Dexter season finale premiere
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After eight seasons, Showtime’s dearly demented drama “Dexter” is ending. The cast and crew gathered June 16 at Hollywood’s Milk Studios to say goodbye and view the final season’s first two episodes.

Since the studio had been converted into a blood-splattered screening room covered with props and memorabilia from the series, Julie Benz, who once played Dexter’s wife, wondered aloud, “Do they have the wedding ring, because I’m going to steal it.”

Benz, as well as former cast members Jaime Murray and John Lithgow (who snuck in at the last minute), joined returning thesps Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, C.S. Lee, James Remar, Desmond Harrington, Yvonne Strahovski and David Zayas and newcomers Charlotte Rampling and Sean Patrick Flanery.
The show uses the popular “Big Bad” TV trope each season, meaning, despite the abundance of death and gore, there’s usually one all-around villain story through the year. New characters are always suspicious.

“He’s white, empty and thin, and most of his sentences end in the middle,” was Flanery’s vague answer for describing his character, Jacob Elway.

Flanery said he’d never heard the term “Big Bad” before starting the series but he “was educated pretty quickly.”

For his part, Hall is stepping behind the camera for the first time, helming the season’s second episode. He also serves as an executive producer. So, is there any other job he’d like to have on the show?

“I’d like to be a Dolly grip,” Hall joked.

Regarding his career as a thesp, will he ever find a more upbeat project?

“What do you mean?” he asked with a laugh.

“I would love to do something a little more light-hearted and to find a way to not be surrounded by dead bodies,” said the star of “Six Feet Under” and “Cabaret” on Broadway.

Of all the gruesome stuff he’s seen on his two TV series, Hall reveals that what disturbed him most was the current season’s episode about a cannibal.

“That made me kind of ill, but for the most part if I know it’s fake I’m happy to pretend it’s real,” Hall said, before returning to a night of red velvet cupcakes and syrupy cocktails with names like Dark Passenger.

The final season of “Dexter” starts June 30.

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