Dazzling Knowledge

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tpotdomescandal's Top 10 TV Shows

#4 Dexter

With just two seasons in the books, Dexter is already a heavyweight in my mind. It’s a Showtime series about a man, Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) who is a forensic investigator by day and a serial killer by night. The first season was the best thing I’d seen on TV since the first season of The Sopranos. The show is typical of contemporary high-minded dramas in that the storylines involve several characters interacting and moving parallel to each other over the course of several episodes. At the same time, each episode normally succeeds in telling an interesting story in itself.

Since the protagonist is a sadistic murderer, the viewer is definitely dealing with some moral gray areas. The show succeeds in dealing with this in a few ways. First, you’re definitely rooting for Dexter, even if you feel uncomfortable about it at times. Second, it doesn’t devolve into merely a creepy vigilante drama; the moral ambiguity is maintained. Finally, the show itself doesn’t celebrate depravity, or ask the viewers to feel either comfortable with evil or desensitized.

Dexter also happens to be great popcorn TV. The show is scary, suspenseful, mysterious, and sometimes wickedly funny. Hall gives a performance for the ages. His character is constantly lying and scheming and full of rage, and Hall masterfully uses facial expressions and body language to convey Dexter's often subtle, sometimes outrageous, and constantly changing emotional states.

Dexter’s relationships with his foster father and sister are major plot features, but I’ll avoid spoilers here, as the show is current, and I’m kind of one of its evangelists. Dexter and his colleagues are definitely known to down some beers at the bowling alley.


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