Dad: Unnerving. Somebody who could be so messed up ...
Mom: Real world, there are people like him, messed up. Serial killer.
Dad: Like, what's his name? He used to eat them.
Me: Jeffery Dahmer?
Dad: Dom-mer! Dom-mer! He used to cook people and eat them.
Me: I'm not sure he cooked them.
Mom: How did he eat them? Raw?
The conversation degenerated from there. Basically, this is not your grandmother's crime drama. It's easy to get behind a vigilante who tracks down the bad guy and then turns him over to the proper authorities (see Batman and The Pretender). We can even accept someone who seeks justice when the proper authorities fail (see Punisher and Firefly/Serenity). But a hero who kills people because he can't help himself, because he actually enjoys it? Never plays in Poughkeepsie. It doesn't help that Michael C. Hall is creepy as hell.
Dexter, pictured here relaxing at home.
Although, it really works for him. I'm sure his creepiness factor helped land him his first major television role as a repressed funeral home director on Six Feet Under. The rest of the casting on Dexter is similarly spot-on. From Dexter's ambitious sister Debra (Jennifer Cooper) and his insecure almost-lover Rita (Julie Benz) to his colleague/bully Sgt. Doakes (Erik King).
Debra, looking inappropriately adorable for a police officer.
Rita, with her abusive ex-boyfriend - kidding!
Doakes, in a PSA about the dangers of alcohol.
My only complaints were that the writing was, at times, simplistic (a lot of telling instead of showing, especially in the Dexter/Harry flashbacks) and the characterization was a bit spotty (especially Lt. Laguerta - if she wants to get with Dexter so badly, why is she such a bitch to his sister?). Still, an overall strong start for a series, and it intrigued me enough to drop disc one right back in the mail. Whether the rest of the season lives up to the show's promise (at least for me) remains to be seen.