After six action-packed seasons, even a show about a sociopath in sheep’s clothes can get stale. On Dexter (9 p.m. Sundays, Showtime) — based on the Jeff Lindsay novels — the series’ namesake is, on the surface, a pretty normal guy. A handsome nerd, Dexter has gone from living a bachelor life to becoming a father, all while working as a blood splatter analyst for local police. Of course, he’s also been secretly murdering people consistently for the past 20 years.
As a child, Dexter is adopted by a detective who quickly discovers the boy has an innate urge to kill. No stranger to crimes, Dexter’s dad instructs him on how to keep this “dark passenger” at bay. He must follow his father’s code — kill only people who deserve it and never get caught — in order to feed his evil hunger while maintaining an otherwise typical life.
It is important to note that he doesn’t kill “bad guys” because he’s some kind of dark knight — he does it because he must. His whole life revolves around his insatiable need to kill. Working with the Miami Metro Police, where his adoptive sister Debra is a lieutenant, Dex has access to crime scenes where he can shift facts and evidence around. He twists investigations in a different direction once he has the real culprit to do with what he may (Spoiler Alert: murder).
Over the seasons, though, we’ve seen Dex get a bit softer. He fell in love. He’s a father now. Things that didn’t use to affect him now matter. The storylines (particularly last season’s weak Doomsday Killer plot) were kind of shifting Dexter into a do-gooder role. Thankfully, this season, things are taking an interesting turn as Dex must “break code” and share his secret with a significant character — and the implications are hefty. Tune in Sunday to see how the two will share the dark passenger and enjoy a breath of fresh air for the series.
The First 2012 Presidential Debate (9 p.m., ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC) – Because life can’t be all about Modern Family and Criminal Minds, Robama takes stage at the University of Denver.
Life After Top Chef (Season Premiere, 10 p.m., Bravo) – As not to go a single week without some incarnation of Bravo’s golden goose, the network dives right into a new series following former Top Chef contestants.
South Park (10 p.m., Comedy Central) – Cartman embraces obesity with candy corn-flavored Oreos and motorized scooters abound. Expect a Honey Boo Boo Child appearance.
THURSDAY OCT. 4
30 Rock (Season Premiere, 8 p.m., NBC) – It’s the seventh and final round with the TGS crew, who return from hiatus to find Jack’s terrible fall TV lineup. Liz agrees to be Jenna’s maid of honor while Kenneth and Hazel host a party at the condemned murder site where they’re squatting their new home.
Project Runway (9 p.m., Lifetime) – This avant-garde challenge will determine which designers will create individual collections and compete at Fashion Week. Anyone else surprisingly excited about the recently announced cast of All Stars 2.0?
Glee (9 p.m., Fox) – Gleeks across the globe have been bracing themselves for this moment: the break up episode.
Jersey Shore (Season Premiere, 10 p.m., MTV) – The bronze bunch that introduced us to GLT and fist pumping return to Seaside Heights for one last summer on the shore. The Sitch talks about his stint in rehab and Snooki’s got a bun in the oven, but something tells me the days of shots and smushing are far from over.
SATURDAY OCT. 6
Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m., NBC) – It’s a British invasion with Daniel Craig and Muse.
SUNDAY OCT. 7
The Simpsons (8 p.m., Fox) – Some things never get old. Channel your inner terrified child with The Simpsons’ 23rd annual Halloween episode, “Treehouse of Horror.”
Boardwalk Empire (9 p.m., HBO) – In Chicago, Al Capone brings up beef with Dean O’Banion (real-life mob rival). In Atlantic City, Nucky and the boys have trouble with Rothstein’s shipment.
Homeland (10 p.m., Showtime) – Carrie stays in Beirut when Abu Nazir becomes the target for an attack; Back in the states, Brody is put in more uncomfortable situations by Roya and Mike returns.
TUESDAY OCT. 9
Parenthood (10 p.m., NBC) – Break out the tissues (just kidding, those are always needed for an episode of ’hood) — Kristina finally tells the family about her medical news.
Sons of Anarchy (10 p.m., FX) – Jax tries to get the gang involved in a new business venture.
CONTACT JAC KERN: firstname.lastname@example.org