I am hooked on Showtime's Dexter, and it is strange to root for a mass murderer! I have watched Season 1 and Season 2 in what amounts to a Dexter marathon over the last two weeks. I will have to wait for Season 3 to come out, but will be watching for it both at the library and it's in my Netflix queue.
Based on the books by Jeff Lindsay, this is one of the more popular Showtime series. We learn through flashbacks (that are a little cheesy at times) Dexter is a survivor of a horrific childhood experience that leaves him with a dark need to kill in order to feel alive. As an adult he is without emotion and lacks the emotional need to connect with other people. He is raised by a cop foster father who teaches him to kill by a code - only those who have killed and escaped the reaches of law enforcement - and how not to get caught. Dexter becomes a blood splatter forensic expert with the Miami police where his foster sister is a homicide detective. Dexter avoids law enforcement, he makes some mistakes, has personal angst, and by the end of Season 2, whether he realizes it or not, the viewer realizes that he is a more human character than in the beginning. He cares about his sister and his girlfriend and her children - all of whom just started out as cover. Dexter may be a hero of sorts for those that view him as a vigilante, but as he becomes more human and the viewer becomes more involved, he becomes a hero for many more reasons.
The series is graphically realistic without too much gratuitous gore. It is suspenseful due to the storyline curves that are thrown at the viewer. There are no overdone cliffhangers at the end of the season. The characters surrounding Dexter in homicide are great - I especially like Angel the homicide cop, Vince the oriental forensics guy with a awful sense of humor, and Lt. LaGuerta who starts out season 1 with unrequited hots for Dexter but morphs into a much better and interesting character as the series goes on (you will recognize her if you are a fan of OZ). Dexter is played by Michael C. Hall, from the series Six Feet Under, and he plays this part as well as he did his character in that series.