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“Dexter: The Complete Second Season”
Reviewer:
Wayne A. Klein
Studio: Paramount/Showtime
Genre:
TV- Series
Release Date:
8/19/08
Special Features:

Two episodes of “Brotherhood”, sneak peek of “Dexter: Season 3”, online episodes of “The Tudors” and “Californification”, text biographies

Review:

The second season of “Dexter” finds our favorite crime fighting serial killer off his game. Dexter finds himself incapable of taking out his latest victim a blind killer who curses him. The brutal murder of a young gang member unleashes Mr. Hyde again but Dexter (Michael C. Hall) finds his life seriously compromised by Detective Doakes (Erick Hall) who is dogging his every step preventing him from carrying out his mission in life and comes to believe he is cursed since killing his brother. It also doesn’t help that his drop zone for his victims have been discovered. Dexter’s girl friend Rita (the lovely and luscious Julie Benz) begins distancing herself from Dexter believing that he set up her ex-con husband. ***

There are other major developments. ***

The second season of “Dexter” is a bit uneven and doesn’t quite find its stride as quickly as it did during the first season. It’s almost as if the production team is in the same boat so-to-speak as Dexter. As with the first season Michael C. Hall brings both a gravity and dry sense of humor to his portrayal of Dexter that both humanizes and demonizes him making us see those qualities in ourselves that would like justice or revenge to be carried out. ***

In many respects, Dexter is a vigilante much like, say, Batman but without the high tech toys and the realization that HE is disturbed. Julie Benz adds more layers to her characterization of Rita who seems to have the worst possible luck with finding a normal man to share her life. Jennifer Carpenter who plays Dexter’s sister Debra gets plenty of screen time as well allowing her to add to her nimble, rich performance. Debra is adrift since almost becoming a victim of the Ice Truck Killer herself saved only by the very controlled madness of her brother. She, like Benz, adds a perfect counterpart to Hall’s performance. I’d also like to add that Robert Carradine gives a terrific performance as FBI Agent Lundy as a guest star throughout the second season. ---

Image & Sound:

Colors are bold capturing the ripe look of Miami and clarity is quite good as well. I did notice some digital compression artifacts on the first episode but either didn’t see them later (I was pretty engrossed in the show after the first disc) on the While the quality of the DVDs is quite high, I’d love to see this show in Blu-ray since it is shot in HD. ***

Audio is equally as good with nice use of the 5.1 mix and the soundstage is quite good as well. The rear speakers are primarily used for atmospheric effects using it quite effectively. ---

Special Features:

I could do without the Adult like promos for the other Showtime series on the network. It’s on every single disc. Luckily you can skip them. The special features are less than special this time around. Showtime took the easy way out here giving us two episodes of the second season of the fine series “Brotherhood” which sadly continues to be ignored. We also get a sneak peek of season three of “Dexter”, text biographies of the cast, a photo gallery and online access to episodes for “The Tudors” and “Californification”. While any extras are appreciated featurettes would have been nice as well as commentary tracks. ***

Final Words:

The second season of “Dexter” stumbles a bit during the second season much like Dexter himself but midway through the season the show regains its footing. The performances are as usual terrific and strong. ***

It’s a pity that the extras aren’t better. Dexter doesn’t lack fire power in the talent department and this show along with other recent Showtime series shows the pay cable network making a serious bid for the HBO throne.

 

 
 
 
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