Monday, December 21, 2009


I love winter break and how it enables me to be a couch potato with friends.
Jo and I recently started watching season one of Dexter. We both had heard great things about the show, and during Thanksgiving decided that we would spend winter break exploring it.
So far, the series has lived up to the praise we heard. It is a fascinating series about a serial killer who kills serial killers. Dexter is a very unattached, unemotional man that has a desire to kill, a feeling brought on by early childhood exposure to brutal death. He is adopted by Harry Morgan when he is discovered at 3 years old at a crime scene. As Dexter grows, Harry is the first, and only person, to discover he desire for blood and death. Not wanting Dexter to get in trouble or to kill innocent people, Harry, who is cop, teaches Dexter how to maintain control and how to cover his tracks. Harry tries to channel this desire into something positive by teaching Dexter to kill serial killers, or only people who repeatedly harmed others.
When the series begins Dexter is an adult who works as a blood analyst for Miami Metro Police Department. He acts as narrator, bringing the viewer into his mind so he/she can hear him think. The first season revolves largely around a serial killer "the ice truck killer" who has been leaving bodies and body parts of hookers drained entirely of blood in different hotels around Miami. However, soon enough Dexter develops a relationship with this killer when the killer starts leaving messages to Dexter at scenes.
Dexter is intrigued by the killer, not knowing who he is, but feeling in some way connected to him. The ice truck killer has a style that Dexter in some way admires, although Dexter himself does not condone killing innocent people, he is fascinated by the control and planning that this person has.

So Jo and I both really enjoy the series. Dexter is a character I can easily relate to. I do not find myself desiring to kill, the show is more than just serial killers, but Dexter's detachment from individuals and his ability to put on a mask to "be normal" for the people around him is definitely something I see in myself. My inability to show emotions has often left me feeling awkward in situations and made me feel like I was abnormal. Dexter feels the same about himself, and even believes that he is incapable of loving. Throughout the show you see something more to him. You see a man who is struggling to understand himself and constantly underestimating his own ability or worth.

That being said, I'm kind of at a lose in determining if this show is a show I should watch/support. The story revolves around a serial killer and through the stories you actually empathize with him. You kind of want to justify his actions of killing even though he is a bit of a hypocrite himself. Killing people who kill, that just makes you exactly what they are. Is there such a thing as a noble killer? If you kill people who destroy others, is your kill somehow justified? The show doesn't support serial killers, what I've been realizing through the show is that it highlights the pattern of justifying one form of killing (namely, murder) as more acceptable than another. Or, more generally, weighing one sin as heavier than another when in reality we all sin and it doesn't matter how we sin. God doesn't forgive some sins, he frogives them all.

I totally didn't mean to take a religious sidetrack, but I just find this show so very interesting and it's really forcing me to think deeply about certain things.

I did some wikipedia research about the whole series thus far, I'm interested to see how my feelings toward the show change as new storylines are introduced. The show is artfully done well, the music composition is great, the cinematography, everything about the production of the show is wonderful to watch and hear. But, what is the main message of the story? So much to think about...

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