5 Reasons We Don’t *Need* More ‘Dexter’
I am a massive fan of Dexter. I love the series’ original run. And I love New Blood. The premise (which is adapted from the novels by Jeff Lindsay) is inventive and intriguing. Having a vigilante serial killer working within the criminal justice system and ‘closing cases’ that fall through the cracks makes for a riveting viewing experience. But all good things must come to an end. And Dexter did, albeit with a somewhat anticlimactic conclusion the first time around. But it seems that enough is never enough and the powers the be will continue to beat a dead horse indefinitely. In fact, New Blood is gearing up for a second season where it will follow Harrison (Dexter’s son); a prequel series is being developed; and certain memorable characters are being considered for standalone offerings.
While I appreciate the effort to keep the property alive, I think it’s time to let Dexter Morgan and company die a dignified death. With that in mind, I present to you, dear reader, five reasons we don’t need more Dexter.
Every time an IP is spun off, rebooted, remade, reimagined, or reinterpreted, it has the potential to lessen the impact of the brand.
That’s not a hard and fast rule, mind you. There have been several successful sequel series, prequel series, and a number of stellar cinematic reboots. But we are surely reaching the saturation point with Dexter. There have been eight seasons, plus one season of New Blood to date. How much more of Dexter Morgan’s story do we really need? This appears to be a case of not leaving well enough alone. Just because an IP has the potential to continue making money doesn’t mean it should be exploited indefinitely. There’s something to be said for going out on top.
New Blood gave fans (and Dexter) the perfect ending.
The Dexter series finale is somewhat universally regarded as a fumble. For that reason, I was open to Dexter: New Blood taking a stab (pun intended) at providing Dexter with a proper sendoff. And it did just that. New Blood gave fans the closure we deserved and gave the character the ending he deserved. It was poetic justice. Not only that, New Blood did a commendable job putting into perspective how nearly all of Dexter’s problems were of his own creation and how selfish he actually was. Until that point, the character had primarily been painted as sympathetic. But it was refreshing to see some of his faults and shortcomings come into focus. I couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion. And I assumed the final episode of New Blood would close the chapter on the property. How naïve I must have been to assume that would be that.
A prequel series will inevitably require the titular character and his counterparts to be recast.
The Dexter: Origins prequel series will feature Dexter as a recent college graduate. On that basis, there is no earthly way Michael C. Hall can portray him in this incarnation. Given the choice between bidding Dexter farewell and a new actor tackling the role, I would happily choose the former. Dexter Morgan is an iconic character and Hall is the Dexter we know and love. I have zero desire to see another actor take on the role. Further, I would really rather not see anyone else play Angel or LaGuerta or Masuka. Dear God, C.S. Lee killed it as Vince Masuka and I can’t imagine anyone else doing justice to his portrayal of the pervy, quirky creep we came to know and love.
Harrison isn’t a compelling enough character to warrant his own show.
I really liked Harrison on New Blood. Jack Alcott did a phenomenal job of bringing him to life and this has nothing to do with his acting chops. However, Harrison is, and always will be, Dexter 2.0. He was born in blood. He has the very same impulses as his dad and nearly everything about him mirrors his father. The Harrison character isn’t unique enough to carry a series on his shoulders. He was great on New Blood because he had his father to play off. But without a patriarch in the picture, his story becomes far less interesting. The dynamic between Dexter and Harrison where neither is being entirely truthful with the other makes Harrison’s arc on New Blood interesting and sustainable. But Dexter is no more. And I have little to no interest in seeing what kind of criminal mischief the younger Mr. Morgan can get up to on his own.
At some point, the creative well runs dry.
When a series is in its prime, there are so many different angles and ideas to explore. The possibilities are limitless. But when a show runs for eight seasons, plus one season of a spinoff series, what is really left to explore? How many new scenarios can be dreamt up for Dexter (or even Harrison) to get into? Almost anything that Showtime can throw at us would be derivative of that which we’ve already seen. Maybe die-hard fans that aren’t ready to say goodbye can find some value in furthering the IP with additional efforts. But this fan has had enough and is ready for Dexter to stay dead.