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Dexter: New Blood (Blu-ray Review)

Dexter New Blood Blu-ray ReviewDexter: New Blood should probably be called “Dexter: A Breath of Fresh Air.”  That’s what the show was for me after the lackluster way it ended some ten years ago with Season 8.  Dexter became a lumberjack and the loyal Showtime audiences of the show became very disinterested.  I admit to being very skeptical and really not wanting anything to do with this new Dexter reboot so to speak, but a bout with COVID-19 gave me ample time to binge this “Season 9” and I’m so glad I did.  It may not have the warm, familiar Miami locations of the past 8 seasons, but the main draw…Dexter Morgan was back!  And he was back doing what he did best…killing the bad people and evading the law.  Follow me down below as I catch up to speed on everything Dexter: New Blood in this March 22nd Blu-ray release from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment.  A ***SPOILER WARNING*** has been issued below for those folks reading here who may not have watched Seasons 1-8.  Viewing them all are prerequisites for Dexter: New Blood, which I DO NOT spoil at all here.

Dexter New Blood

Season 

The eight-season run of the original Dexter series on Showtime premiered in the fall of 2006 and starred Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan, a complicated and conflicted blood-spatter expert for the Miami police department who moonlights as a serial killer.  The key point here though is he’s like an anti-hero.  His father taught him a code.  He only kills the bad guys to feed his “dark passenger,” which is how he justifies killing.  The show became one of the most acclaimed series on television, earning multiple Emmy nominations for best television drama series, as well as a prestigious Peabody Award in 2008.  It twice was named one of AFI’s Top-10 Television Series.  Then it all came crashing down in Season 8.  It was a dud, but even worse Season 7 wasn’t much to write home about either.  They ran out of wind and Dexter became a lumberjack after being marked as dead missing in the eye of Hurricane Laura.

Fast forward now 10 years after Dexter went missing in the eye of Hurricane Laura, Dexter: New Blood finds him living under a new identity in the cold, fictional small town of Iron Lake, New York.  He has done a great job of turning his life around, but his “Dark Passenger” ultimately finds its ugly way back into his life.  Furthermore, the community and some of its residents are exactly the outstanding citizens they appear to be.  This doesn’t bode well for our friendly serial killer and before you know it he’s back in action doing what he does best.  However, the law is also on his scent so we find ourselves once again having a “bloody fun time” with the character trying to balance both his outstanding personal identity and his serial killer tendencies while evading law enforcement and keeping his important relationships in tact.

One thing this season teaches us all is you cannot have it all.  That way of thinking even applies to being Dexter Morgan.  No matter how far you run the sins of the father and your own past seem to always keep up with you.  His conundrums he finds himself in are also part of the fun and tension the show was once known for.  And if you find yourself wondering how the heck is Jennifer Carpenter back in this series, well then you’re in for a special treat.  She is one of the best and brightest parts of this season.  Yes, I will admit, it does get borderline ridiculous at times.  However, if you’re a longtime fan of the Dexter series, I think you’ll agree they did this season justice and gave us fans a fitting final season in lieu of the train wreck that was Season 8.  Only time will tell if they green light another season of the show, but I’m stopping there before I step into any spoiler traps.

Dexter: New Blood is billed as a special events series on Showtime so keep that in mind when creating any expectations for a future season of the show.  As common sense would dictate the 10 one-hour episodes here reunite Hall with original series showrunner Clyde Phillips.  And as stated prior Jennifer Carpenter returns to reprise her iconic role as Dexter’s sister, Deb Morgan.  The cast also stars exceptional performances by Jack Alcott, Julia Jones (I really like her in this), Alano Miller, Johnny Sequoyah and Clancy Brown.

Dexter New Blood

Video 

Here’s how Dexter: New Blood stacks up in the video department.

  • Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Layers: (3 BD-50, 1 BD-25)
  • Clarity/Detail:  Detail is probably the strongest thing this video presentation has going for it.  Environments, hairs, pores, clothing fabric, wood, snow and more all look pretty pristine throughout.
  • Depth: There’s a pretty strong, three dimensional, depth of field on display thanks in part to the nicely defined environments,
  • Black Levels: Blacks are dark here.  There’s a lot taking place at night, underground and/or in the shadows.  The Blu-ray does an okay job of keeping everything in check and as visible as much as possible.  You may have had a different experience initially during the show’s original broadcast and/or stream.
  • Color Reproduction:  We may not have the bright, hot Miami sunshine in this one making us sweat, but what we do have is the stark white contrast of the snowy environments.  And what pops up against white?  If you guessed crimson blood red colors, you’re a winner! Other than that things are kind of bleak a bit.
  • Flesh Tones: No major complaints here as the flesh tones look neutral and fine throughout.
  • Noise/Artifacts: Clean.  There’s no problems with any source noise, banding or compression to note here.  Things are in the clear!

