Monday, January 3, 2011

I'm in love with a sociopath

Through the magic of Netflix and Apple TV, I’ve finally gotten to watch Dexter, the critically acclaimed Showtime series (it’s won Emmys!) about a lovable serial killer. I was skeptical. A lovable serial killer? Kittens are lovable. Puppies are lovable. My nieces and nephews and great-nieces are lovable. But a serial killer? Friends I respect no matter what goofy things they recommend insisted I would like this show. So I gave it a try.

Let me say first: I love my Apple TV! Dexter streams so seamlessly through Netflix onto my high-def Vizio that I catch myself admiring the picture instead of paying attention to what I’m watching. It makes me so very happy. 

On to Dexter: I’m only four or so episodes in, and my friends were right: I love it. Michael C. Hall, who I thought would in my mind forever be David Fisher of Six Feet Under, is a totally different person as Dexter Morgan. Which makes sense. I mean, the guy’s an actor, after all. But still. I loved Hall as David Fisher. He was the kind, thoughtful brother who balanced the whiny, narcissistic Nate, played by Peter Krause. It still irks me that Six Feet Under killed off David’s gorgeous partner, Keith, in the series finale. And no matter how many times I watch Brothers & Sisters, Rachel Griffiths will always be the self-destructive Brenda to me. The day Sarah Walker has sex with a stranger in a department store, I won’t be surprised. But I digress. Happens.

Back to Dexter: The storytelling in this show is rich with details. Only four eps in, and I already know how Dexter became a serial killer and how long he’s struggled to hide the fact that he’s a sociopath. It’s interesting, to me anyway, that all the things he does to “pretend” he’s normal are the things that endear him to me. He says and does the right things to put his emotionally damaged girlfriend at ease. He dotes on her kids. He looks out for his sister. And he’s helping the police track another serial killer. It’s a game to him, but he’s still helping. 

What I love most about Dexter: The people he tortures and kills are bad, bad people. The innocent appear to be safe with him. In one of the early eps, for instance, his girlfriend, Rita, has a problem with her super bitchy neighbor, who’s not taking very good care of the dog her ex left behind. She’s not starving it or anything. She just leaves it in the back yard, where it cries and whines a lot. Dexter tries to get the neighbor to take the dog inside, because the crying is upsetting Rita’s kids and interrupting their sleep. The cranky neighbor blows him off. She also blows off Rita, leveling a cruel jab or two at her, too. As I was watching, I kept thinking, “Dexter needs to kill that bitch.” And I kinda worried about what might happen to the dog. But Dexter does nothing to either one -- because even though the neighbor is a cold-hearted witch, she’s innocent. Turns out, I was the one who wanted her dead, not Dexter. And I’m not a sociopath. (I swear!)  

I’m looking forward to how this series plays out. I expect good things. And I expect Dexter will keep playing with my morals and emotions. Sounds good to me!

Anybody else watching Dexter? Or maybe you discovered a great TV show or movie that you at first thought wouldn't appeal to you?


  1. Hi, Chris! Ohhhhhh, Torchwood. Good one! I just now added the first two seasons to my Netflix queue.
    You should try Dexter. It's not as gory as you might think. I mean, it's not PG, but for a show about a serial killer, it's less violent than I expected.

  2. Good to know. I am curious about Dexter, but not interested if it is super brutal.

    Give Torchwood a little time to grow on you. I wasn't sold at first. The characters and relationships are great though. I think that is what got Mary hooked. Now I'm really into Being Human. We have watched season 1. Waiting for the first disc in season 2.

  3. Say, how come I don't see my blog in your blog list to the right? ;)

  4. Doh!!! I will add your blog right away. :)
    You must be watching the British Being Human. I saw in Syfy that an American version is coming up pretty soon.

  5. Yes, we are watching the BBC version. Can't imagine the American version will have the same feel as the original. I also saw something about Syfy's reboot just this morning. will be interesting to hear how it is received.

    Thanks for the add! I will be getting more in the blog about my writing in 2011, so I'll fit in better with the selection in your list.

  6. That's excellent, Chris! I can't wait to hear more about your writing. I imagine you're as good (if not BETTER!) than Dean Koontz.