Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Ever cheer for a serial killer?

I guess that's a pretty odd question. But make no mistake viewers will find themselves doing so.

Airing on the Showtime network is the excellent television show Dexter, which features a serial killer as the protagonist of the show.

In all fairness he's more of a vigilante than a serial killer, but I guess that's all relative.

I really am surprised that I like this show. It's not really stuff that I usually respond to. I'm not a horror fan, and certainly not a fan of the serial killer genre, but this show has me hooked.

I think that it's really innovative stuff. Maybe even the best show on television.

The series revolves around Dexter Morgan, excellently played by Michael C. Hall. Dexter Morgan is a police forensics expert specializing in blood analysis of murder scenes in the Miami police department. He has a sister who is an ambitious police detective, and he was raised by an adopted father who was a police chief, but has since passed away.

What we learn through the course of the show is that a childhood event has traumatized Dexter to the point where he now has a lust for blood that can only be satisfied by killing people.

In flashbacks, we see his adopted father recognizing his son's mental illness, and rather than committing him to mental hospital, he teaches his son, using the many years of his own police training, to act out against murders and serial killers. To satisfy his son's blood lust.

In effect doing some good, by committing murder.

He's basically like The Punisher. But his tools of choice are a drug filled syringe to disable his victims, and a drill and hand saw to finish the job.

What's great about the show is that Dexter is a extraordinarily flawed character. He's a misfit with very little social skills. The character is obviously insane, but he's learned to create a charming mask that society seems to accept as normal. Even though he's far from it.

The show doesn't back away from the fact that this man is a monster in his own right. But we still find ourselves cheering for him.

Perhaps it's because we recognize his struggle to fit in, his awkwardness in certain situations, or that we simply admire his brand of justice against individuals who deserve to die at the hands of a sadistic killer.

Whatever the case, it's fascinating television.

The major storyline right now is Dexter's relationship with a fellow serial killer known as the Ice Truck killer.

The Ice Truck killer chops up the body parts of his victims, usually prostitutes , drains their blood completely, freezes the parts, then displays them in unique fashion in a public place for all to see.

Taunting the police.


Dexter finds himself simultaneously admiring, and being repulsed by the man's work.

Things get complicated when the killer reciprocates his affection by showing his admiration for Dexter's own killing work.

Dexter is torn between feeling a kinship with the killer as a fellow artist, and bringing the man to justice.

Things are even more complicated when we learn that there is some kind of connection between the two of them that only the Ice Truck killer knows....and will reveal in his own time.

Besides the excellent work of Michael C. Hall. The show features an excellent ensemble of actors including Julie Benz as Dexter's previously abused, and slightly disturbed girlfriend. Jennifer Carpenter as Dexter's oblivious and ambitious sister, James Remar as Dexter's complicated, deceased adopted father, and the creepy Christian Camargo as the Ice Truck killer.

It's definitely one of the best shows on television right now, and it might even signify the end of HBO's dominance of subscription television. Combined with Weeds and the L-Word, Showtime may now have bragging rights as the best network on television. Especially after the incredible disappointment of the 3rd season of Deadwood, and HBO's original programming misfires of Lucky Louie, and Dane Cook's Tourgasm.

Make sure to check out the series on Sunday nights at 10.

The season finale airs this Sunday.

I can't wait.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

DUDE, Erin was talking about it like several months ago, but I guess it slipped my mind or I didn't give it a second thought, maybe because I was too distracted with other stuff on my mind at the time.

So then about less then two weeks ago I was just channel surfing late one night after I got home from work and then ended up running into Dexter so I was like, "Hmm... is this the show Erin was talking about several months ago? It must be." So I decided to leave Dexter on for a bit(it was near the end of the episode), and what can I say? I think I found one of my favorite shows. The show is just innovative and original. I don't think I've ever seen a character like Dexter Morgan before or a TV show like Dexter.

I came in on the show really late, so luckily for Show Time On Demand, I was able to watch Episode 1-10 and then catch the latest one when it aired in HD(gotta love HD!). But man... I SO CAN'T wait for the Season Finale of Dexter. That last episode is going to reveal a lot of things and leave a lot of things unsaid I bet.

All I can say about Dexter is, "Absolutely Phenomenal".

Another great show that I can't believe that they brought back(because they said they wouldn't) is the new Show Time hit series Sleeper Cell: American Terror.

But you can't really watch the new season until you've watched the last.

Sleeper Cell is really interesting because it digs deep down into a terrorist network and tells you everything about what a Sleeper Cell is and what they do... and it's totally realistic and stays true to what really happens. You should catch a few episode of the last season on Show Time on Demand. I don't think you'll regret it.