Dexter: New Blood: how is the (successful) reboot of Dexter

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If you don’t remember exactly the last time you saw it Dexter Morgan, it is very likely that your memory has tried to remove what, in the opinion of many, was one of the worst endings ever of a TV series, even worse than that of How I Met Your Mother. We are in 2013, Dexter has decided to end the life of his sister Deb for an act of mercy; he miraculously survived a hurricane, and arrived in Oregon, building a new identity. A confused, unsatisfactory ending, capable of disappointing even the spectators who have remained faithful to Dexter, one of the flagship series of the Showtime universe, even in the last, shaky, seasons. Now, however, the network has decided not only to brush up on a successful franchise, but also to remedy the mess that aired eight years ago. He succeeds in Dexter: New Blood, the revival of Dexter aired from 10 November on Sky Atlantic and streaming on NOW which can count on two indissoluble certainties: the return of Michael C. Hall in the title role and Clyde Phillips, showrunner of the first seasons, to reinforce the loose bond fans have made with the series over time.

In a rewrite attempt very similar to the revival of Will & Grace, which effectively canceled what happened in the last season to start from scratch, in Dexter: New Blood we find Dexter in a new frame and in a new guise. Michael C. Hall, with his Julius Caesar haircut and beardless jaw, doesn’t look a day old, yet he is no longer a cold, calculating killer of yore, but a retired serial killer waiting for something. that revives his imagination. He no longer lives in hot and lush Miami, but in Iron Lake, a small town north of New York covered in snow that resembles, not too distantly, the skyline of the first season of Fargo, another Showtime hit that the writers cleverly bothered to create a line of continuity between the two products. By way of retaliation, Dexter, in this new, more contemplative and reflective box and with a new identity, that of Jim Lindsay, fits us just fine.. The slightly Nordic coldness gives the series a more intimate and introspective vein, not to mention that the protagonist is a bit like a hibernating creature that risks awakening his killer instinct at any moment. It hasn’t killed a human in nearly ten years, feeds his goats, goes ice fishing, participates in group dances, and most importantly, wrestles with his inner demon in the riskiest way possible: working in a sporting goods store crammed with guns and knives and sharing a relationship with a sheriff named Angela (Julia Jones).

Jennifer Carpenter e Michael C. Hall in Dexter: New Blood

Seacia Paul

Beyond the temptations that seem to recall him to his first mission, the one that led him to carry out murders so perfect as to seem like paintings to be exhibited, the viewer knows that it won’t be long before Dexter awakens his demon and kills again, and so it will be. Before getting to that point, along with many subplots that will unfold in the new episodes and that who knows how far they will take us, it must be said that Dexter New Blood corrected a lot of things that didn’t work in the original series, first of all the voice-over of the protagonist, omnipresent in every scene of the first series and here reduced to the bone, more careful to look inside rather than to compose a commentary on her thoughts. Another noteworthy novelty is the replacement of the ghost of Dexter’s father, which appeared frequently in past seasons showing us how the man had worked to help his son to direct his bloodlust in a just cause. with that of her deceased sister Deb, played once again by Jennifer Carpenter, a pivotal figure in the series who returns here with a more robust emotional tone, ready to suggest to her brother the precariousness of her emotional balance, very close to collapsing and sinking back into darkness.

Photo by Kurt Iswarienko

Kurt Iswarienko

At first glance, Dexter New Blood it is a corrected and more sober version of the original, able to describe, with a surgical air, the stalled condition of a disturbed man living on a tightrope – the idea of ​​working every day in a place where the blades of dozens of knives shine has the same masochistic flavor as a person on a diet that is hired at the Ferrero factory – and who doesn’t even try too hard to resist the temptation to re-embrace old habits. In short, eight years after the original, it’s a bit like Showtime is trying to make up for that confusing ending which has never convinced even Michael C. Hall himself. At first glance, between the entry of new characters such as Kurt Caldwell (Clancy Brown), a well-known and respected man but with a terrible secret behind him, and Harrison’s return (Jack Alcott), Dexter’s son he had with his now teenage wife Rita, seems to be on track to succeed, even if we will have to wait for the next episodes to understand if the forgiveness from the public will come without reservation or not.


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