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Dexter

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I don't care if it's too gruesome, that it's on a premium channel you can't afford, or that the subject matter isn't your normal fare. If you aren't a rabid follower of Dexter on Showtime, something is wrong with you. After four memorable seasons, I, myself, am an addict.

Dexter Morgan is a talented blood-spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department. He has a troubled but loyal girlfriend and a detective sister whose biggest (nearly fatal) flaw seems to be falling for the wrong guy. In fact, everything in Dexter's world is near perfect ... except that he's a serial killer. His adoptive father, also a detective, caught on to Dexter's desires when Dexter was a boy, and, rather than chastise, offered his son a lifestyle choice. He devised a "code"—one that taught Dexter to be immaculate at his crime scenes and to only off bad guys. As an adult, Dexter now leads a double life.

Are you kidding me? This has to be the greatest premise for a show of all time. (I'm currently reading the Dexter books, too, which aren't bad.) When else would you ever root for a serial killer, as well as truly worry that he might get caught.

Michael C. Hall (HBO's Six Feet Under) is Dexter; Jennifer Carpenter (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) plays Dexter's sister (and his wife in real life); TV vet Julie Benz (Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Roswell) plays Dexter's love interest; and James Remar (Sex and the City, The Unborn) portrays the ghost of Dexter's dad. And they're surrounded by a phenomenal supporting cast.

Using downtime over the holidays, I finished off season three on DVD and dove headlong into season four, which concluded in December, on DVR. Wow. It's easy to see why Hall and guest star John Lithgow were both nominated for 2009 Golden Globes—both walked away winners in their categories. They are both wonderful, even if they alternate being the most infuriating. Each of the prior seasons has had plenty to wrench a gut over, but the finale this time? It may not top Snape zapping Dumbledore, but it's close.

Over the course of four, 12-episode seasons, Dexter has dodged suspicious coworkers, competed with fellow killers, evaded detection by his sister and girlfriend ... and somehow become the most lovable and understandable "bad guy" ever written. I simply cannot get enough of him.

Dexter is a lethally addictive show. It definitely makes the cut. And I'm dead serious. (Man, I just kill me sometimes.)