Dexter: Season One (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-02-2009, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=128327&d=1230927910
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

83






Studio and Year: Paramount/Showtime - 2006
MPAA Rating: TV-14
Feature running time: 10 hours 51 minutes
Genre: TV Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Spanish Dolby 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter, Lauren Velez, David Zayas, James Remar, Erik King
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 6, 2009







"Takes life. Seriously."



Film Synopsis:

Dexter is a crime drama about Dexter Morgan, a man who leads a double life as an incredibly likeable forensics expert for the Miami Police Department and as an emotionless vigilante serial killer. Taught by his foster father to harness his lust for blood and killing, Dexter lives by his own strict moral code - he only kills murderers who can't otherwise be brought to justice. Dexter is a killer who grapples with fitting into society while, at the same time, he struggles with his inability to feel emotion. The irony of Dexter's life is that he works closely as a blood splatter analyst with the very people who hunt his kind - the homicide departments.




My Take:

I am familiar with Michael C. Hall from his days on Six feet under. I have seen him occasionally in other things but my first impression of him seemed lasting. Prior to this review I couldn't see him as believable as a straight man. He portrayed David so well on that series that for me seeing him in any other light didn't fit. Well move over David because Dexter Morgan is a whole other animal. Dexter is a dark and oddly entertaining program filled with interesting archetypes and characters. Fortunately for the innocent Dexter has channeled his penchant for blood into ridding Miami of the criminal element that have fallen through the cracks or who have failed to receive proper justice through the system. His work for the Miami PD puts him in close contact with those who would normally be on the hunt for him which allows him to keep them safely at arms length. While this plays a crucial role in the shows plot what I find just as interesting are the cases that he routinely gets involved in as a forensic analyst for the department, and his struggles to try to appear normal in his daily interaction with the people in his life. He is a complex individual who has no illusions about who he is or what he is capable of. The series is based upon the novel Darkly dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. This season focuses primarily on a serial killer known as the Ice truck killer who dismembers his victims and drains the blood from their bodies. He taunts the police and offers clues that are difficult to decipher but in an unusual way are directed at Dexter. Dexter finds his acts gruesome but at the same time he admires his precision. The hunt is spread out over the course of the season and it plays along with the other aspects of Dexter's life that when put together make for a very good show indeed. All 12 one hour season 1 episodes are spread out over three BD-50 Blu-ray Discs. I don't have Showtime so this is my first taste of this television series. I have to admit that if the opportunity arises to pick up Showtime at a good rate this series will be the first thing added to my DVR series recording list.





Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence, thematic material and language.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 82



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 84


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Dexter: Season One comes to Blu-ray from Paramount/Showtime featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 3.1 mbps.

This video presentation was quite good and featured consistently sharp and definitive image quality. Colors were visually enticing with natural highlights and vibrant depth. Fleshtones were delineated with enriching complexional structure and lifelike depiction. Contrast was boosted which made colors and the sun drenched exterior sequences pop but this came at the expense of washed out whites in many instances. Blacks were respectable and shadow detail was excellent. Grain was rendered in fine visible layers that occasionally became heavier and a little distracting. Digital noise was visible during a few darker scenes but it didn't rise to level where it negatively impacted fidelity. The lossless Dolby TrueHD multi-channel sound kept pace with the video quality and was also quite good. Dynamics were sharp and defining without being strident or edgy. Dialogue was rendered with succulent depth and deep room penetration which elevated the quality of Dexter's running monologue through the center channel speaker. The front soundstage was diffused with excellent separation and clearly articulated detail. The presentation didn't offer much in the way of discrete surround sound however the sound field had appreciable depth and spatial dimension via ambient extension through the rear channels. Bass response wasn't room filling however it appropriately supported the source elements and provided a tight, punchy low end.



Bonus Features:


  • Audio commentary Disc Two: Return to sender episode - featuring Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas, Lauren Velez and Erik King

  • Audio commentary Disc Three: Born free episode - featuring Producers Sara Colleton, Clyde Phillips, and Daniel Cerrone

  • BD-Live special features:

  1. The Academy of blood - A killer course
  2. Witnessed in blood - A true murder investigation
  3. Michael C. Hall Podcast
  4. First episode of Dexter, Season 3
  5. First two of United States of Tara




Final Thoughts:

Dexter: Season one is a dark, compelling and interesting crime drama that features Michael C. Hall in a role that is far and away his best. The show offers strong characters, smart writing and excellent direction. This release represents Paramount's first TV series release in high definition on Blu-ray Disc and it is a good one. Picture and sound quality are excellent. The bonus content, according to the press kit, is available via Blu-ray Disc Live and looks to be interesting although I could not get it to load during my evaluation. Fans of the series can look forward to owning it on Blu-ray disc. If you have not seen it I would recommend giving it a rent.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-02-2009, 02:24 PM
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Dexter is creepy.........yet fabulously compelling at the same time. I tuned in when CBS re-aired Season One last spring and was hooked. But now that I've seen S1, I'm not sure if I would want to own it. I also don't have Showtime, but they still get kudos for a great series.

