Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lovable Dexter.


'Dexter'*) is among the TV series that I enjoy watching. I really think it's a well written, well performed and well directed story, and so, when 'Dexter - season 4' was delivered to me by messenger earlier today, I watched the first 2 episodes.



The series seems to have kept it's 'old, peculiar and laid-back charming style, good person descriptions, building on already established characters and story-lines - re-introducing characters from earlier seasons and thereby building suspense - and Dexter as the main character (TV Series name-giver,) has kept his disarming 'innocent' and boyish style as the 'cosy' narrator, confidentially describing the scenery and activity for the viewer completely as he (secretly) experiences it.

He does well as narrator, actor Michael C. Hall has a good voice for narration, and his interpretation of his character provides a good basis for describing and commenting on the daily goings on as he adds an amusing twist to the side-stories by the ingenious 'fresh' view of the sometimes childlike, but always logically valid, punchlines of his character. He manages to mix in with commonplace concerns that most people experience on a regular basis (or that is my guess) with matter-of-fact-like statements and details about his killings, with such ease and in such a direct but also relaxed approach, that it's hard for the viewer to not begin seeing his criminal activities as what they really are, before the moment when they actually take place ... and I imagine this is partly responsible for the serie's success ... at which point you realize with a small shock that this was actually REAL blood and REAL killing and REAL hunting victims down that Dexter spoke about 5 m in. earlier, and 15 min. earlier, and 30 min. earlier.

Of course the viewer knows all this from the very beginning - at least if he's watched any episodes prior to this - and it's the reason I find the series worthy of praise: It still takes the viewer through the circle, and does it effectively, because Dexter really is likable. In short: He's nice, without being cliche. His niceness and the freshness of his character keeps the show interesting ... along with all the other characters whom the viewer already are or will become familiar with, and learn to love or hate with Dexter as the story unfolds, and it happens painlessly because - our individually personal likes and dislikes aside - they're all lovable or hate"-able" in the same basic way that would make us love or hate them in real life.

That is my second claim: Dexter depicts not a deviant character, as much as it depicts all the feelings that are common for all of us - or at least for most of us - feelings we can identify with, at some level or other, and relate to.


*) ... I did make a search on 'Dexter' in an attempt to find a link to it's website, but none seems to exist.

8 comments:

TheNotablePath said...

Dexter is mostly successful because he kills all the right people. Tropes-wise, he's the Sociopath Hero, meaning, he's a monster, but he's our monster, fighting for us.

The show wouldn't have done nearly as well if he was killing "innocents", though I imagine it would have a cult following.

Zhawq said...

I'm sure you're right about that.

However, just 20 years ago this show would've been unthinkable. I still wonder how 'emapths' see the series.

A few times I've come across comments and postings clearly stating they dislike everything Dexter stands for.

Perhaps my friends are right when they tell me most people they know think Dexter is a monster.

If that is the case, the alluring aspect must come from something else than "our Dexter".

I just wonder.

TheNotablePath said...

I've spoken with about a dozen people about Dexter, mostly they come off as NT, but one can never truly know unless such intimate dark secrets come to the surface, no?

From those comments, and online comments I've seen, most people like Dexter because he takes out the trash. They find him charming and endearing, because his displays a struggle with his demons as opposed to simply giving in for the rush and pleasure. He knows that his prey needs to be exclusive or he will lose what measure of sanity he has. They respect his willingness to struggle, and his bad "good" deeds.

Though on a personal level, most would be terrified of him. They simply appreciate from a safe distance.

Zhawq said...

I think perhaps the public falls in two categories: Those who think of Dexter as a kind of Hero, and those who thinks he's a psychopath and an abomination.

I can think of a few online communities where the majority might like him, communities with fairly young people with a streak of rebellion, who dig heavy metal and/or Hip Hop and like movies where the lead character plays a gangster.

What do you think the opinion on Dexter is in the Lovefraud community?

Zhawq said...

Maybe I should pay Lovefraud a visit and ask them.

Sadly they already know about my blog so I wouldn't get the time of day at their site.

They've labeled me, can you believe it!??

Ettina said...

I don't think Dexter is a psychopath - if he was he probably wouldn't show so much concern about following Harry's rules, and about what Harry would think of his actions. Plus his genuine remorse over certain events even though they weren't entirely his fault (I won't go into more detail to avoid spoilers, but people who've watched as far as I have will probably know what I'm talking about).

But anyway, I like Dexter not because I think he's 'taking out the trash' (I oppose the death penalty) but because he's an interesting character. I'm fascinated by psychology, so a show focused on someone who's psychological makeup is highly unusual is something I find really interesting.

Anonymous said...

I do watch the show, but I also dislike very much how he is a good moral bad guy and only kills other killers. I mean, aside from the thrill of being the top predator,the competition and thrill, why else would you kill all the other serial killers. For a dead fathers rules, meh, its a watered down version of what could have been really satisfying. Good but ultimately frustrating.

dauh said...

sexy as hell thats why