Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In Search of Dexter

So, the weather here has been pretty crap lately. It makes me tired, grumpy, and a bit of a lump. This past weekend, when I _could have_ been writing, I wasn't. I was being a bum instead. And well, I decided to try to catch up on Dexter. I remember DEVOURING the first season, starting the second, and then getting caught up with life or what not. Umm, that was at least two years ago. Probably longer. Dexter is now on season ___5____!!! Yeah, I'm way behind.

For those of you who haven't watched this show... ummm, why not? LOL. Dexter is a GREAT series. The basic premise is this: Dexter grew up knowing he was different. He doesn't feel emotions the way others do; he doesn't feel anything except a desire to kill. His stepfather, recognizing this urge in Dexter, "trains" him to hide in plain sight by unleashing his murderous intentions on those in society who deserve death..i.e. other murderers. Hence, a serial killer who preys on other serial killers

Oh My Goodness. What is not to love about that premise??

Oh, there are other great things going on. The fact that Dexter works for the police department--blood splatters are his specialty. LOL. The fact that Dexter is involved with a woman with children, who in turn, has NO idea what Dexter is doing on the down low. I could go on. The tangled life Dexter leads is....well, uproariously hilarious. And yeah, I'm aware of how twisted that sounds. But it's true. Not only do I LIKE Dexter, but I darn well root for him to not get caught.

There is nothing more twisted than watching Dexter about to kill someone while knowing someone is right outside, steps away from discovering him--and FREAKING OUT--not because you hope this person might fly in and rescue Dexter's intended victim, but because you DO NOT want Dexter to get caught. You WANT him to kill the person and make a quick getaway. How sick is that? But that's exactly what I do each and every week. I cheer this flippin' maniac on.

What's my point in this?

Well, I realized while watching this that Dexter is truly one in a million. It isn't often that a writer hits gold with someone like him -- a lovable psychopath. Someone who engages in the most heinous acts imaginable, but who you kinda can't help liking anyway. :)

He's the dream, I'm telling you. That memorable character that I think we all, as writers, strive to create. Further, he's proof that sometimes we really need to stretch our imaginations and not pin ourselves down to the cookie cutter hero/heroine. That being "good" isn't always the most interesting path we can have our characters take.

After all, why be boring? :)

Dexter has an imaginary sit down with his sister... proof of how awesome this show is.


  1. Ahh, Jen!! I am now twitching for you to get to the end of season three, and then the end of season four. I expect we will have many many things to talk about in coming weeks. Many many.

    Dexter and I were buds before the TV series- as soon as I picked up the first novel a couple of years back, there was NO WAY I was leaving the store without it. It has to be the greatest breakout premise I've ever seen- and the books, let me tell you, are well worth reading. They're subtly different from the TV series, but you are so embedded in Dexter's head that there's never a hint of doubt that he's right to do what he's doing. And they're also laugh-out-loud funny, bizarrely enough.

    Anyway! Yes. Dexter. Genius. We're approaching the end of season 5 here (it's already ended in the US), and I've appreciated every minute of brilliance that goes into the writing of those books and those shows. They're a masterclass in character.

  2. Oh! I didn't know there were books! Must... add... to... endless... list...

  3. Deniz, they're by Jeff Lindsay. They're awesome. The first one is title DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER.

  4. I love this series!!! I started watching it on Netflix and now I'm ready for season five, which isn't ready yet. (Though I did get the first two episodes off JustinTv). I did buy one of the books (found at a thrift store) simply for the back blurb--it was a perfect example of what a query/pitch should look like. Anyway, love Dexter even though I should be writing.