Dear Mr. David Nevins,
Hello, Entertainment President of Showtime. Nice to meet you: I’ve never met you but you’re in charge of a really swell network that hosts a bevy of super-awesome programming. Dexter, Homeland (seriously, that show makes me stay up nights), Shameless, Nurse Jackie! Heck, you even have Jean-Ralphio playing himself on House of Lies. And that’s just your currently on-air programming slate. Seriously — you’ve got quite the lot in life, my dudes.
Which is why it confused the ever-loving s**t out of me that you won’t rule out the possibility of a Dexter spin-off series following its eighth and final season. That’s right, according to you — in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter — you said you “won’t rule [the possibility] out” of a spin-off featuring Miami Metro’s most semi-lovable foulmouth. Sure, you said that “there’s nothing actively happening,” but you also noted that “you never know what the future holds,” either. To take a page from the Debra Morgan playbook: are you f**king s**tting me right now?
While we don’t know the series’ showrunners’ opinions on the matter, we just feel it’s necessary to stop you right here before the discussion even gets started. We’ll give you some props: Debra Morgan the character has finally become interesting, but only in the past two seasons. Which: well done, really! She was, for far too long, a one-dimensional parody of a character who swore a lot and just generally mean-mugged the camera ad nauseum. It was awful. Jennifer Carpenter has done a lot of growing in that role, and her work last season should certainly be commended — our immoral moral compass at long last in use.
But Deb is not a character you want to watch a whole show of: she’s pretty much a disaster of a human, and should probably face some very real consequences for, you know, being complicit in Dexter’s activities (oh and — SPOILER ALERT — murdering LaGuerta). And, really, when you knowingly and complicitly murder someone as a police officer: isn’t that sort of an endgame for you, career-wise? Imagine the hoops this show will have to jump through to make it even plausible that Deb will have a life worth living after all is said and done at the end of Dexter.
And that’s to say nothing of the fact that we need to just let a show end, already. I mean, christ on a cracker, you guys: not everything deserves a second wind, and trying to sneak in more fan-pandering under the guise of a spin-off rather than a reboot is just lazy television. As my colleague Kelsea Stahler pondered in her tale of TV’s cancelation problem: “if we drag this out, is there the potential of witnessing the ugliness and the cracks that come with too much prolonged exposure?” And nowhere more evident will that be than in a series that centers around a character that was so largely a second fiddler (and in the series’ best season — its fourth — she was but a tertiary matter at best) throughout the series entire run. Dexter is a show that does well because of one thing: Michael C. Hall. Let’s not kid ourselves here — Dexter is an interesting show pretty much solely because of the actor’s incredible chops. The rest of the series runs about like a telenovela with its head cut off half the time: which is to say that nobody needs that. No series could flourish under such erratic, unbalanced characters doing ridiculous, logistically unfounded things.
So, Mr. Nevins — I hope you take this to heart. From a Dexter fan, a Showtime fan, and just a general fan of the small screen: leave Debra Morgan out of this s**t. For good.
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