Ever since television series have become available on DVD, a void in my life has been filled. Not only can I get caught up on television shows previously unavailable to my cable-free existence, I can watch an entire season in one sitting. It seems to be a trend, especially for networks such as Showtime and HBO, to center a series on a character one would ordinarily have a difficult time relating to. Think Sopranos, Big Love, United States of Tara. Dexter perhaps poses the biggest challenge as it focuses on the trials and tribulations of a serial killer.
I was hesitant to watch the first season because the idea seemed a little creepy, but having been familiar with Michael C. Hall from Six Feet Under, I decided to give it a chance. It's easy to find sympathy for Dexter as you learn about his past, and when he is not targeting his next victim, one can almost identify with his struggle to fit in with others -- that is until you are reminded that his struggle has to do with an inability to feel emotion. His killing ways are made palatable -— or as palatable as they can be -- by his code which allows him to only hunt other killers. Is Dexter good or evil? This is the question the series continually asks.
Right now there are four seasons available, and the fourth season is perhaps the most chilling of all. It features John Lithgow in a brilliant performance as Dexter's nemesis, the Trinity Killer. The Trinity Killer is a more prolific killer than Dexter, and he also happens to be a pillar of the community, a family man, and churchgoer. As Dexter hunts him, he also hopes to learn from him as he struggles to hide behind the facade of a husband and father himself. After the first three seasons, you come to expect the close calls and miraculous escapes, but the outcome seems less assured this time. It's not always clear whether Dexter has met his match or seen his future.