Monday, August 13, 2012

Dexter Season 6 on Blu-Ray

Over the last 6 or so years I haven’t tried to hide the fact that Dexter is one of my top 2 or 3 programs on television. I can’t ever say what my favorite is because it changes from day to day but I can say, likely more often than not, this soap opera of a serial killer who doubles as a blood splatter specialists for the Miami Metro Police Department is more often than not, #1 on my list. I have always enjoyed the dichotomy of not knowing how to feel about this serial killer. Does one cheer for him, feel sorry for him, hate him, what? I have to admit, I have quit trying to figure out how to feel about Dexter and instead watch the show for the marvelous components of the show, from the opening credits until the closing credits, there is excellent writing, thought provoking scripts and ingenious plots along the way. Throw in some adult content and thought provoking and changing characters and you have the formula for one heck of a television show.

One of the things I have appreciated about Dexter is its willingness to address taboo subjects. I appreciate that because so many programs in the past have stayed away from the taboos, even though those taboos occur in real life. This season is no different but the show addresses a topic many may have some issue with. The primary topic of discussion this season is the issue of faith. Even the packaging of the DVD has Dexter with angel wings and he is called “The Avenging Angel” on the back of the product where he is stretched out as a crucified savior.

From the opening episode in season six we see the development of the plot line in the show that lasts through all 12 episodes. As the characters are developed we see Dexter getting used to his life without having killed anyone as of recent. As the story develops we also see him and the rest of the Miami Metro investigating a murder that has a number of strange religious references. This irony of this comes to a head when he has a confrontation with one of his victims about a tattoo of Jesus he has. As the story develops we see serial murderers by others that are based on the book of Revelation in the Bible. This peaks Dexter’s interest in religion as the story develops. Episode two takes on a unique twist that lasts for the duration of the show. As Dexter investigates the murders intended to rush in the apocalypse he runs into characters that challenges him in his faith concepts, primarily, Brother Sam, a devout Christian. Initially I didn’t know how to take Brother Sam or his role in the show. It has been my experience in the past that characters like this are there to give a negative image of people of faith. Without giving too much away, I will say, Brother Sam was a wonderful surprise. His character was devout, sincere and one who clearly shared his faith in love and compassion, with all people, including, Dexter. He is one of the best images presented in any program I have seen of a loving, caring Christian.

Throughout the season, while there are all of the murders, twists, turns and more, including the search for serial killers basing their murders on what they think will usher in the return of Christ. In these killers we see a Christian many would consider evil. They are nothing like the character Brother Sam. They are the extremist we sometimes see displayed and exemplified in the news who take religious delusions to the extreme. In the investigation and involvement with these two groups we see Dexter’s struggle with, even search for, the issue of faith, specific to the person of Jesus Christ.

I don’t see Dexter as a Christian program in any way, but amazingly, this may be one of the most spiritual television programs throughout the season ever aired. It is a modern day parable, complete with the search for God. It is as spiritual as anything seen on television in sometime, certainly on programming not intended to be “Christian.” I appreciated it because in some ways, it causes one to think of what is, and is not, “Christian.” If presenting a character that is genuine in their faith, which has gone through dramatic changes in their own life, is Christian, it doesn’t get much more Christian than this. If having language, nudity, sexual activity, and gruesome murders in it prevents it from being Christian, it clearly isn’t Christian. None of that takes away from the strong spiritual emphasis and questions asked that is appropriate for either a person of faith, or one seeking spiritual truth. There aren’t any guarantees that all ends up well, but it is real in how it is portrayed and the thing I like best is it leaves the challenges in the thought process, as good if not better than any other season off Dexter up to this point. The viewer is left with the challenge in thinking about a person’s ability to change, even giving some hope for Dexter.

I love my Blu-ray player, I love the digital quality on its picture and the wonderful sound quality. In those regards this DVD set doesn’t disappoint, in another regard though, it is a huge disappointment. Unless you have your Blu-ray player hooked up to the internet, which I don’t, you can’t view the special features on the DVD. Now my first impression with that is, that with my Wii and Roku Streaming Player hooked up to the net, I just don’t want to have to buy a DVD player with a wireless connection, especially when there is no reason that with the space available on a Blu-ray disc that Sony couldn’t have put the material on the DVD itself. I can’t express enough how much of a HUGE disappointment this is. It is so serious to me, that if purchasing the DVD and I knew this in advance, I simply wouldn’t purchase it. I realize that for many, maybe even most, this won’t be an issue, but for others like me, it is. Now none of this takes away from the quality of the program, but as long as a Blu-ray DVD costs a little more than a standard or regular DVD, especially for an entire season, this is an issue. I was able to track down some of the special features online and there are some great interviews, but the inconvenience of doing so was a pain. Because of the pain involved, I can’t recommend purchasing the Blu-ray version. I can recommend either purchasing the standard DVD if the special features are included or watching it via streaming on your favorite streaming outlet. When watching this season, ask yourself which representation of Christians is more authentic, that of Brother Sam or the Serial Killers on the show. Then ask yourself if you are a Christian, which one is more representative of how people see you and the rest of the Christian population. Now your comments are always welcome and it would be great to hear your response.

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