Dexter New Blood

Audio 

And here’s a closer look at the audio presentation of the new season on Blu-ray.  Just an FYI…Please note that the menu screen lists the audio track as English 5.1 Dolby Digital, but is in fact Dolby TrueHD 5.1.

  • Languages(s): English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Dynamics: Dexter: New Blood carries a nice 5.1 mix as the series has been known to have on prior Blu-ray releases. Its a nice lossless mix that is balanced and thorough with its playful behavior toward the dialogue, eeriness and even music at times.
  • Height: n/a
  • Low-Frequency Extension: I would say this is more about stability and the track holds its own here with enough oomph power, but nothing overloading.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: This is pretty playful with eery atmospheres and events integrating into the surround field, but dialed back a bit.  It never gets to the point where you feel embodied by it all.  It feels like just your semi-above average surround mix.
  • Dialogue Reproduction:  Vocals are clear and crisp with good characteristics of the actors’ diction being picked up with the mix.  I never had to strain to hear any spoken dialogue.  It’s very center balanced.

Dexter New Blood

Extras 

The Blu-ray, DVD and limited-edition Blu-ray SteelBook arrives in a 4-disc collection, featuring every shocking episode from the special event series, along with an exclusive 30-minute featurette that takes you behind the scenes with the cast and crew.  Sadly there are no codes included to redeem for a digital copy of the season.  My particular review version was not the SteelBook and shipped with a slip cover over the 4-spindle Blu-ray case.  Here is what you will find on every disc in this set.  The extras, san the thirty minute supplement on Disc Four, are not really much in the meat department (if you know what I mean).

Disc 1:

  • Episode 101: “Cold Snap”
  • Episode 102: “Storm of F#%k”
  • Episode 103: “Smoke Signals”
  • Why Now? (HD, 2:13) – Dexter Morgan is back: Hall, Phillips and Carpenter are here to tell you what to expect and how it’s all new and fresh.
  • Dissecting Dexter: New Blood (HD, 1:58) – SPOILER ALERT!!!! – Don not watch this one before you watch the season.  Deb is Back – Deb returns as Dexter navigates his new life. Hall and Carpenter dive into their roles as Dexter and Deb Morgan in this new season.

Disc 2:

  • Episode 104: “H is for Hero”
  • Episode 105: “Runaway”
  • Episode 106: “Too Many Tuna Sandwiches”
  • Dissecting Dexter: New Blood: The Kill Room (HD, 1:58) – Get a quick behind-the-scenes look at Dexter’s kill room and the psychology of it all.

Disc 3:

  • Episode 107: “Skin of Her Teeth”
  • Episode 108: “Unfair Game”
  • Episode 109: “The Family Business”

Disc 4:

  • Episode 110: “Sins of the Father”
  • All Out on the Table (HD, 30:04) – Spoilers ahead!  Here you will go inside the making of Dexter: New Blood as the cast and crew lay it all out on the table to dissect their characters; reveal exclusive behind-the-scenes moments, break down the emotional finale and much more.

Dexter New Blood

Summary 

I’ll go on record here saying it’s nice that the Dexter series was given a revival, sort of a second chance to right the wrongs of Season 8.  However, even with that verdict being typed by me I do feel the ending of this new season will divide fans.  I know it did for me (only reason why it didn’t get higher than a score of a 4 from me as I am conflicted…LOL).  It was a punch in the gut and I’m still thinking about.  In the long run though I am over the moon to have this as a potential final chapter in the Dexter series.  I think most fans will agree on that at least.  And for all the A/V enthusiasts out here the season gets treated decently in both the audio and video departments here on Blu-ray.  There are some supplements for you to sink your teeth into, but not a lot.  Dexter: New Blood ultimately comes recommended for me for both the fans of the show and folks that feel they need to have the complete collection.  Enjoy!

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Dexter New Blood Blu-ray Review

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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