I’ve complained for years about the many, many reboots and revivals that have clogged up TV. I hate what happened to “Arrested Development” when Netflix dragged it out of retirement for seasons four and five, and I was disappointed in the tepid returns of “Murphy Brown” and “The X-Files.” I found little redeeming value in “Dynasty,” “24,” “Dallas,” “MacGyver,” and so on and so forth, as they’ve all tried, without much creativity, to make money from titles that audiences were already aware of.
But then I started to feel like a whiner, plus I did wind up liking a couple of revivals, notably the second season of “The Comeback,” so I shut my mouth. I’d made my point loudly enough, and didn’t need to spend more time complaining.
But I am breaking my self-imposed rule because … because … I can hardly say it. Showtime is bringing back “Dexter” for another 10-episode season next fall. The show ended in 2013 with a (supposed) series finale that was thoroughly unsatisfying. But that didn’t much matter, because the last four seasons ranged from mediocre to awful, as the storyline lost its reason. I don’t need to rehash the business about Deb’s romantic feelings for her (adoptive) brother, do I? After the heights of the beautifully crafted first four seasons, which put viewers in the awkward position of celebrating Dexter’s righteous kills as the plots clicked into place, the show’s decline was tragic.
I’m not too surprised that “Dexter” is returning, with Michael C. Hall back as Dexter and Clyde Phillips (who was on board for the first four seasons) as showrunner. In the finale, Dexter faked his death and took on a new identity as a lumberjack — which at the time seemed like an obvious way to keep the possibility of a revival alive. That was the moment I fully realized that “Dexter” was a franchise, and not some weird little indie item. But only seven years have passed since it left, a played-out thing, and I’m not optimistic that it will somehow find its mojo again. Perhaps another go at ending the tale of Dexter Morgan is in order, since the first was so bad? Maybe that’s the positive note I need to end this item on.