Michael Cuesta, Tony Goldwyn
Michael C. Hall
It also has the benefit of being headed by the excellent Michael C. Hall, who's capable of being charming when he needs to be, and creepy as hell when he doesn't. The show succeeds almost entirely on his behalf. The supporting characters, meanwhile... not so much. Out of the many cops and detectives and sergeants that the show's focus switches between, the only standout supporting character is also the only one Dexter doesn't work with, his girlfriend. As the show progresses, they eventually get fleshed out into slightly more appealing, less one-dimensional people, and at the same time, their subplots start becoming more important to the main storyline. Even so, they're never as interesting or compelling as when the show focuses on Dexter. I occasionally found myself waiting for those segments to hurry up and finish so I could see more of that wonderful serial killer killing killer. (Well that's a tongue twister...)
Complaints aside, there's something that happens to the show about halfway into the season. It gets better. And I'm not just talking a little better either; it becomes a minor masterpiece of television. Finally, all of the hype I was hearing about the series made sense. Once the "Ice Truck Killer" makes his first real appearance in the storyline, everything comes together, piece by piece (sometimes literally). Even Dexter's flashbacks to when he was a kid (which appear in almost every episode) pay off in full. Prior to that point, they were vaguely interesting in terms of character development, yet felt consistently awkward and forced in terms of storytelling. Fortunately, those feelings wash away the more you learn about Dexter's past.
Another big plus for the show is its unusual format, made possible by airing on Showtime. Not only does every episode run close to a full hour (meaning, not 40 minutes like other "hour long" shows), it also provides plenty of gore, cursing, and even nudity (boo-yah!). To top it all off, the show's got quite possibly the greatest opening credits sequence ever made. It's so good that it's actually poetic. And by the time DEXTER's first season reaches its end, you'll feel the same about the show itself.
Season 1 contains 12 episodes, spread across 4 discs. The two episodes with optional commentary have been marked with an asterisk.
Let's Give the Boy a Hand
Love American Style
*Return to Sender
Circle of Friends
Father Knows Best
Truth Be Told
In terms of packaging, there are two conveniently thin plastic slipcases held inside a cardboard cover, each of which hold two of the four discs. Not exactly flashy, but nice and compact.
Audio Commentaries: With neither the show's creator or main star on board, the season DVD's two commentaries didn't hold much value for me. Speakers include actors Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas, Lauren Velez, and Erik King on the episode "Return to Sender", and producers Sara Colleton, Clyde Phillips and Daniel Cerone on the episode "Born Free".
Witnessed in Blood - A True Murder Investigation (12:00): This would be more interesting for somebody who's never seen CSI or other crime dramas. It's a by-the-numbers look at how blood spatter analysis was used to convict a murderer. For what it was, I enjoyed watching it.
"Brotherhood" Episodes: There are two episodes of the Showtime series "Brotherhood" made available here, and to be honest, I didn't watch either of them (not yet anyway). Didn't feel any need, since they have zero correlation with DEXTER.
Also included are a bunch of Previews, as well as some features exclusive to your computer.
NOTE: The box lists another special feature, "The Academy of Blood - A Killer Course", but it doesn't appear to be on any of the discs. Weird.