Friday, May 16, 2008

[LIF] Dexter

Yeah, I know it is really screwed up. But what an awesome series. It has the suspense of Prison Break, but is also an incredibly twisted character study. For those of you who haven't seen it, Dexter is a serial killer who also happens to work for the police helping them catch serial killers. Dexter is a self confessed neat monster and the show explores both the making of this particular monster and the inner life of a serial killer.

Now this is fiction. In real life serial killers tend to not be the masterminds we like to see brought down in movies. In real life serial killers are often the most pathetic of individuals. But that sort of villian is not very appealing to the masses. This is an interesting commentary on our perceptions about those things that are well beyond our control, that is the evil in our world. We like to think that evil is incredibly intelligent because that makes us feel a little better about our inability to conquer evil in our society. Just like we have convinced ourselves that terrorists are fine tuned organizations masterminding our destruction. We love a conspiracy.

The making of Dexter is incredibly interesting. Early on in the series we learn about the Code of Harry, Dexter's adoptive father. A cop who felt he could channel Dexter's murderous instincts into a force for good. Yup, it is good and twisted. The series really challenges notions we have about good and evil as well as moral responsibility. Plus it is just so darn creepy.

Just a bit of warning, I watched the Showcase episodes online so they have course language and occasional brief nudity. But to be honest, the gore is much worse. Watch at your own risk.

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