Saturday, February 17, 2018
TV and Media

Co-star Remar talks about final season of Showtime's 'Dexter'

It takes a bit of prodding, but eventually James Remar reveals a Dexter plot twist he just didn't like.

Remar, 59, is a character actor extraordinaire, with standout roles in The Cotton Club, 48 Hours, Sex and the City and two parts in Quentin Tarantino's recent hit, Django Unchained (he swears the two different hired guns he plays in the film — one gets killed at the beginning and one at the end — are not related).

Dexter fans know him as Harry Morgan, adopted father to pathological serial killer/forensic blood technician Dexter Morgan. Harry, who killed himself long ago, appears to Dexter as an embodiment of his inner logic, giving a flesh-and-blood reality to his inner conflicts.

And there was just one twist in the story of Harry Morgan, a cop who scooped a youthful Dexter up at a bloody crime scene and later taught him a "code" for only killing those who killed others, that Remar will admit rankled him.

When the writers revealed Harry had cheated with Dexter's biological mother.

"I never liked it; to be really honest, I didn't see him as that kind of guy," said the actor, who can come across as intense, even over the phone. "I had to go with it as much as I could and just accept the fact that he was a flawed human being."

As Dexter begins its eighth and final season Sunday, Remar continues what may be the most unusual supporting role in television. Not only does he play a ghostly sounding board for his homicidal son, it turns out Harry videotaped therapy sessions with a neuropsychologist discussing Dexter's code and status as a covert serial killer.

"I've always liked the idea of seeing some videotapes of Harry from the past, that a father could leave for his son," Remar said of the scenes, which pair him with standout English actor Charlotte Rampling, playing serial killer expert Dr. Evelyn Vogel.

As the season begins, much of the story centers on Harry's biological daughter and Dexter's sister Deb (played by Jennifer Carpenter, ex-wife of star Michael C. Hall). She's now crumbling under the guilt of having killed her superior in the Miami police force, Lauren Velez's Capt. Maria LaGuerta, after she guessed Dexter's true nature.

The "B" story centers on Dexter meeting Vogel and discovering her work with his father. Once again, Dexter gets a fresh look at his long-dead adopted father through the videotapes, lending more understanding to his own origins.

Ask Remar why we love such characters — serial killers, drug dealers and serial philanderers now star in shows considered among the best on TV — and he points to the way people idolized brutal leaders such as Hitler in their prime. "Human nature can fixate on pretty much anything, provided it satisfies some need," he said. "Michael's embodiment of Dexter, because he's so nice to watch, he's likable. The genius of Dexter is he was assigned a code of conduct where he killed people who won't be missed."

But don't dare suggest that Deb's anger at Dexter (she tells him "I shot the wrong person" the night she killed LaGuerta instead of him) is justified. "Debra made her own choices," Remar said, sounding like the Harry Morgan who Deb always felt favored Dexter in childhood. "You gotta look at these things as social commentary. Debra represents social conscience, law and order. Had she held to her oath, she should have called the police and reported him right away."

Which raises the question hanging over this final season: Will she eventually turn him in, anyway?

Remar can't say. But he will reveal another disagreement with producers: He wishes the series wasn't ending this year.

"I'd like it to go on forever," he said, laughing. "But this way, I wind up in TV heaven."

Comments

Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosXfinity: PowerShares QQQ 300 qualifying9:30 a.m.FS1Xfinity: PowerShares QQQ 3002:30 p.m.FS1College baseballIllinois-Chicago vs. Southern3:30 p.m.MLBAlabama State vs. New Orleans7 p.m.MLBCollege basketballSMU at UCF11 a.m.ESPNUSyracuse at Mi...
Published: 02/16/18
What to watch this weekend: ‘Everything Sucks!’ on Netflix, ‘Wreck-It-Ralph,’ ‘Star Trek’

What to watch this weekend: ‘Everything Sucks!’ on Netflix, ‘Wreck-It-Ralph,’ ‘Star Trek’

1996 MISFITS: EVERYTHING SUCKSAdd this one to your list if you were alive in the 1990s. Even if you weren't in high school, it's sure to bring back memories of Fruitopia, Oasis, flannel shirts and Alanis Morissette. Everything Sucks is a quirky comin...
Published: 02/16/18
Disney World announces June opening date for Toy Story Land

Disney World announces June opening date for Toy Story Land

Get ready for a playdate with Andy's toys. Disney World just announced the opening date for Toy Story Land. The area in Disney's Hollywood Studios is set to open June 30, just in time for the busy summer season, The Orlando park announced Friday on ...
Published: 02/16/18
Angela Bassett gives a shoutout to her hometown of St. Petersburg on her new show ‘9-1-1’

Angela Bassett gives a shoutout to her hometown of St. Petersburg on her new show ‘9-1-1’

It's hard to keep up with St. Petersburg native Angela Bassett. She plays the queen of Wakanda and mother of the titular hero in probably the biggest movie of the year, Black Panther, which hits theaters this weekend, and is also promoting the upcomi...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosMonster Energy Cup: Can-Am Duel7 p.m.FS1College basketballWomen: S. Illinois at UT-Martin5 p.m.ESPNUWomen: Purdue at Maryland6 p.m.Big TenWomen: Alabama at Tennessee6:30 p.m.SECPurdue at Wisconsin7 p.m.ESPNTemple at Wichita State7 p.m.ESPN2...
Published: 02/15/18
What if ‘Seinfeld’ was back on TV? 'It's possible,' teases Jerry Seinfeld

What if ‘Seinfeld’ was back on TV? 'It's possible,' teases Jerry Seinfeld

What if Seinfeld was back on TV in 2018 with new episodes and not reruns? What would it be like? Would Jerry get an iPad? Would Elaine use Tinder? “It’s possible,” responded Jerry Seinfeld to a question about a Seinfeld revival po...
Published: 02/14/18
Review: ‘Everything Sucks!’ pits A/V club freaks against drama club geeks in 1996-set teen drama

Review: ‘Everything Sucks!’ pits A/V club freaks against drama club geeks in 1996-set teen drama

Netflix's new series Everything Sucks!, well, doesn't.The nostalgic dramedy is set in 1996 and follows two groups of misfit teens as they navigate the awkward, the hormonal and the downright dull aspects of life in suburban Boring, Ore.It sounds a lo...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballUSF at UCF6 p.m.ESPNews; 820-AMIowa at Michigan6:30 p.m.Big TenClemson at Florida State7 p.m.Fox Sun; 1010-AMVirginia Tech at Duke7 p.m.ESPN2Kansas State at Oklahoma State7 p.m.ESPNUMississippi State at Vanderbilt7 p.m.SECVilla...
Published: 02/13/18
Chris Rock's first stand-up special in 10 years comes out this week

Chris Rock's first stand-up special in 10 years comes out this week

After a long stint away, Chris Rock is coming home.On Wednesday, one decade after his last stand-up special, Kill the Messenger, Rock, one of the most acclaimed stand-up comics alive, will release a new Netflix production, shot at the Brooklyn Academ...
Published: 02/13/18

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballGeorgetown at Butler6:30 p.m.CBSSNKansas at Iowa State7 p.m.ESPN2Oklahoma at Texas Tech7 p.m.ESPNTexas A&M at Missouri7 p.m.ESPNUBoston College at Pittsburgh7 p.m.ESPNewsArkansas at Mississippi7 p.m.SECMaryland at Nebraska7 p.m...
Published: 02/12/18