Dexter is probably the best show on Showtime because of the amazingly written plot, storyline and incredible acting, yet the show is rated a hard TV-MA for a definite reason. The violence that does happen is intense, brutal and bloody, with graphic images of corpses, dismembered body parts, and Dexter "punishing" his victims, whom are actually serial killers, by stabbing them in the chest, chopping off their limbs and throwing their mutilated body parts in the ocean. This makes him a serial killer who kills serial killers. There are common themes of murder, rape, pedophilia, self-mutilation, suicide, and bloodshed throughout the series, especially from the antagonists. Language is another big issue : frequent uses of f**k, motherf**ker, c**ksucker, c**t, religious profanities, racist terms, sh*t, and other vulgar/crude language which kids and teenagers should not learn at all. Sexual content is graphically displayed, with scenes of strong sexuality, nudity including breasts and buttocks, rape, sexual torture, and other strong acts. Drug use is common, which characters smoke, drink, and some use intravenous drugs (cocaine, heroin, meth, etc.) Dexter is a phenomenal show, but is driven ONLY for adults. When you watch it you'd understand. Hope this helps.