The Power of Dexter’s Opening

By: Meg Schmit

I’ve been watching a lot of Dexter recently, a show that I hadn’t seen since my freshman year of college. It’s a brilliant, albeit inaccurate, depiction of a psychopathic serial killer who murders other criminals while simultaneously working as a forensics expert in blood.

However, the most interesting part I want to talk about is the opening sequence. It somehow manages to make ordinary, mundane morning activities seem violent. The abrasive sound of a razor against skin as he shaves, the bright red hot sauce dripping over fried eggs, the clean slicing motion as an orange is cut, and the aggressive chewing of steak. It’s described even more candidly in this article.

The entire opening makes you feel on edge, like you’re witnessing an intimate, violent act when in fact it’s simply a typical man’s morning.

The lighting, extreme close-ups, and jarring music combine to create a certain mood in the audience, and the extremity of it is incredible. I never knew how much such simple elements could change the entire reception of an image.

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4 Responses to The Power of Dexter’s Opening

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I completely agree. It has been years since I watched the series, but the opening the scene is still very clear in my mind. As you said, it gives you a certain nervous, on edge feeling that sets up the episode very well! It is crazy to think that his actions are part of his routine, but since they are filmed so intensely, up close and in great detail, that it makes you uncomfortable.

    –Maddie Turner

  2. mediaphiles says:

    This is such an interesting post. While I’ve never seen the show, I think you bring up an worthwhile topic: series openings. The opening of a show can have a huge impact, I think, on how you continue to watch throughout the remainder of an episode. It seems like, in this case, that that the opening to Dexter fits with this crazy, duality that defines the main character’s life.

    -lydia geisel

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I love the intro to Dexter as well, I think they actually received an award just for it. It is so intimate, uncomfortable and gross. They make daily routines look like the murders that they usually cut away from.

    Russell Lawrence

  4. mediaphiles says:

    Probably one of the best series I have ever seen. I’ll admit that I haven’t looked at the opening sequence as closely as you did. It makes a lot of sense and I completely agree with your idea. It makes it ordinary, mundane morning activities seem violent. All of the red foreshadows his love for blood.

    – John Armstrong

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