…when out of the DVD player came

I am Legend.

28 Days Later with Will Smith, New York, and CGI mutants who don’t spew blood.

DVD trivia. This was actually a good copy of I am Legend because it was pirated from a screener copy which had messages about how it was digitally watermarked and should not be lent, copied blah, blah, blah.


Dexter.

The guy at the DVD place often tried to push stuff onto me. For the most part, his efforts are misguided, but I’d try the first two series of Dexter.

Dexter is a forensic scientist who works for the police in Miami. He’s also a serial killer, but he lives by the Code of Harry and only kills criminals who manage to evade the system.

The first series concentrates on the Ice Truck Killer who likes to cut his victims up into nice, neat pieces, and who is stalking Dexter. It turns out that the killer is Dexter’s long forgotten and insane brother Brian who was also present when a chainsaw-wielding drug dealer chopped up their mother in front of the boys. Just to add icing to the cake, Brian dates Dexter’s foul-mouthed sister, Debra (Harry’s natural daughter) who says things such as, “I feel really safe with Brian.” Dexter finally works out who the Ice Truck Killer is, and recalls memories that he had kept repressed for decades. But Brian has violated the Code of Harry and must be disposed of.

Harry was the policeman who found Dexter and Brian after their mother’s death and who fostered Dexter, teaching him a code for his own safety when he realises Dexter has murderous tendencies. And in another icing moment, Dexter learns that Harry was using his mother as a grass.

In the second series, Dexter’s burial ground at sea is discovered, which brings the FBI to town. While Dexter does what he can to prevent the FBI from uncovering his true identity, he must also contend with Sergeant Doakes who has always suspected that there’s something wrong about Dexter. It’s a takes-one-to-know-one story because Doakes himself has a violent past. In addition to that, Dexter is torn between his vacillating girlfriend, Rita, and the barking mad British femme fatale, Lila. Lila blows Doakes up (thus solving one of Dexter’s problems), but manages to evade Dexter until he tracks her down to Paris. Dexter also kills the drug dealer who killed his mother.

And not to stint on icing, but Debra ends up doing the chief FBI investigator.

This is one of those series when the anti-hero doesn’t just face one crisis at a time, but several. When Dexter has Doakes captive in a cabin in the Everglades, he has to deal with a drug dealer, but has to get out of his house and return without his FBI protectors knowing. There’s also a good chance that Rita will phone him and ask him to collect the kids from school.

I’m not sure whether Dexter really has much longevity. The first series dealt with revelations about his past; the second with the perpetual risk of getting caught. The third might be like the second, but the person who gradually realises Dexter’s true nature might be his sister or Rita, which leaves him in a quandary about how to resolve the problem.

[21.08.14. From what I’ve heard about the final series or two of Dexter, they aren’t worth the effort.]

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2 thoughts on “…when out of the DVD player came”

  1. Oops. Sotty about the dodgy comment.  I’ll try it again:
     
    Have you read the original novels that DEXTER was based on? I think one book was called "Darkly Dreaming Dexter." I wonder how it holds up… SHOWTIME in America have been producing some decent series, including DEXTER; there’s also the stellar 2 series run of SLEEPER CELL, which is worth checking out if you have the 6-8RMB lying around.

  2. I did note in the credits that the series is based on a novel but I’ve never read it. I must keep an eye out for Sleeper Cell. I’m due to go DVD shopping again.

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