Friday, February 15, 2008

Slicing up Dexter

One of the products of the long writer's strike is CBS' decision to take sister cable network Showtime's Dexter and see if it will work on their network. And on a certain level, it works pretty well. Dexter Morgan is a blood splatter expert for Miami's CSI, and where else besides CBS would you expect to find CSI? That our protagonist is himself a serial killer who kills serial killers is where the show sticks out in it's new secondary home.

The show underwent serious cuts to make it to the network, but not really for gore and violence, as most is implied and the series actually has less than your typical hour of crime drama already on CBS. No, instead the majority of the cuts went into making the series work in a shorter time period, allowing for commercial breaks. So, gone are part of the secondary stories like Detective Batista's marital problems and some of Laguerta's political maneuvering, which isn't a bad thing. In fact, a good percentage of the cuts won't even be noticeable. It's the blue streak that officers Doakes and Deborah Morgan (Dexter's foster sister) speak that are the hardest cuts to get around -- my ears are sure to be burning from all the 'friggin's' dubbed in.

The main thing that makes Dexter different, is still there, though, and that's what bothers The Parents Television Council the most. Dexter is a killer that becomes somewhat sympathetic in the eyes of the viewer, something that disturbs folks of a... well... delicate nature. Granted, it is a disturbing premise, but the series handles it with a certain amount of lightness and humor to keep it from being just a dark story, and that's part of what makes it such a special series. Actor Michael C. Hall makes it all work, with a steady performance that simmers with all the character's it's taut psychological colors.

I'm not sure how many fans are like me and are intrigued to see the changes, but I imagine there will at least be a few current Dexter-head lookie-loos watching along with the many future fans this Sunday night.

CBS's edited version of Dexter premieres this Sunday night at 10PM.

Playlist: Dexter - Season 1

Previously: Bone Tingling Finale (Dexter season 2 finale - obvious spoiler warning!)

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