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Searching for a Serial Killer

25 Feb, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Reportedly there are about 50 documented serial killers on the loose in the United States, according to the FBI.

I was just looking for one. And he wasn't even real.

My girlfriend, who abhors gratuitous violence in films, surprisingly asked me about “Dexter,” the critically acclaimed Showtime cable series with Michael C. Hall (“Six Feet Under”) as an eccentric police blood pathologist who moonlights by slicing and dicing the dregs of Miami.

She'd heard it was good and wondered if I had the first season on DVD at the office. It's been out since August from Paramount but I couldn't find a copy. And since I don't get Showtime, recording it was not an option.

I know CBS is airing edited episodes of “Dexter.” But that's like watching soft-core porn or pouring water on my Wheaties.

So I asked around the office with little luck.

John Latchem, our TV DVD guy and movie reviewer, said he might have a copy. Getting it from him or anyone else in the office is often problematic. Some of my colleagues covet DVDs as much as little girls do Barbie. DVDs at the office are like currency. Asking for a disc is akin to asking his or her salary. You don't go there.

I considered electronic distribution. It's supposed to be the future of home entertainment. I write about it weekly. Sure enough, I found “Dexter” episodes that could be downloaded for $1.99.

But watching buffered video about a serial killer (no matter how charming) on a PC window didn't appeal to my girlfriend or me. A previous attempt with an episode of “The Closer” had mixed results.

Unless a video file can be viewed on a TV screen, forget it. Size does matter I found out when trying to watch video on my daughter's iPod.

Video isn't music. More than 844 million digital music songs were sold in 2007, up 43% from 588 million in 2006. Apple Inc.'s iTunes Music Store reportedly became the third largest music retailer in the United States.

Unless “Dexter” could be successfully converted to an audio experience, I was destined to go retail Then there it was. The season one boxed set on my desk, courtesy of Latch. I guess he can't review everything.

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