Why the 'Dexter' Revival Is Causing Controversy

Seven years after it aired its last episode, Dexter has been revived, though the renewal of the show isn't happening without controversy. Shortly after news of the revival broke Wednesday, and as some fans of the Michael C. Hall-starring series took to social media to celebrate, others took to social media to express their frustrations.

The controversy has to do with more than just the controversial ending to the series which aired its finale back in 2013 and is rather rooted in what many are viewing as a much larger problem taking place in Hollywood. In recent weeks and months, a number of female-driven and led series have met a far less fortunate fate, with everything from Netflix's female wrestling dramedy GLOW to the Cobie Smulders-starring series Stumptown being canceled for reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic.

In fact, just a week before Showtime confirmed the Dexter revival, the network announced that the Kirsten Dunst-led series On Becoming a God in Central Florida would not be returning for its previously renewed second season.

Starring Dunst as Krystal Stubbs, a minimum-wage water park employee in 1990s Florida who lies, schemes and cons her way up the ranks of Founders American Merchandise, Showtime had handed the series a Season 2 renewal in September of 2019. On Oct. 8, in a statement obtained by Variety, however, the network said that "due to the pandemic, we were unable to move forward with production on the new season." The statement added that "the pandemic has continued to challenge schedules across the board, and although we have made every effort to reunite the cast and crew for a second season, that has become untenable. It is with great regret that we are acknowledging On Becoming a God will not return."

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As many social media users pointed out, On Becoming a God was just the latest in a long string of series to be given the ax, and while these cancellations are due to difficulties surrounding the ongoing pandemic, fans couldn't help but take notice of which series were being impacted. In fact, along with GLOW, Netflix has also canceled Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, I Am Not Okay With This, and the recently debuted Teenage Bounty Hunters, all of which are led by female casts. A similar story has played out at other streaming services and networks, though several male-created and male-led shows have also met the same fate.

The 10-episode Dexter revival, meanwhile, is slated for a Fall 2021 launch on Showtime. Clyde Phillips, who executive produced the series during its original run, will return as showrunner, with Hall set to reprise the lead role.