Dexter: The First Season (2006) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
Showtime || NR - 651 minutes - $54.98 || January 6, 2006
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-12-24


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Jeff Lindsay (novel); James Manos Jr. (developed by)
Cast: Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter, Erik King, Lauren Velez, David Zayas, James Remar


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Episode Commentaries
  • The Anatomy of Blood: A Killer Course
  • Witnessed in Blood: A True Murder Investigation
  • Michael C. Hall Podcast
  • First Episode of "DEXTER", Season 3
  • First Two Episodes of "UNITED STATES OF TARA"


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

Based on the book Darkly Dreaming Dexter; Showtime’s adaptation takes most of what made the book really good as well as changing things up a bit (certain deaths, characters etc.) to make those who have read the book still feel comfortable all while giving those same readers a reason to watch the show.

The show is an interesting concept - Dexter (Michael C. Hall) works for the Miami Police Department where he is their lead blood splatter analyst. His sister, Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), also works with him. The first season of Dexter deals with the fact that Dexter is in fact a serial killer – kind of ironic considering the job he is in. You see, Dexter has a set code he follows (imparted to him by his dead father who knows his son was a bit different) and only goes after someone who has wronged another person... so if you killed someone else you sure as hell would want to be caught by the police before Dexter gets to you. Why is that? Because he will track you down, hunt you and eventually get you into some room where you are strapped on a table and forced to re-live those that you have harmed. At that point expect to get your face cut while Dexter puts a drop of your blood on a slide frame to keep as a souvenir. After that, you're done for.

That's not all Season One is about - we eventually learn of someone calling themselves the "Ice Truck Killer". Dexter soon becomes infatuated with this person not only because of the style of his killings, but because the "Ice Truck Killer" seems to know exactly who and what Dexter truly is. Through the course of all twelve episodes the show starts to paint a picture of who the killer might be, but before you know it, they have already revealed who the killer is to the audience yet still leaving the mystery to our favorite characters.

Simply put - the show is amazing. This is easily one of Showtime’s finest shows (followed by “Weeds”) and it’s clear to see how Showtime is quickly becoming the HBO from several years ago (coincidentally where Michael C. Hall starred in a show called “Six Feet Under”) with a set of hit shows while HBO has very little. So much intrigued me about Season One - you have Dexter explaining (through flashbacks or narrative) why he does what he does; his sister Deb trying to track down the killer and eventually becoming a prime target; several other stories involving members in the police station and we still get to see several stories play out each episode that Dexter has to either solve or take a life.

Acting is superb. It’s a great thing to see Michael C. Hall go from being a homosexual on “Six Feet Under” who is in love with an African America directly into something that you would never expect Michael C. Hall to go to - a serial killer. Not only did he break what could have been a typecast for him, but he smashed through all the barriers. His performance is nothing short of amazing. Jennifer Carpenter has always been a small bit actress, probably known for her role in The Exorcism of Emily Rose - but she makes the transformation as well playing a tough-as-nails officer who can take care of herself. Honorable mentions as well to Julie Benz who plays Rita, Dexter's girlfriend, who also does a fine job and becomes more of a character in later seasons.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary on the Episodes "Return to Sender" and "Born Free" by various Cast and Crew (not mentioned on the case but these are included)

*** The following is only available through BD-Live ***

BD-Live: (Profile 2.0)
- Bonus episode of the Season Three Premiere of "Dexter" (Technically a Blu-ray Exclusive)
- Two Bonus episodes of "The Unites States of Tara" (Technically a Blu-ray Exclusive)
- Michael C. Hall Podcast
- Witnessed in Blood - A True Murder Investigation
- The Academy of Blood - A Killer Course

Rant time! Almost every special feature (except the two commentary tracks) is only available via BD-Live. This means, if you have an older player, you are missing out. Not only are these going to most likely be in SD (when the feature launches on release date), but you have to painfully wait for them to download and then you are tied to only watching them on that player, regardless if you have older Profile players in your house (like I do). Why did Paramount go this route? Couldn't they have fit these on one of the BD50's – or heck – even do what Universal and Warner are doing by including the SD features on a separate bonus DVD? This practice of forcing consumers to upgrade to 2.0, when 1.1 is by definition the "final profile standard" is absolute crap and needs to be stopped.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

“Dexter: The First Season” is presented in (1.85:1) on 3 BD50 discs. While I do not have the DVD set to compare to, I do believe these look better then when they were originally broadcast on Showtime HD. The quality looks noticeably improved and the best part - there is no annoying Showtime logo in the bottom of the screen!

Paramount has included an English 5.1 TrueHD tracks (as well as Spanish DD2.0) for each episode. Once again, I do not have the DVD set to compare, but it seems easy to tell that they would clearly be better than standard DD5.1 tracks. Since the show is very dialog heavy, don't expect this to be a reference track, but I am pleased Paramount at least went the extra mile and included Lossless for a TV show on Blu-ray - unlike Warner.



.::OVERALL::.

“Dexter” is easily one of the best shows on Showtime and its first season will leave you hooked wanting more... I absolutely recommend picking up Season One on Blu-ray not only because of the fantastic Picture and Sound, but because the show is well crafted and leaves you always cheering for the "bad guy" even though he is truly "good".