There are few shows on television nowadays that are actually ‘worthy’ of being watched with more than just a blase expectation of something cerebral; something more than sexy pencil skirts or lots of by-the-book twists and turns.
House, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights and Dexter are these ‘few’ shows. All of them, save FNL have wonderful leading actors. Convoluted yet always striving for better, these are probably televisions (well atleast current televisions) Byronic heroes.
Much has been made of Hugh Laurie and his ability in House, as well as Jon Hamm in Mad Men. Both of them, especially Hugh Laurie are absolutely stunning actors. But amidst all the fanfare, for me, personally, there is one person who may very well be better than Laurie and Hamm – and this is Michael C. Hall.
Playing a serial killer in itself can’t be that hard. Ofcourse, playing scary isn’t that hard, neither is playing conflicted. To do these emotions well, however, is a completely different ball-game.
As the lead in Dexter, Hall is backed up some stunning storylines and incredible dialogue. But often, we’ve seen great writing fall by the wayside because of shit acting. Fortunately, it’s nowhere near the case with Dexter.
Hall plays about a billion different emotions, and plays ALL of them to absolute perfection. His character is at times as conflicted as he is assured. Too many times we’ve seen bad guys deliberately played as ‘sexy’, but Hall does sexy without even trying (and not in a Brad Pitt/Christian Bale manner). He isn’t TRYING to be sexy, and neither is he coming off as glamourous. I don’t know how to say this but he manages to frighten you, make you at ease, hate him, love him, empathize with him and pity him all within a few seconds. He is a frighteningly good actor who makes a frighteningly tough role all his.
I started writing this post hoping to elaborate more on what makes this show so great, and what makes Hall’s acting so remarkable, but I seem to have gotten bored half-way through. However, THAT, is purely a ‘weakness’ on my part; this show is watchable from the frankly disturbing opening credits sequence to the end. It has everything; great acting, great music, great dialogue, great story archs. The supporting cast is pretty good too.
If you haven’t seen Dexter yet, you’re missing out on one of the best shows you will probably EVER see.
The first season alone is some of the greatest tv ever.