Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) will return to Showtime in new episodes this fall. Until then, many fans are re-watching all eight seasons of the Showtime series.
Some fans may not be familiar with the title sequence of Dexter almost sounded very different than the iconic show opener we know and love. This is largely due to the upbeat song the showrunners originally chose.
‘Dexter’ intro music was originally very upbeat
According to title artmusic showrunners originally wanted for dexter the introduction is called “Miami Beach Rumbaby Xavier Cugat. The number is exciting and reminiscent of much of the Miami-inspired music used throughout the series.
Considering how Dexter takes place in a region influenced by Cuban culture, most of the music in the show is unsurprising. After all, there’s an ironic quality to a serial killer slicing his victims to a Rhumba song.
Yet, although much of the music featured in episodes of Dexter is surprisingly happy, the title sequence needed a song that would set the tone for the whole series. After deciding Cugat’s song was too upbeat, the showrunners pivoted.
‘Dexter’s intro song was almost Bernard Herrmann music
Bernard Herrmann is a composer often recognized for his work with Alfred Hitchcock. Herrmann’s dark, suspenseful music is featured in films like psychology and Orson Welles Citizen Kane.
Working with Herrmann’s strident and suspenseful music, the original title sequence had a darker quality to it. In the end, the showrunners felt the initial title sequence for Dexter may have left a different impression on fans.
Meaning of the introduction of “Dexter”
In the show’s title sequence, we see Dexter Morgan’s morning routine unfold. Not only does it remind viewers of how Dexter is a human being living in the guise of everyday life, but the title sequence uses mundane imagery to depict what viewers are about to see.
“[Dexter’s creators] kept using the word ‘banal’ over and over again,” Eric S. Anderson, who oversaw the Dexter title sequence, says Paste Magazine. “They liked Six feet Under ground and Pinch/Tuck for the banality with which both titles dealt with what could have been a visually hyperbolized representation of each show’s subject matter.
Rolfe Kent created the music for ‘Dexter’s intro’
When Anderson first heard Rolfe Kent’s music, he thought Dexter the showrunners were joking. “I played there and thought they were crazy,” he told Art of the Title. “I actually freaked out because I was so invested in the [Herrmann-inspired] track on which I had cut.
After a few hours of playing with the requested music, something clicked. “They were so right, and I was incredibly irrelevant,” Anderson continued. “The new track created a push-pull with the imagery; it put something grotesque in a completely humorous light. I loved how the instrumentation was loose and cabaret-worthy.
This cabaret quality makes the title sequence of Dexter all the more frightening for many fans. But for Hall, there’s one thing about the title that gnaws at him.
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As Anderson described it to New York Times, Hall doesn’t like the idea of Dexter cutting himself while shaving in the title sequence. “The worst thing he would do would be draw his own blood,” Anderson recalled, saying.
“Michael is an intense guy,” Anderson added. “He looks me in the eye and says, ‘I don’t understand this shaving thing. To me, honestly, he was Dexter.
Regardless of Hall’s comments, the showrunners kept the shaving accident in the title sequence. With new episodes of Dexter on the horizon, many fans can’t help but wonder – will the same title sequence be used for Dexter Season 9? Or will we see Dexter Morgan’s new morning routine?