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post #3 of 16 Old 01-02-2009, 04:19 PM
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Hmm the comments on the picture quality are interesting as when the show was aired here it was fuzzy at best even with the good quality feed for season 3 with telus cable.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-02-2009, 10:37 PM
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Season 1 was great. Season 2 was better. Season 3 was good.
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-03-2009, 03:02 AM
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It's definitely Region Code A? I was about to buy this as DVDBeaver listed it as all regions, so I'd better hang back for a while.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-03-2009, 04:18 AM
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This one will be a buy for me. I love this show but only saw the first season edited on CBS.


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post #7 of 16 Old 01-03-2009, 04:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elvisahmed View Post

Hmm the comments on the picture quality are interesting as when the show was aired here it was fuzzy at best even with the good quality feed for season 3 with telus cable.

Greetings,

The Blu-ray is definitely not fuzzy.

Quote:


It's definitely Region Code A? I was about to buy this as DVDBeaver listed it as all regions, so I'd better hang back for a while.

It is not stated so I can only report that it plays in Region A. It is certainly possible that it is Region free.


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post #8 of 16 Old 01-03-2009, 09:27 PM
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Thanks Ralph I will give it a try if I do decide to watch it all over again as the season 1 was gr8 but seriously the feed for Dexter here is fuzzy even though telus is known to send out a less compressed cable signal.
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-04-2009, 04:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elvisahmed View Post

Thanks Ralph I will give it a try if I do decide to watch it all over again as the season 1 was gr8 but seriously the feed for Dexter here is fuzzy even though telus is known to send out a less compressed cable signal.

Greetings,

I believe you when you say that it is fuzzy on your cable feed. I just wanted to assure you that the BD doesn't suffer from fuzziness.

Enjoy!

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post #10 of 16 Old 01-04-2009, 11:15 AM
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I've been a huge fan of "Dexter" since the summer of 2007 when I caught season 1 repeats on Showtime HD. January 6th is when this Blu-ray Box Set is released and its also my birthday. Guess what I'll be getting as a B'day present for #1?


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post #11 of 16 Old 01-05-2009, 08:56 AM
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I completely agree with Ralph re: Michael C. Hall. Six Feet Under is one of my favorite series, and before I started watching Dexter I was worried that I would only see David. Not quite - he made me forget that character within the first 5 minutes.

Dexter really is a must see show. Only caveat: though not exactly gory by today's standards, it's still not for the faint of heart.

D.


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post #12 of 16 Old 01-06-2009, 08:31 AM
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One of my favorite shows......I also was a big Six Feet Under fan, and it's hard to believe this is the same person playing two extremely different roles.....

Season 1 was great, although I thought Season 2 was a letdown. Season 3 just finished a few weeks ago and I thought it was the best yet.......
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post #13 of 16 Old 02-08-2009, 02:19 PM
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Can someone please tell me which episodes are on Disc 2 and Disc 3?! I'm netflixing it and I'm on "Father Knows Best" (now switching over to blu-ray format) but I'm not sure if the last four episodes are all on the last disc or not. Thank you!
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Quote:


Can someone please tell me which episodes are on Disc 2 and Disc 3?! I'm netflixing it and I'm on "Father Knows Best" (now switching over to blu-ray format) but I'm not sure if the last four episodes are all on the last disc or not. Thank you!

Disc 2 of the blu-ray set includes "Love American Style", "Return to Sender", "Circle of Friends", and "Shrink Wrap".

Disc 3 of the blu-ray set includes the following episodes, "Father Knows Best", "Seeing Red", "Truth Be Told", and "Born Free".
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-14-2009, 08:40 AM
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For a story essentially about a morally uninhibited, egocentric, mass murderer, this series is surprisingly compelling and relatable. Dexter is even likable; once you get to know him, he becomes the good guy, despite the delusional immorality of playing God. The exaggerated metaphor and duality of conscious is as stimulating as plot is cleverly thought out. Aside from the strong script, I especially liked how the first two seasons each concluded their storylines while keeping the character evolving and the plot changing, not content with milking a fresh idea into redundant stagnancy. I hope Season 3 continues the same.

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post #16 of 16 Old 04-21-2009, 05:02 PM
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^ I totally agree. I found myself laughing at parts where a "normal" person wouldn't, simply because Michael C. Hall pulls off the roll so well. The first season was epic for me, and I can't wait until season two is released in May. My only concern is...how can it meet or beat season one? Season one blew my mind.


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