And it was.
Last year, the event was held in a tiny space near the entrance to the hotel. I showed up an hour before doors opened and had no trouble getting in (although I couldn't get a seat). This year, the event was being held at the same hotel, but I had a feeling it would be in a much larger space and the crowd would be bigger. I knew that last year people had started arriving as early as 4:30 p.m. (doors opened at 8:00), so I knew we had to be earlier this year than I was last year. We ended up getting there around 5:30, and were probably about 25 people back in line. We grabbed our spot and began our 2.5 hour wait.
Signage for the party!
The time actually passed rather quickly. They came around and gave out Dexter buttons and tattoos (to make it look like your cheek had been sliced, naturally - much easier to apply than the gash I created on my face for our Halloween costumes last year), and they even gave Dexter action figures to the first 10 people in line. All this activity helped distract us from the long wait, and Eric and I chatted and played some games and such, so time passed quickly.
Waiting in line, sporting my tattoo
At 8:00 they opened the doors to the ballroom and let us in to the cocktail area. They had the huge Dexter bloodslide mosaic there (we saw that at last year's premiere events), plus a free open bar featuring Dexter cosmopolitans (that were so strong they made me shiver) and delicious passed hors d'oeuvres (crab cakes, beef wellington, scallops wrapped in bacon, etc.).
Dexter mosaic made out of blood slides
With Dexter cosmo in hand
With the mosaic
Around 8:30, members of the cast began to arrive. The promotional info for the event had promised Lauren Vélez ("Lt. Laguerta") and David Zayas ("Angel Batista"), but the first to arrive was actually Jennifer Carpenter ("Deborah Morgan"). We had been hoping, hoping, hoping that both she and Michael C. Hall ("Dexter" himself) would show at this event, because we knew Michael was in New York City this week. (Speaking of, did everyone see him on Jimmy Fallon? Awesome.) Well, Michael never showed, but his wife did! I was able to make my way through the crowds to meet her. I told her I think she's fantastic (I do) and that my sister and I love the character of Deb (we do). She was very gracious and kind.
With Jennifer Carpenter
Lauren Vélez and David Zayas arrived soon after. All the celebrities spent time hanging out in the VIP area, but all made time to come around and speak to fans. Eric was able to get a photo with Lauren, who is pretty on the show, but really beautiful in person. I also met David, who was so friendly. He shook my hand and asked my name, then introduced himself. He was so nice!
David Zayas hugging Jennifer Carpenter when he first arrived
David and Jennifer chatting in VIP
Lauren Vélez taking a photo of Jennifer and a fan!
Lauren and Jennifer seem to be enjoying themselves (with David next to them)
Eric and Lauren
Me with David
Around 9:00, they started ushering us into another part of the ballroom, where they had a huge screen set up for the screening part of the evening. I wish that we had taken a picture of the line at this point - apparently they only let about 150 people in to this whole thing, but there was still an enormous line outside the ballroom of people hopeful to get in. I guess arriving early really did pay off! They ended up fitting all those people into other ballrooms to watch the show, but they missed out on the food, drinks and cast appearances.
The viewing room
It took some time for them to get all those people situated in viewing rooms, so the show didn't actually start until 9:30. But when it did get under way, it was great! I thought it was an excellent finale (although far less jaw-dropping than last year), and it is always so fun to watch shows/movies in a setting like that. When the cast members that were present came on screen, everyone would holler and cheer, people applauded when good things happened, cheered at the end, etc. It's just such a great atmosphere!
The start of the show!
When it was all over we waited around for a bit, just to make sure Michael C. Hall hadn't shown up late or anything. But, no such luck. We saw David and Lauren leave (I guess Jennifer had left early), and then we called it a night.
Lauren on her way out
I'll tell you what, Dexter sure knows how to put on an awesome event. We had a fabulous time, and I just love that show. I'm sad that it's over already, and can't wait for next season!