So, I just finished watching Dexter. And since I've mentioned it here before, I thought I'd come back and share my thoughts... OK, no, that's not true. Mostly, I'm writing this here because after investing eight season's worth of time in that show, I am damned well at least going to get a blog post out of it.
Although, honestly, I think past a certain point I was mostly only continuing with it out of a sense of completeness and a strong, morbid curiosity as to whether the final episode was really as bad as everyone said it was. Which... Yes. Yes, it was. And all the more so because elements of it actually would have made a great ending to the show if only they, and everything leading up to them, hadn't been done so, well, awfully.
Seriously, someone could get a Masters' thesis out of all the ways in which Dexter grasps vaguely in the direction of some really interesting, brave, thought-provoking storytelling and then drops the ball on it, over and over. It is, ultimately, a fascinating failure. Sometimes it's an entertaining, even compulsively watchable one, sometimes one that threatens serious injury from all the banging your forehead against things it makes you want to do. Which is frustrating. Maybe it shouldn't be. Maybe it was too much to ever expect anything else. After all, one of my earliest reactions to this show was, "I don't see how this premise is remotely sustainable, long-term." I was right about that, and it's entirely possible nothing was ever going to make it sustainable long-term. But I can't help but wonder, a little wistfully, what it might have been like if it were written with real vision, by someone willing to fully embrace the fundamental fucked-upped-ness of it all and able to consistently resist the temptation to buy into the character's own self-deluded ideas about being a hero.
I will give 'em this, thought: they had some fantastic casting.