Saturday, January 26, 2008

D is for Dexter

One of my sons recently introduced me to Dexter.

It's a Showtime Cable TV series based on the novel, Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. The title character works for the Miami Metro Police Department as a blood splatter expert and also happens to be a serial killer.

(Warning: If you're the least bit squeamish or don't like black humour, this is probably not for you.)

It's told in a first-person narrative. I won't give away too much of the plot, but in short; Dexter suffered a childhood trauma that caused him to become disconnected with others and have a compulsion to kill. He was raised by an adopted father who understood what Dexter was and who instilled in Dexter a certain warped code by which Dexter lives - and kills - by. His father also taught him how to behave in a way that would allow him to seem "normal". Dexter doesn't kill randomly and his victims are only those who have killed others and who have eluded the justice system. On the one hand Dexter acknowledges that he is doesn't feel the same as normal people and is a monster, yet his actions often show him to be deeply connected to certain people and that he cares about the good of society. He is the proverbial walking contradiction.

Deeply disturbing on many levels, it's also darkly funny.

The show's first season is currently out on DVD and the second season has just finished airing on cable networks. I watched the first season on DVD and just started watching the second season on a local cable network.

Apparently, some major US networks are thinking of airing an edited version of it on primetime TV. I think it would take an awful lot of editing to make it palatable for network sponsors and would probably change it considerably (and not for the better). My advice, if you're interested, is to try and see it on the cable stations or watch the DVD.

Another Encylopedia of Me blog.


Anonymous said...

This is right up my alley. Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

Sounds good to me! I wish I could afford those channels!

Anonymous said...

I plan to watch the DVD of it since I get HBO but not Showtime. I've heard and read good reviews of it. I watch Criminal Minds which goes into the profiling of serial crimninals, so this will be another perspective. I wondered about how it would translate to network TV and am glad to hear your comments about that, too.