Dexter : New Blood is aimed at who?
I don’t want to come across as cynical or dismissive of the concept of making a sequel to showtime’s dexter , the famous (and later loathed) thriller starring Michael C. Hall as a serial killer vigilante who only hunts down other serial killers. We live in the age of intellectual property, which means that no title that was once linked with a hit can ever be considered too radioactive for a reboot or revival. Sure, everyone is still upset over Hall’s Dexter Morgan becoming a lumberjack — in fact, about the show’s final four seasons. showtime’s dexter
However, a slew of other shows with infamous finales have returned in recent years, from Roseanne and Will & Grace to future Game of Thrones and How I Met Your Mother spinoffs. The only thing surprising about a new Dexter narrative is how it took Showtime to bring back one of its most successful . Lumberjacks are among the things that never die.
No, I’m curious about who New Blood is for, because based on the four episodes critics were allowed to critique, it’s difficult to tell. Is it aimed at fans of Dexter’s early seasons who are happy to see Hall reunited with original showrunner Clyde Phillips? For those who stuck it out through the increasingly depressing and aimless post-Phillips years and are looking for an explanation for how horribly the show went off the rails? For Dexter fan who adore him in all of his guises, including those involving flannel and logging trucks?
Perhaps it’s simply for crime fans suffering from Peak TV decision fatigue who want to watch something they’ve heard of, even if they don’t recall that season where the entire audience figured out Edward James Olmos was dead the entire time. follows up on the new world review by vulture review by vulture new blood review new blood
New Blood appears to be aimed towards both those groups and none of them at the same time. (OK, everyone who liked Season Eight will probably be pleased.) It’s well-told, yet a little dull. And, like its title character at this point in his life, it appears too conflicted to relish any of the blood and gore.
We pick up over a decade after the end of the first season. Dexter has left the Pacific Northwest’s crumbling timbers behind and now works in the lovely upstate New York village of Iron Lake at a hunting and fishing supplies business. While he no does blood-spatter analysis for the cops, everyone in town knows him as lovely and kind Jim Lindsay (a tribute to novelist Jeff , who developed the character), he has lately began dating the local sheriff, Angela Bishop (Julia Jones). follows up on the new world blood spatter review review review
new life Dexter was told in the last season that he didn’t have to kill, and he has worked tirelessly to disprove that claim. Dexter’s conscience is now represented by thoughts of his deceased sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), whose colourful use of profanity is employed to discourage her brother’s bloodlust. Showtime, on the other hand, refused to order a new season centred solely on Dexter assisting customers in selecting the right rod and reel.
Soon after, there’s a body to be disposed of, various wealthy and powerful men attempting to sway Angela, and another serial killer has set up shop in town, not to mention the arrival of Harrison (Jack Alcott), Dexter’s now-teenaged son whom he abandoned in the series finale after realising how badly he hurts everyone he cares about. new life dexter review review
The fact that Phillips is returning is mainly a good indication, but he didn’t have a perfect run on the first programme. Yes, in Season , he gave us the incredible cat-and-mouse game between Dexter and John Lithgow’s Trinity assassin, and he wrapped it up with a climax so exquisite that it should have rendered future seasons unnecessary. In Season Two, he gave us the fairly fantastic Bay Harbor Butcher narrative, in which the audience was left to wonder whether Dexter was just another premium-cable antihero or a monster with delusions of respectability.
