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New Blood’ is a ghost of its former self — for good and bad

Dexter: New Blood feels extra like a ghostly reanimation than a recent monstrosity. That is good or bad, relying on what you had been anticipating.

Within the supposedly restricted sequence from Showtime, Michael C. Corridor reprises his function as Miami serial killer Dexter Morgan. Choosing up roughly a decade after the Dexter sequence finale — which noticed the Bay Harbor Butcher faux his demise, abandon his son Harrison, and go into hiding as a lumberjack — New Blood begins by introducing us to the do-gooder life of Dexter’s alias Jim Lindsay.

A neighborly outdoorsman dwelling within the fictional New York city of Iron Lake, Jim might look and sound like Dexter. However his flourishing romantic relationship with Chief of Police Angela Bishop (Julia Jones), in addition to his job at a native sporting items retailer and affinity for church-sponsored line dancing, inform a totally different story. Sure, Dexter is affected by visions of his useless sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), just like those he used to have of his dad. And positive, he generally struggles to hide his insatiable bloodlust, dormant since his final onscreen look. However for probably the most half, Jim is in a position to maintain his outdated methods at bay.

You realize, till he does not.

Oh my god, hi Deb!!

Oh my god, hello Deb!!
Credit score: Showtime

Throughout eight seasons, the unique sequence cycled viewers via a endless ebb and move of guilt that noticed Dexter consistently combating his urge to kill. That he and his “Darkish Passenger” would inevitably return to murdering grew to become one of the present’s most well-known beats; a lot in order that Dexter’s repetitive nature grew to become a frequent level of criticism in its later seasons. Nonetheless, reviving the sequence with out it is virtually unthinkable. And so, by the point New Blood delivers Jim’s inevitable first sufferer (so, that is what? Dexter’s one hundredth?), you will really feel a stale familiarity creeping in.

The premiere episode sees Dexter — er, Jim — going via the identical motions followers know and like to various impact. The tongue-in-cheek nature of the unique carries over into this one. However it’s a bumpy trip, with sure jokes touchdown higher than others. In a single scene, he’ll lie about being squeamish round blood and it will play properly. In one other, he’ll comment he isn’t a lot of a hunter and it will really feel staid. You possibly can chalk this as much as an overarching sense that every and each member of the New Blood artistic group knew they’d be underneath excessive scrutiny from followers and critics. The end result is a surprisingly timid thriller that makes you surprise if something riskier was even thought-about.

Angela, the latest in a long line of (probably) doomed love interests.

Angela, the most recent in a lengthy line of (in all probability) doomed love pursuits.
Credit score: Showtime

That stated, New Blood is arguably a higher present than Dexter ever was. Within the first 4 episodes offered to critics, the performing, writing, and world-building really feel extra akin to an earthbound Twin Peaks than a soapy crime present spinoff. Plus, the cinematography and particular results are vastly improved by the technical leap from 2013 to now. However with so little to evaluate, it is onerous to suss out whether or not this narrative arc will disappoint in the identical methods the unique finale did.

An aged-up Harrison (Jack Alcott) provides cause sufficient for hope. Although Dexter’s son’s reemergence was to be anticipated, the arrival of {the teenager} in Iron Lake provides an emotional heart that grounds the revival, even because the all-too-familiar will-they-won’t-they between Dexter and morality begins up once more. Equally, Angela and her daughter Audrey (Johnny Sequoyah) present a likelihood at a higher life for Harrison and Dexter/Jim that really writes girls properly — a large enchancment from the frequently misogynistic authentic run. That is all backed by a likable squad room forged (David Magidoff, Alano Miller, Katy Sullivan) just like the Miami PD of the unique, and a subplot involving a fashionable true-crime podcaster (Jamie Chung), which provides to the enjoyable.

Dexter Morgan, sales associate.

Dexter Morgan, gross sales affiliate.
Credit score: Showtime

Longtime followers of Dexter are positive to have an leisure itch scratched with this not-so-new tackle a beloved present. However whether or not they’ll stroll away feeling extra glad than final time is one other matter. It is good, however the risk that it will fall into the identical outdated patterns is a actual risk. Maybe that is an argument for watching New Blood alone and leaving Dexter off your queue for now.

Dexter: New Blood premieres Sunday, Nov. 7 at 9pm E.T. and airs new episodes weekly.

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