Friday, January 15, 2010

Dexter -- Love him or hate him?

I recently got caught up on Dexter. Well... almost caught up. For those of you who don't know the TV show, its a dramedy about a serial killer who works for the Miami Metro Police Department as a blood spatter analyst. The twist -- the love/hate part -- is that he's a killer with a strict code: he only kills killers. This is where my dilemma arises. Of course, that kind of behavior cannot be condoned in society, but at the same time, I applaud taking such people off the streets, even in a fictional world.

Many would argue our justice system is broken. I've got no idea how to fix it, but in California, where we spend $50,000 a year on prisoners and $5200 a year per student, even I can see that something is wrong. Is Dexter the solution? Not only no... but hell no.
So why the fascination? Because it plays on the idea of a spectrum between good and evil, an idea that's been infecting my plot bunnies for years. I'm intrigued by the concept of one person's immorality being another's salvation. Or of someone typecast as evil doing good in the world.

Have you seen Dexter? Do you love him or hate him -- or both? And is it possible for someone so inherently evil to benefit society in a symbiotic manner?

~ Skylar ~


  1. I'm in the "love him" column, although I can understand all your reservations about it. To me, Michael C. Hall has a lot to do with my reactions to Dexter. Especially in the first season, his portrayal of a man who doesn't feel emotions, but who's very good at pretending to feel them was both fascinating and chilling. It's a little like a bad accident that you know you shouldn't stare at but that you can't really not stare at!

  2. I've seen it I like the one who plays Dexter but to me a lot of the other actors are not very good. So I really don't enjoy the show but my sister she is totally hooked on it.

  3. I've never watched it. To me the idea of a serial killer--not a vigilante, as I understand it, but someone who just really likes killing people but who's decided to only kill killers doesn't ring true. In fact, I've never even felt tempted to watch it...but, I have to say Meg's description just now might make me change my mind. Hmm.

    As to the State of California and its penal code--don't get me started. We could start with decriminalizing certain behaviors and activities...

  4. I agree, PG. For such a so-called liberal state, we have an awful lot of silly laws. And Meg, it was incredibly disturbing how good of an actor Dexter is. Props to Michael C. Hall for his impressive skills, though.

  5. I love Dexter. I've read the series since its debut - I remember I was on vacation in New Orleans with the first book (Darkly Dreaming Dexter) and telling my sisters in law - he's a serial killer, see, but he only kills killers...and they were like, ick.

    His character in the book isn't quite as socially smooth as in the TV show, and in the book he doesn't really like sex, which makes a lot more sense, considering his profound alienation from other people. But I love both the books and the series.

    And in the books, Cody and Aster have somewhat more interesting roles to play...

    The season three finale freaked me the hell out!

  6. I only watch the series on DVD, so I haven't seen the season 3 finale yet, but I've heard about it. And my son was still freaked at Christmas, so I know it's a real whammy!