I rarely bother watching TV. Most of what makes it on the tube is mindless cookie cutter drivel. But there are a few exceptions and most of them seem to be on the pay cable networks (HBO & Showtime.) Dexter is the best drama on television right now. There’s nothing else that comes close to matching it’s riveting yet quirky and unusual story and it’s extremely interesting characters (mostly, of course, Dexter himself.)
So what makes the show so unusual and interesting? Well it’s basic premise is that we are watching the life of a serial killer named Dexter Morgan and we are watching that life from his point of view (this is a very important twist.) This forces the viewer into an unusual position of seeing things from the POV of the “bad guy.” Usually if we are watching a program on a killer like Dexter we would be watching from the point of view of the police officers trying to catch him.
Another basic plot twist of the show is that Dexter’s father was a police officer who actually taught Dexter how to do what he does and not get caught. Dexter himself works for the police (as a forensics analyst) and sometimes works on murder cases where he was the murderer.
So how does an average non psychotic person identify with a serial killer like Dexter? Well first of all there’s the twist that Dexter only kills “bad guys” himself. That’s an area which is open to a lot of discussion but it’s not really the thing that intersts me as I don’t think the point of the show is that Dexter is actually a “hero” of some kind. He’s not.
What interests me about the Dexter character is how he leads a double life. On one side he has his “normal public life” where he’s a forensics analyst with a girlfriend and a sister. And on the other side he’s got his “secret life” where he’s a serial killer. Obvious this secret life is something that no one else can know about. I find it interesting how he goes about his daily life hiding his other life beneath the surface.
Maybe the heart of the matter is that he’s always attempting to appear “normal.” I think that’s something that a lot of people can relate to, even if they are not serial killers.
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