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DEXTER SEASON 2
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Reviewed by: JimmyO

Directed by: Various

Starring:
Michael C. Hall
Julie Benz
Erik King

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
After finally killing off The Ice Truck Killer (aka, his brother) Dexter finds more trouble than he can handle. When the bodies he has buried deep in ocean waters are discovered, the search for America’s latest serial killer gets much too close threatening to expose who and what he really is.
Is it good movie?
It is no secret that I love the Showtime series Dexter. Truth be told I watch very little television and I really don’t even watch this wonderfully creative hour of TV when it airs. Nowadays you can tune into your favorite shows by either going onto iTunes or Netflix. Or if you are a true fan, you can buy the DVD at a local retailer. For me, the pleasure of watching as much Dexter as I want, and taking breaks when I feel like it is a wonderful thing. And while it would’ve been easy for the second season to get a little lazy, I think it upped the ante in many ways for America’s favorite serial killer. Just a quick warning as I am about to offer up a couple of Spoilers in the next few sentences, but the guts that season number two had were just damn impressive. This includes killing off a major character at the end of the season in a grim way. And even bringing in a Fatal Attraction type of plot with an attractive bad girl named Lila (played to perfection by Jaime Murray). And all this led to an immensely satisfying conclusion. Oh yeah… End of Spoilers.

I have to say that Dexter himself, Michael C. Hall owns this role. Much like Christian Bale and his fantastic work in American Psycho, Mr. Hall plays all the quirks of a serial killer with nuance and style. It is easy to root for the man, even though he cuts people up and disposes of them in the ocean. Yet to be fair, the guys and gals he’s cutting up are far from upstanding citizens. There lies the quirk of Dexter, a serial killer with a code, as he will never kill an innocent person. And while that could’ve easily grown stale after a few episodes, this season wisely chose to let all the supporting characters grow along with Dex. I was especially happy to see Rita get a little mad and take control. Julie Benz was given a new lease on this the girlfriend role, the one who was a little too weak the first year. While it certainly fit Rita to not be quite so strong, I was impressed at how the role expanded. I also appreciated the continuing battle of brains and brawn between Dex and Doakes (Erik King). The relations between both Rita to Dex and Doakes to Dex was terrific and then you throw this mysterious Lila in, and you’ve got yourself an intoxicatingly effective hour of television.

As for the arc of this strong season, it all takes place after Dex killing his murderous brother. He finds himself having a rough time taking another life, even a sadistic one. And the most dangerous turn happens when all the bodies Dex has buried deep in the ocean blue are discovered. Luckily for him, he works with the police, so he is occasionally able to take measures to protect himself. But as the law comes closer to finding out just who is killing all the bad guys, things get tricky for the killer with a code. Messing up things even more is the tension between him and his girlfriend, and worse then that, the other half’s mother played by the always impressive JoBeth Williams. With all that, you even have another woman in his life that has the ability to ruin everything for Dexter. In twelve episodes, all this drama, tension and murder add up to one hell of a strong season.

The thing I appreciate the most is the fact that Dexter is being given a whole new life on Blu Ray. The use of lighting and the incredibly sharp direction is even more powerful in High Def. From the opening credits to the atmospheric kills, it all looks better here. And since this was a second viewing, or in some cases third, I found it very easy to get lost in his world. Partially because the audio and video quality is quite astounding, but also because the series holds up so very well. And this stylish, scary and enticingly addictive television series is only made better on Blu Ray. Too bad the special features are so damn weak.
Video / Audio
Video: The 1080p High Definition is really terrific and it is a pleasure to see the brilliance of Miami in High Def.

Audio: The English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD is also quite terrific. This 3 disc set looks and sounds nice and clear.
The Extras
Why do they do it? I don’t want to buy Dexter on Blu Ray and have the main special features be the overrated and pretentious Showtime series United States of Tara. But if you like this particular series, you get the first 2 episodes thanks to BD Live. You can also get a featurette that is fine called “Blood Fountains” and the Dark Defender series. Plus, you get pod casts and such that offer up a few interviews but nothing really satisfying considering this is Dexter. I would’ve loved to have had a couple of commentaries, or anything besides basic and bland extras like this. Come on Showtime, for the third season, give us something other than a preview for ordering Showtime… and in case you were wondering, that Tara show didn’t work.

Oh yeah, the only thing not on Blu Ray was a kind of waste of a game called Tools of the Trade. Really??? Wow, please let the extras on the third season not suck like this.
Last Call
Dexter is an undeniably stylish thriller that offers up a fantastic leading performance from Michael C. Hall, and a slick and slightly morbid tale of a serial killer with a code. It features a good supporting cast and a couple of guests on season two that really add to the drama quite well. Both JoBeth Williams and Keith Carradine add tremendous support and kick the series up a notch. And it all looks even more impressive on Blu Ray. Sadly, they waste a bunch of space with dull extras that can only be accessed almost exclusively by BDLive. Seriously… NO commentaries? I really felt cheated. But at least this massively entertaining show looks as good as it does in High Def.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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