5 Reasons Why a ‘Dexter’ Spinoff Would Be a Huge Mistake
With 'Dexter' nearing the end of its final season, talk is brewing about the possibility of a spinoff. Current showrunner Scott Buck recently signed a development deal with Showtime, prompting talk that the network's hit series could be extended beyond the finale. While we'll always be on board for more Masuka (more on that later), here are the reasons why a 'Dexter' spinoff would be a terrible idea.
While still capable of offering the occasional thrilling episode, most fans and critics agree that 'Dexter' peaked after season 4's Trinity Killer arc. Emmy-winning guest star John Lithgow gave the series its best villain, and the (SPOILER ALERT) season finale with Trinity killing Dexter's wife, Rita, and leaving his son, Harrison, in a pool of blood like little Dex brought the storyline full circle in a way that could easily have wrapped up the series. But instead, the show slogged on, giving us seasons both passable (season 5's moving, though ultimately forgettable Julia Stiles arc) and downright unwatchable (Edward James Olmos is a figment of Colin Hanks' imagination!).
Last season the writers' course corrected somewhat, ratcheting up the tension, thanks to LaGuerta's gradual discovery of Dexter's secret and offering up a formidable baddie in the form of Ray Stevenson's deadly crime boss. But the final season has been spinning its wheels, giving viewers little to invest in. (Did anyone really care about Dr. Vogel and the brain scooper killer?) It seems like the writers' only move is to bring back Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski), last season's murderous plant enthusiast. While the writers could ultimately deliver a satisfying ending, it won't excuse the fact that the show should've ended four years ago.
Dexter is such a unique character, thanks in no small part to Michael C. Hall's still brilliant performance, that he's a victim of his own success. There's no way the writers were ever going to make the supporting cast as dynamic as Dexter, so they never bothered trying, instead saddling them with boring romantic subplots and other nonsense that is never as interesting as whatever Dexter is up to on any given episode. Deb is the closest the show has to a multi-dimensional secondary character (and Jennifer Carpenter does a lot with some occasionally terrible dialogue), but the once sharp-witted character has been dragged down by tedious, often implausible plotlines. (Remember when she thought she was in love with Dexter?)
Sure, a spinoff could jump ahead to the future with young Harrison now following Dexter's "code" and offing bad guys. But the idea of Michael C. Hall taking over Harry's "ghost dad"/mentor role and advising Dexter 2.0 is just sad. As for the rest of the cast ...
Let's be honest here: the only reason why Dexter has been able to operate as Miami's premiere serial killer for so long is because his coworkers are terrible at their jobs. Dexter routinely gets away with destroying evidence, hacking into police databases to find crooks and setting up elaborate kill rooms around town, all under the oblivious noses of his dimwitted coworkers.
Honestly, who in Miami Metro warrants a spinoff? Batista, who somehow made it to captain despite the fact that he got caught with a hooker, beat up a fellow officer and completely ignored the suspicions LaGuerta -- who he was once married to, let's not forget -- brought up about Dexter? Quinn, whose sole purpose is to scowl and sleep with whatever female character needs a storyline? The new uptight lady cop whose name we can't be bothered to Google because the writers could clearly care less about developing her character? That said, we would totally watch the heck out of 'Masuka Nights,' a spinoff that exists solely in our mind where the randy forensic specialist moves to Daytona Beach to solve crimes and ogle Spring Break hotties.
Say what you will about 'Dexter''s gradual decline in quality, the show was groundbreaking when it debuted and quite the feather in Showtime's cap. It took the network from the home of late-night softcore movies and umpteenth showings of 'Major League' to a legitimate rival to HBO as the place for quality programming on premium cable. (There would be no 'Homeland' without 'Dexter.')
If nothing else, 'Dexter' will be remembered for breaking the rules of what constitutes a lead character in a drama. There's really no way a spinoff could top the original series or add anything new. And heaven help us if they go the 'Bates Motel' route and do a prequel. The only thing worse than a 'Dexter' spinoff would be a prequel where he just thinks about killing people instead of actually getting them on his table.
Fun fact: Showtime once planned to spin off another show that went from buzzworthy to "please pull the plug already." After 'The L Word' ended with a bizarre murder mystery plotline, the show's creator planned to spin the series off into a "women in prison" drama called 'The Farm' that would've starred Melissa Leo, Famke Janssen and Laurie Metcalf. (It basically would've been 'Orange Is the New Black' with more soft-focus sex scenes and Sarah McLachlan songs.) Thankfully Showtime passed on 'The Farm,' and opted to develop new shows. Hopefully they'll do the same with 'Dexter,' and allow the cast and crew to move on to new, less tiresome projects.