Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Darkly Dreaming of Dexter

Micheal C. Hall is a genius.

I was a little trepidatious viewing the premiere of Dexter on Showtime Sunday night.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I am a big fan of Jeff Lindsay. I usually don't like to see my favorite literary characters on the small or large screen; I like to hold their images in my own mind, without the dilution of someone else's interpretation. But after spending sixty minutes with Hall, and a host of other talented performers, I am more than a little impressed with the result.

First of all, I couldn't take my eyes off of the main character. Hall created a disturbing, disarming, sardonic, and even at times touching portrait of the blood-spatter analyst and serial killer, Dexter.

His arch-nemesis, Sgt. Doakes (Erik King) gave me quite a thrill. He's a hilarious hard charger; just about every verbal exchange and assault make me laugh, especially because Dexter is so completely unperturbed. Side note: I wonder if we'll ever get to see King with his shirt off? The dude is cut.

Also worth mentioning is James Remar in the role of Dexter's adoptive father, Harry. His earnestness in attempting to curb his foster son's clear-cut dysfunction is at once scary and tender (my husband commented, "Now, that's too much of a leap. I don't buy it."):

Son, there are people out there who do terrible things. Terrible people. And the police can't catch them all.

I think my favorite scene has to be the moment Dex greets his girlfriend at her door, following a rough evening out; he explains sheepishly, "There was another --" making the universal sign for murder/beheading: a forefinger traced across the neck. His delicacy in handling Rita is sweetly romantic, and charmingly twisted.

I can't wait to start spending my Sunday nights with a sociopath.


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