Phillips, on the other hand, co-produced the largely inert third season with Jimmy Smits, and took the easy way out of the Bay Harbor Butcher plot by allowing Dexter’s unstable girlfriend to murder an innocent cop who had learned Dexter’s secret identity, rather than forcing him to do it himself, undermining nearly every argument the season had made up to that point. (When Phillips’ successors began depicting Dexter as solely heroic, they were simply continuing on the path he’d already started down.) review review review
Phillips is a better storyteller than many of his contemporaries. Deb is a figment of Dexter’s brain, and Harrison could as well be a new character, given how infrequently the tiny-kid version of him was featured on the old show. As a result, Phillips is tasked with creating a fresh supporting ensemble from the ground up, which he achieves admirably. Angela appears to be less inept than the majority of the old Miami Metro detective squad, Clancy Brown makes his usual great impression as a local businessman with a hidden purpose, and the townspeople as a whole feel believable, if not particularly interesting. showtime’s dexter showtime’s dexter
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Despite the fact that Dexter is in wintry land that appears to be foreign after all those years of Miami warmth, this is not a new beginning for him or the programme. Phillips may not have been a part of the later seasons, but he isn’t ignoring them. Deb, the original cast’s most intriguing supporting character, is still dead, and while she’s a more entertaining ghost than Harry, there’s only so much you can do with her. And Dexter is still haunted by her death, as well as the deaths of Harrison’s mother Rita and a slew of others. review of dexter
When Molly (Jamie Chung), a true-crime podcaster, visits , Angela’s daughter Audrey (Johnny Sequoyah) confesses to enjoying the genre because “it’s murder, but it’s funny.” That was the tone of Dexter in its early days: witty, verging on campy, but in a way that fit with Dexter’s world’s violence. The programme took Dexter’s inner struggle with his violent tendencies — or, as he put it, “my dark passenger”(*) — more seriously later on, the sillier everything felt. Though there are a few eccentric flourishes – Dexter’s boss, Fred Jr.
(Michael Cyril Creighton) is irritated that his husband wants to name their new puppy Garfield, which he (correctly) believes is a cat’s name — the film is primarily a melancholy and solemn march through the snow, wasting Hall’s dry comedic abilities. (One of the few aggressively funny moments involving the main character is blatantly plagiarised from a well-known film, which Dexter at least acknowledges.) Dexter’s hesitation to return to what he does best begins to feel like a mirror for a show that isn’t sure whether any of this is a smart idea (and understandably so).
(*) The TV show only had the rights to adapt the first Dexter novel, thus Lindsay’s plot arc revealing that the dark passenger was a real being — the supernatural offspring of the ancient god Moloch, no less — who had infected Dexter was never addressed. As absurd as that may sound, it would have been more interesting than the majority of what the series performed before the finale. review of dexter
There’s also Harrison to consider. Phillips and the other producers were wise enough to sidestep the obnoxious cable-drama tendency of the time for tedious subplots concerning the main characters’ teenage progeny, no matter how creatively wayward Dexter went in its original run. Although Jack Alcott is compelling in the character, especially given what we’re informed has happened to Harrison since we last saw him, his moments are unlikely to leave viewers believing that high school angst was the show’s hidden missing element all along.
But it all comes back to Dexter discovering Harrison sitting in a pool of Rita’s blood after Trinity murdered her in the Season finale. It was such an obvious full-circle moment for Dexter — who was “conceived in blood” under similar circumstances, as he liked to say — that it would have been the series finale if Showtime had been in the business of cancelling popular shows while they were still profitable.
Dexter Morgan was never meant to be a long-running character, and that has been as big of an issue as any one decision made as the series has continued to go, and go, and then be revived. It would have been something else if he hadn’t been a lumberjack. Dexter’s recent exploits are a little more crisply told than the previous time we saw him, but he’s still worn out. series series series series
Dexter chuckles, hall “Sorry about the mess; I’m out of practise,” after he eventually slips off the waggon and becomes aggressive once more. It’s a meta joke on how long it’s been since the original run ended, as well as a hall comment on how rusty those later seasons might appear. However, hall neither he nor New Blood feel sharp enough to justify his comeback as anything other than a nostalgia play for a show whose finale certainly preempted a lot of nostalgia. Almost by definition, whatever conclusion Phillips crafts for this miniseries must be better than Lumberjack Dexter, but is passing the lowest of hurdles enough to warrant returning to our guy and his old rituals?
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series dexter: New Blood premieres on Showtime on November 7th. I’ve seen the first episodes (of of ten).