It took several months, but I finally heeded J1’s advice and checked out seasons one through three of Showtime’s *villianlicious Dexter. This little junkie fell hard for Miami’s resident OCD vigilante and blood splatter expert. Nothing like being too broke to go out of town for 4th of July weekend to inspire one to sit in front of a TV for 3 days straight. Ordinarily this is where I’d defend my sloth like activities by explaining each season is only 12 episodes long and each episode is roughly 45 minutes, but no, it’s just that damn good.
The show, especially season one, focuses on the title character’s moral ambiguity as he follows his father’s code of ethics by satiating his need to kill by only disposing of the scum that makes it through our flawed judicial system, while simultaneously working as the Miami police department’s blood splatter analyst. Run on sentence aside, that is one hell of a premise. Is Dexter a good person doing bad, or a bad person doing good??
While mentioning the main character hunts and kills violent criminals while working for the police department may seem like it needs a spoiler alert, the charm of the show lies in our protaganist’s (bear with me here) intense desire to feel – anything. Dexter is constantly faking emotions, witty banter and friendly deeds in an attempt to appear normal, all in an effort to follow the number one rule of the Code of Harry: don’t get caught. Throughout three seasons Dexter rebels against dear ol’ Dad and experiments with the rules of the code only to realize that getting caught would mean the end of those around him, not just him.
Dexter blends in with society by being the forensics nerd of the police department, go to theorist on serial killer cases (if only he could request a consultant’s fee), doting boyfriend and step in dad to kids that aren’t in the show enough to be annoying, and an emotionally absent – but incredibly supportive – foster brother to one of the most foul mouthed (yet adorable) ladies on television. Dexter’s compassion to those around him leads this junkie to believe he feels more than he thinks he does – just not enough yet to curb his “dark passenger” activities for good.
As the series advances I’m starting to wonder if Dexter‘s progressing from “is he good or bad?” to “are the violent sociopaths of society created, and, if so, can they be reformed?” While it may seem a little deep for casual viewing, have no fear, Dexter‘s writers are able to infuse the right amount of camp and creativity to over come the darker elements of the show.
From Dexter’s inner monologues to his sparring with a suspicious co-worker or banding together with a like minded vigilante wanna be, you’d be surprised how much you have in common with this homicidal guy next door or how hard you can laugh during a show about a serial killer.