After rewatching all my favorite series I needed something new (for me, anyway), so I asked around a bit and a few friends of mine recommended Dexter. Although I knew what it was about - it's kind of hard to forget a plot consisting of a serial killer killing serial killers -, I have never seen any episode before so I thought I'd give it a try.
I knew it was impossible to live up to the level of Mad Men and The Sopranos, but I was pleasantly surprised. The protagonist is extremely well-written, one of the best characters on TV I think, and this not so tiny detail makes me watch all the episodes one after another. Dexter has a lot of flaws (the other characters are often quite flat and many of the dialogues and scenes are boring, sometimes even annoying), but the leading man's internal monologues, his philosophy, sarcasm and indifference save the show, big time.
As you might know, the show (and especially the first season) was based on a novel called Darkly Dreaming Dexter and it's pure genius. It is sad though that it took the creators another two years to come up with a comparably interesting storyline, but it was worth it - the fourth season is just as good as the first one. Currently I am watching the 5th and have yet to decide whether I like it or not... But for someone who's interested in writing (books, articles and screenplays as well), this series is a great lesson; on the one hand, you can learn how to write a character so that it's perfect, and on the other hand, you can wonder how you could improve those people and scenes that aren't so brilliant.
There is only one thing I cannot understand: how is it possible that one component of a series is one of the best things we've ever seen on TV, while the rest is only a so-so...? How can screenwriters be so right when describing a character, writing scenes and sentences for him and be dead wrong when doing the same for other characters of the same fictional world? Maybe it doesn't matter... Maybe we should just appreciate Dexter for what it is - Dexter himself.