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Blu-ray Reviewer
15,223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Paramount - 2008
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 629 Minutes
Genre: TV Drama/Thriller

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

Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter, C.S. Lee, Lauren Velez, David Zayas, Jimmy Smits, James Remar
Directed by: Various
Music by: Daniel Licht
Written by: Various
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 18, 2009

"Diabolical Dexter is back"

Film Synopsis:

DEXTER is back and more killer than ever. The Emmy-nominated Showtime Original Series (Best Drama Series, Lead Actor in a Drama Series) returns for an all-new season - and this time Dexter's got a new take on taking life. Having faced some of his darkest demons, Dexter's ready to put the past behind him. Now, with family life, a day job catching killers and an uncontrollable urge to do away with the ones that get away, Dexter's got his work cut out for him. And when a high-profile case sides him with powerful Assistant DA Miguel Prado (special guest star JIMMY SMITS), the pressure might be too great for even our beloved Dexter to hack.

My Take:

For those who may not be familiar with Dexter it 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. 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 Miami PD, 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.

Season three may very well be the most interesting yet.Things begin ordinarily enough when Dexter targets a local drug dealer named Frebo. He meets him and sizes him up by pretending to be a drug user seeking to get high. That night when he returns he finds Frebo engaged in a struggle with a knife wielding man. Frebo flees and the man turns on Dexter who subsequently kills him in self defense. It turns out that the unknown man, Oscar Prado, is the brother of powerful assistant DA Miguel Prado (season guest star Jimmy Smits). His death becomes a high profile investigation with Frebo being the prime suspect. The problem is that Frebo has seen Dexter and could identify him as Oscar's killer. Dexter begins attempts to locate him which draws Miguel Prado's attention. When he is approached by Miguel regarding him accessing secret database files on Oscar, Dexter convinces him that he has taken a personal interest in the case because he feels badly about the murder and wants to bring the killer to justice. Miguel buys it, befriends Dexter, and begins to share confidential information with him regarding the case. Unbeknownst to Dexter Miguel is willing to do whatever it takes to find his brother's killer and settle things. In the meantime Dexter's relationship with Rita takes a definitive turn which may require more of a commitment than he is willing or able to make. Deb wants to earn her detectives shield and sees the Prado investigation as just the ticket. However she is taken off the case for an insensitive remark passed in front of Miguel Prado and reassigned the murder of a local prostitute, which begins a series of killings where the victims have been found partially skinned. After the first victim is associated with Frebo the two cases are combined with him as the suspect and Deb is back in the mix. Dexter and Miguel's relationship continues to grow but suddenly becomes something more than either man could have imagined when Miguel accidentally discovers Dexter's secret. This leads to the show's most interesting and shocking series of events.

As the season plays out the tension builds for Dexter as he juggles his relationship with his new found associate Miguel, Rita, his continuing work and dealing with the Frebo situation which is beginning to escalate thanks to Deb's vigilance which has lead her to problems of her own. I don't want to give away too much but suffice it to say there is never a dull moment in this wonderfully written season that keeps interest high by continually pushing the character's envelope. All 12 one hour Season Two episodes are spread out over three BD-50 Blu-ray Discs. Once again I am surprised at the lack of bonus content that accompanies this great set. There are no bonus supplements available unless you access to BD-Live. Those without BD-Live enabled players or access to the internet, are out of luck. The BD-Live content doesn't offer fans or newcomers to the series an in depth look at Season three or the show in general which is disappointing. Regardless, Dexter: Season Three still shines brilliantly.

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.**

Audio: 84

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 90

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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Dexter: Season Three comes to Blu-ray from Paramount 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 2 mbps.

I reviewed Dexter: Season 2 on Blu-ray Disc in May and thought it looked and sounded great in high definition. This presentation is no different and in fact offers even better video quality. Images are three dimensional, exquisitely detailed, and at times seem to visually transcend the boundaries of the camera's lens to provide the looking through a window perspective. Colors are visually stimulating with rich, vivid highlights and natural rendering that looks superb. Fleshtones are delineated with enriching complexional structure and lifelike depiction. Contrast is strong without being distractingly overstated and blacks are dynamic, with deep, gradational quality and revealing detail in low lighting and shadowy backgrounds. Grain is rendered in fine visible layers that rarely drew my attention. This is a pristine and near reference quality presentation that looks impressive and is sure to please regardless of the size of your display. The Dolby TrueHD multi-channel soundtrack is presented similarly to the season's two previous releases and offers excellent lossless sound quality. Dynamics are bold and definitive without being ostentatious. Dialogue is rendered with succulent depth and deep room penetration which elevates the quality of Dexter's running monologue through the center channel speaker. In several instances I noticed that voices had a mildly sibilant quality. Its presence wasn't consistent or to the point of distraction but I thought it worth mentioning. The front soundstage is nicely 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:

It should be noted that I was unable to access any of the bonus supplements as BD-Live features won't be enabled until release date. Here is a list of the supplements that should be available according to Paramount's press kit:

  • BD-Live Special Features:

  • Interviews with Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter, Lauren Velez, David Zayas

  • Dexter by design - Book excerpts

  • First two season One episodes of Showtime series: United States of Tara

  • Two Season Three episodes of Showtime series: The Tudors

Final Thoughts:

Dexter: Season Three builds upon the success of the show's first two seasons and continues to be 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. Season Three is far and way its best and features a storyline that sees Dexter delve even deeper into the dark world that he secretly inhabits. Guest star Jimmy Smits give a wonderful and engaging performance that perfectly compliments that given by Michael C. Hall. Its technical presentation on Blu-ray Disc from Paramount is strong as it looks and sounds excellent. The bonus content doesn't appear to offer fans of the show anything other than a few cast interviews. Add to that the fact that access to the bonus features is only available through BD-Live (which leave those without BD-Live functionality out in the cold) and this is very disappointing. While this is worthy of consideration I hardly find it a deal breaker because this is simply one of the best shows on cable TV. 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.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)

Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen

Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)

Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator

Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

1,438 Posts
Jennifer Carpenter is so annoying I stopped watching. There are thousands of actresses that would be better than her.

Blu-ray Reviewer
15,223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Originally Posted by stepyourgameup /forum/post/17001294

Jennifer Carpenter is so annoying I stopped watching. There are thousands of actresses that would be better than her.


It probably helps that she is married to the show's star...


1,763 Posts
This show continues to be very solid. It is one of the best TV shows I have ever watched. Season 3 was really good. I really liked Miguel's character in this season. It was something fresh and new for the series. I can't wait until season 4 which looks like a dandy from the preview.

1,387 Posts
Man, I need to visit Amazon, I've still only watched Season One of this show. I thought it was great and have read nothing to keep me from moving on to the next Season except life. I'm glad to see the quality of the blu-rays are continuing!

17,048 Posts
Just got done with season 3 BR this weekend and overall another great season......best show on TV IMO. I did not think this was the best season overall though as I thought season 1 and 2 edged this one out, but still a great season none the less.
Look forward to season 4!

368 Posts
Awesome season of Dexter. I'm torn between which season I liked best....they were all so good!

And to stepyourgameup,

I like Deb, she makes me laugh. But i understand you hating her....my wife couldn't stand her at first, but by Season 3 she had come around.
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