Dexter

Deutsch: Logo von Dexter

Deutsch: Logo von Dexter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, this might surprise you…it might not: I love the ShowTime original, Dexter.

There—I said it.

It feels…kinda freeing!

Why?

Well, the show is about a “good” serial killer. One who kills only the wicked. But, he takes it a wee bit further, in that, well—there’s no mincing words (pardon the pun)—he cuts up his victims, shoves them into bags, and tosses them into the ocean off the coast of Florida. And it’s on ShowTime, so you can imagine some of the scenes.

But hold on just a minute! Stick with me just a little longer.

I almost stopped watching this show in its first and second seasons (not sure exactly where this happened). But, then the producers did something that really got my attention: they stopped focusing on all the gore.

Now, mind you, the writing, acting, story, cinematography—all were absolutely stunning. Intelligently written. Powerful. Brilliant. This show is so damned well-crafted. Those who call the shots did something I really have to laud them for—they could have continued/turned this show into a real gorefest, but they decided to go beyond all the explicit camera shots and focus instead on the story. The characters.

And what an outstanding decision that was.

I still—and never have—agreed with the story’s contention that Dexter became the way he is because he’d watched his own mother butchered at such a tender young age, and had been literally left sitting in an inch or so of her blood and gore in a shipyard cargo container until found by the cops. In my mind, I’d think such an atrocity would scare a human away from such blood and gore…but the human mind can and does react in ways that defy definition. And in my mind, I translate his path in life more to reincarnational events. But whatever the reason, once you get past such logic, the show is perhaps the most powerful thing on TV, paid channel or not. My wife totally nails it in describing this show:

You’re holding your breath. You can’t breathe. You’re on the edge of your seat the entire time.

And only when the episode ends, do you inhale.

Exhausted.

Exhilarated!

But there are only three more episodes left, before the series go off the air. There are always DVDs (which I haven’t checked). But you have to get through the first couple seasons of gore to really get into the spellbinding stories that will abso-frigging-lutely rivet you.

As I’ve talked with my mother and others about this show, I can’t help but wonder what acting (or, er, watching…) in such a show can do to you. Your psyche. Michael C. Hall, who plays Dexter, recently went through a fight with cancer, and the show had to be delayed. But he’s back, and he’s just as powerful and brilliant as ever. All the characters on this show—Dexter Morgan’s sister, Debra (actor Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall are married in real life—and doesn’t she look like the long-gone Karen Carpenter! Tell me I’m not the only one to see this!); Quinn, Masuka (love his sick humor!), Laguerta, Batista, and father, Harry—are so perfectly cast, so incredibly well-acted. They are jaw-dropping to watch. How they fight with their own demons, many of which are every bit as powerful as the show’s main drive. And some of Dexter’s adversaries (two of my favorite villains are portrayed by John Lithgow and the current one, Ray Stevenson)—man, I’m simply running out of adjectives, here! Chilling!

But, what you do cannot help but transform you.

We can speculate all day back and forth, about why people do what they do, in real life and as actors, but I’m just thankful that the producers took the show in a new direction, took the High Road, because I’m just not a Gore Guy.

Man…I’ve been wanting to write about this for so long. It feels sooo…

Cathartic.

Gonna miss this show.

Okay. Think we’ll cut up some steak tonight.

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About fpdorchak

Paranormal fiction author.
This entry was posted in Leisure, To Be Human, Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Dexter

  1. I’ve never seen Dexter…heard it is very addictive – great characterization and certainly High Concept. If time allows in the future, I may check out all the CDs. Walking Dead I watch with Max when he comes home – he tapes them. I used to watch Monk and House, was very sad when they went off. I love characters you can love and hate at the same time. I suspect that is why Dexter is fascinating to so many people.

    • fpdorchak says:

      Compelling. Story and characters. And, yes, the “love/hate” relationship.

      I was so conflicted when I first started watching Dexter, because of the graphic violence. When I wrote straight horror, I’d realized that I had to focus on, well, HORROR (violence) for the length of the book, which is 2-3 years for me. I didn’t like that. So I gravitated away from it. So, watching the first few seasons, was tough. I find I don’t even like most horror movies anymore…but I think today’s versions are so graphically cruel and violent (i.e., the Saw flicks—I can’t believe people actually want to go and watch these kinds of films; I’ve never seen them but have heard enough about them) and go way beyond anything I may of liked in my horror days. I’m more into supernatural, not slasher. But this all played into my Dexter confliction. It was like driving by roadkill or road-side disasters–I just couldn’t look away…but BECAUSE of all the other GOOD STUFF, not the gore fasincation.

      And I should note, for those religiously inclined, the Debra character is quite the swearing potty mouth. Essentially, this show is not for the easily offended.

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