Dexter: The Second Season (2007)

Genre(s): Crime / Drama / Mystery
Paramount, Showtime || NR - 636 minutes - $39.98 || August 19, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-09-07


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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

.:: 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, Christina Robinson, Jennifer Carpenter, C.S. Lee, Lauren Velez, David Zayas, Erik King, Keith Carradine


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Cast Interviews (via "E-Bridge Technology")
  • Cast Biographies
  • Photo Gallery
  • Bonus Episodes of "Brotherhood" and "Californication"


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digial 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Mono 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

“Am I a good person doing ‘bad’ things? Or a bad person doing ‘good’ things?”

PLOT (season one, for those not familiar with the show): Dexter Morgan is a man with no conscience. Raised by a foster family after his mother was killed, Dexter’s foster father discovers that his son has urges to kill and has no real human emotions. So, his father teaches him some morality... to killing. To only kill those who deserve it, those who have broken the law – murderers, rapists... the scum of the earth. Blood expert by day for the Miami Police Department, dark vigilante by night, Dexter feeds his obsession at the point of a knife, though with skill and finesse.

Note: There are some spoilers for season one.

After the events of the first season, Dexter Morgan (Hall), discovering that his brother was the ‘Ice Truck Killer’, has his world shifted upside down, but things only go more screwy in this second season... His girlfriend, Rita (Benz), believing he is a drug addict, makes Dexter get treatment (though Dexter really is getting treatment for his desire to kill) where he meets Lila (Murray), a woman who seems to have an understanding of who Dexter really is.

Meanwhile, at the Miami Dade Police Department, a task force has been set up to capture the man known as the ‘Bay Harbor Butcher’ after Dexter’s watery grave was discovered. Special Agent Frank Lundy (Carradine) is sent from the FBI to oversee the investigation where the noose does get a little tighter to finding Dexter as the killer they are after. If that’s not enough, fellow department colleague, Sergeant James Doakes (King) might also be onto Dexter as he tries every way to find out who he really is... and a cat and mouse game begins between the two of them.

And there’s still Dexter’s relationship with the loan connection to his past, his sister, Debra, also with the Miami Police Department.

“Dexter: The Second Season” doesn’t just go through the motions, and instead takes the Dexter character further. This season finds the character in chaos which he does not like one bit as he is not in charge. With an investigation that could lead to him being the ‘Bay Harbor Killer’, he tries to reestablish what his father taught him, but when you have a hot woman with psychological issues, even for Dexter, a rocky relationship with his girlfriend and a sister with her own problems (and also hunting for a killer), Dexter finds it difficult to find his groove again.

When I first started watching the first season of “Dexter”, I was fully enamored with it. The character is unique, funny and horrific all at the same time. Actor Michael C. Hall portrays the part so great and pitch perfect while the supporting cast, including the lovely Jennifer Carpenter as his sis, propelled the series to be one of my favorites currently on TV. Add in a fascinating storyline between Dexter as a serial killer and the ‘Ice Truck Killer’, and you have a winning formula.

In its second season, “Dexter”, while not as fascinating as the freshman season, is still a great show headlined by fine performances especially by Michael C. Hall and series newcomer Keith Carradine, whose career was most notably reignited by Tarantino’s Kill Bill movies. It’s less of a cat and mouse game between Dexter and Agent Lundy and more of a psychological game inside Dexter’s head more than anything.

When it comes to cable dramas, I don’t consider “Dexter” to be one of the best, but it’s still entertaining as hell and will keep my attention for seasons to come.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Showtime/Paramount has found a new cheap way of presenting special features for “Dexter: The Second Season”. They are using something called “E-Bridge Technology” which basically means to view any substantial features; you have to watch them on your computer. Put in the disc into your DVD-ROM and a window opens and selecting an option opens your internet browser to a web page.

The features on this page are just some interviews with the entire cast: Michael C. Hall (in two-parts), Erik King, Lauren Velez, C.S. Lee, David Zayas, Jennifer Carpenter, Julie Benz and Keith Carradine. Each one runs about 4-minutes where they answer various questions about the series or their character. Pretty standard stuff, most (if not all) of which were recorded late in 2007 for what I assume was Showtime’s “Dexter” page. How lame of them not to just include it on the DVD...

Also on the web page, you can watch an episode of “The Tudors” (Season 2) and “Californication” (Season 1); get $25 off a subscription to Showtime; and enter the chance to win a Sony Entertainment Center. Wow, way to go guys!

On the DVD set itself, two episodes of another Showtime series, “Brotherhood”, some cast biographies (how cheap and reminiscent of the DVD’s early days) and a photo gallery. Also, according to the bonus features page, there is a Dexter Season 3 Sneak Peek which takes you to a static page stating that you can watch the first episode of season 3 when you buy “Brotherhood: Season 2”. Yeah, real nice.

In all honesty, this has to be one of the worst assortments of features I have ever seen on a DVD. I don’t care if Showtime wants to pimp out their other shows (none of them I bothered to watch, by the way), but come on, give the “Dexter” fans something. Instead, we have to watch the only substantial feature about the show online when those interviews could’ve easily been placed in this set.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

“Dexter” is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.78 OAR). The visuals look comparable to the show’s original airing. Colors look good and the picture seems clear of any scratches or dust. The overall picture does appear soft at times, but I chalk that up to the visual preference of the show rather than a flaw.

The DVD offers up a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix along with a standard 2.0 track. The audio isn’t anything fantastic, but it should be satisfactory enough for most people. That being said, I was a little disappointed when the show actually had an awesome explosion... only problem was the entire thing only came out of the center speaker.



.::OVERALL::.

Despite the lame a** features, I find it hard NOT to recommend this season set. “Dexter” is a crude and smart show with a splash of dark humor that will captivate you from beginning to end.