Dexter is an American television drama series that centers on Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a bloodstain pattern analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department who moonlights as a serial killer. The show debuted on October 1, 2006, on Showtime and the fifth season ended on December 12, 2010. As of December 2, 2010, the show has been renewed for a sixth season. Set in Miami, the show's first season was largely based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay, the first of his series of Dexter novels. Subsequent seasons have evolved independently of Lindsay's works. It was adapted for television by screenwriter James Manos, Jr., who wrote the first episode.
Dexter structures his killing around "Harry's code", a body of ethics and procedures devised by his adoptive father Harry Morgan (who was a Miami cop) to make sure Dexter never gets caught and to ensure that Dexter kills only morally wrong people. Harry also trained Dexter in how to interact convincingly with other people despite his dissociative mental illness, which Harry believed to be psychopathy, arising from Dexter witnessing the brutal murder of his biological mother, Laura Moser. As an adult, Dexter has largely escaped suspicion (with some exceptions) by being genial and generous and maintaining generally superficial relationships. However, his attachment to his foster (and ultimately adoptive) sister, Debra, his girlfriend (later wife), Rita, his stepchildren, Astor and Cody, and later his biological son, Harrison, have all complicated his double life and made him question his need to kill.
In fact, in the first season, his relationship with Rita set in motion the slow but steady humanization of Dexter, progressing further with each season, as Dexter begins to experience a variety of emotions for the first time in decades.
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