptive father, Miami Police Officer Harry Morgan (James Remar). Taught how to appear normal, he does things like go bowling and take on a girlfriend - Rita Bennett (Julie Benz), who remains psychologically damaged herself. The two maintain the appearance of a relationship, and Dexter is nice to her two children. Shortly after the season opens, Rita and Dexter start to have a rift in their relationship when she starts questioning what he's doing at night - and his only reaction is to lie and say he's an addict - she forces him to go into a treatment program, but things slowly start to take a turn for the worse when Dexter wanders into the path of the beautiful and mysterious Lila (Jaime Murray) at his first meeting.
The second season starts with Dexter under pressure. While he's worked his way into the Miami department and gained the confidence of most of his peers, there's just one: Doakes (Erik King) who believes that Dex is hiding something and starts to trail him. Making matters even worse for Dexter is the arrival of the FBI - lead by Agent Lundy (Keith Carradine) - who've come to town due to the discovery of some of Dexter's work. Dexter's police officer sister (Jennifer Carpenter) is also working the case.
"Dexter" remains an engaging show due to a few different elements, including a bold visual style and dark, eerie atmosphere thanks to the production crew, including cinematographer Romeo Tirone, production designer Anthony Cowley and others. Hall's performance is also exceptional, as he gives the character depth and smoothly portrays both the normal, everyguy Dexter that has friends at work and the darker Dexter that lies just underneath the surface. It's no surprise that Hall has been nominated for both an Emmy and Golden Globe for the performance. King, Carpenter, Benz and others also offer strong supporting efforts.
13. 2- 1 30 Sep 07 It's Alive!
14. 2- 2 7 Oct 07 Waiting to Exhale
15. 2- 3 14 Oct 07 An Inconvenient Lie
16. 2- 4 21 Oct 07 See-Through
17. 2- 5 28 Oct 07 The Dark Defender
18. 2- 6 4 Nov 07 Dex, Lies, and Videotape
19. 2- 7 11 Nov 07 That Night, A Forest Grew
20. 2- 8 18 Nov 07 Morning Comes
21. 2- 9 25 Nov 07 Resistance Is Futile
22. 2-10 2 Dec 07 There's Something About Harry
23. 2-11 9 Dec 07 Left Turn Ahead
24. 2-12 16 Dec 07 The British Invasion
VIDEO: "Dexter" is presented by Paramount/Showtime in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Presentation quality is generally excellent throughout the episodes, with precise detail and pleasing clarity even in the show's many dark or dimly-lit sequences. Some minor artifacting was visible on a couple of occasions, but the picture was otherwise clean. Colors looked warm and saturation appeared reasonably accurate.
SOUND: "Dexter" is presented by Paramount in Dolby Digital 5.1. The show's audio quality is perfectly acceptable, with clear dialogue and music. Surround use is limited to some minor ambience and reinforcement of the show's effective score.
EXTRAS: 2 episodes of "Brotherhood", interview with Hall, episodes of "The Tudors" and "Californication," photo gallery and bios.
Final Thoughts: "Dexter" is a top-notch drama/thriller, lead by Hall's impressive effort. The show's second season remains engaging, with continued strong performances from the superb ensemble cast and solid writing. The DVD presentation boasts good audio/video quality, but - unfortunately for fans - only a few minor extras.