The latest season of Showtime’s serial killer with a moral code show, Dexter, is new on Blu (and DVD too) come August 14th. But does this sixth season of the critically acclaimed show still deliver the gory goods, or is it tired and should be put down before it becomes a pale shadow of its former self? You know, like what happened to The X-Files. It is pretty much agreed upon that the season before this one was only ‘meh,’ so does this season fare any better, or does it continue the downhill slide? Well grab your plastic wrap and your bone saw, it’s time once again to kill some killers with Dexter.
Season six finds Dexter wrestling with questions of a spiritual nature. It seems every season has a “Dexter trying to become a real man” theme. Can Dexter make a friend? Can Dexter be a family man? Can Dexter have a girlfriend? This time it is ‘does Dexter believe in God?’ And of all of the Dexter growing moments, this easily seems like the most forced and unrealistic. It comes out of nowhere, is totally out of character, and is only included to further beat season’s six’s them of religion into the ground. And yes, by that I mean this season’s big bad is a bible thumping wacko of the highest order.
Don’t worry, this review will remain spoiler free. So when I tell you that the religiously zealous psychos in this season are Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos, that’s only because it’s no secret. Unfortunately neither one of them ups the game of the overall show like John Lithgow did in season four. Furthermore, young Hanks is actually pretty bad here. Not horrible, but he walks around the whole season with just about two looks on his face. The first is bewildered surprise, the second is … well it looks like he smelt a fart. Seriously, I guess it’s supposed to be disgust, but it makes me giggle every time I see him pull it. I guess acting skills aren’t passed on through the genes. That’s a lesson I sure wish Jaden Smith would learn.
As for the story, a pair of holier than thou nut jobs want to end this wicked world, so they start killing people in the manor of the book of Revelations from the Bible. Naturally with such grandiose plans, things start getting serious very quickly as the body count continues to mount and only Dexter, the hunter of hunters, can stop the deadly duo. So the story isn’t bad, but it’s also nothing new. I can think of a dozen ‘God made me do it’ killers that have graced screens both big and small, and sadly they were all more memorable than these two. Furthermore the big twist of the season, which I won’t ruin here, wasn’t all that surprising, as I guessed it long before the big reveal. Easily the best thing about this season was the ending which was, in a word, awesome. But a great ending does not save an otherwise so-so season with a predictable twist and Colin Hanks walking around making his stinky face all the time.
Pros and cons of the latest Dexter season aside, what is inarguable is just how bad this new Blu-ray release is. Showtime seems bound and determined not to produce a decent Blu-ray set for any of their shows. While other cable TV companies like AMC and HBO put out excellent stuff just chock full of extras, goodies, and bonus content, time and time again Showtime’s shows get no love whatsoever. Sadly, this season of Showtime’s flagship show is by far the worst offender of the lot as the only way you can access these meager special features is online via BD-Live. That means if you don’t have your Blu-ray player hooked up to the internet, you can’t see any of them. As if that wasn’t a big enough f*** you to the fans, Showtime once again confuses “special features” with “pimping our far lesser known shows.” Besides a few short interviews with some of the Dexter cast, the only extras to be found are bonus episodes from three of Showtime’s other shows. Gee thanks, Showtime. You know, when I plunk down forty to fifty bucks for the latest season of Dexter, I actually want to see a random episode of Californication or House Of Lies.
So can I recommend this rather lackluster season of a once great show on Blu-ray that basically has no special features on it whatsoever? Well if you managed to catch it the first time around then no I can’t. The sixth season is not strong enough for repeat viewing and without a single extra on any of the discs worth mentioning, I really can’t recommend a purchase. Now if you have yet to see this last season and you are a Dexter fan, then you might want to pick it up, as season six is worth a watch at least. I do hope the next season can live up to this season’s awesome ending, and that Showtime finally puts out a BD set that’s worth a damn. Hey, you’ve got to keep hope alive, right?
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