Video: 'Dexter' heads to dark, stormy end; what will be its legacy?

As Showtime goes into the eighth and final season of its serial-killer drama "Dexter," TV critic Mary McNamara and TV reporters Greg Braxton and Yvonne Villarreal discuss the show's highlights, low points and the definition of "final."

As "Dexter" goes into its eighth and final season, its legacy seems assured.

While other shows dabbled in the fractured -- often to the point of pathology -- hero, "Dexter" took the concept and ran, adapting a series of novels in which the hero was a serial killer.


In the premiere of our new video feature Talking TV, Times television critic Mary McNamara and TV reporters Greg Braxton and Yvonne Villarreal discuss the highs and lows of "Dexter," its effect on TV and how the season may end.

Deeply disturbing and darkly funny, "Dexter" was a show that, in the early years, fans "admitted" they liked, rushing to explain the moral implications of Dexter Morgan's code -- a blood splatter analyst for the Miami Police Department, he killed only those people who could not be brought to justice -- and the satiric implications of such a character.

Now, eight seasons later, serial killers are old hat on TV (see "The Following" and "Hannibal"), and  "Dexter" has suffered the same sort of malaise every long-running show encounters: problems with repetition, with character inconsistencies, with simple malaise.

But just as it was a new sort of show in its debut, so did it bring with it a new set of problems, including the off-set relationship between leads Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter and the shelf-life of a "likable" sociopath.

Watch the video above for a deeper exploration of where "Dexter" came from and how it may reach its final destination.

Give us your thoughts on "Dexter" and suggest other shows to discuss on Talking TV by tweeting @marymacTV, @villarrealy and @GeBraxton.