I finally sat down and watched that show Dexter last night--the serial killer with no heart but at least purposefully directed killing urges....Anyway, I've had a few people ask me about it because they really liked it and, being a prosecutor they wanted to hear my thoughts.
I would even be willing to bet a large number of Travis County residents watch it and are fans!! (I lived in Travis County for 10 years, and I can attest that "Travis County values" are all over the map.)
My point: this show reiterates the fact that a lot of people feel justice when the most heinous criminals receive the death penalty. And on the show, there are no trials, no 15 years of appeals, and no last minute "come to Jesus."
It's pretty twisted. But it really is nothing more than Charles Bronson and Death Wish.
Can someone explain what this show is to someone who doesn't watch much television that is not suitable for family viewing?
Definitely not family viewing. Very dark.
This is a Showtime Original show that is being rebroadcast, with edits, on network television to promote Showtime subscription sales.
The basic premise of the show is that Dexter, a forensic investigator with the Miami police department, is also a serial killer. Dexter kills only those who have killed others and have been able to avoid punishment through the legal system. According to the storyline, thus far, Dexter was taught by his police officer foster father to kill only those who are guilty and to never get caught. There are flashbacks showing that Dexter has been killing since he was a pre-teen, starting with the local four-legged animals.
Also similar in concept to the rather forgettable Michael Douglas vehicle, The Star Chamber (1983)
I find it somewhat amusing that Dexter is being run by CBS, home of CSI Miami. The premise of CSI Miamiseems to be that the bad guy can't hide from the lab's cract forensic scientists while Dexter, a forensic scientist for the Miami Crime Lab, seems to be untouchable.
I know the show is just entertainment, but it bothers me to make type of hero from a man who kills other, no matter how deserving the decedents.
I agree, Janette, it bothers me, too.
That's what I think the irony is...prosecutors tend to be accused of attempting to thwart justice and heavy handedly apply the laws (including death penalty), but we are the same ones who would not like this show--even though it appeals to the normal human need to feel like bad people get what they deserve. I thought the show was entertaining, but no amount of tight shirts and googly-eyed looks at his pretty neighbor would make me see this guy in any better light--killer.
So also similar to Sudden Impact?
My mom just loves this show. She bought Season 1 on DVD and lent it to me, telling me how much I would love it. I made it 15 or 20 minutes into the pilot and gave up. I really don't see how anyone who waxes on and on about "hot, sticky blood" is an appealing character.
I can easily see the appeal of the show. It's similar to the appeal of the superhero in movies and comic books--you have a guy who takes justice into his own hands, without the restrictions of the law and the system. Of course, the problem with something like this in real life is that without the protections afforded by a system of some sort, you can't be as sure about the guilt of the defendant or the appropriateness of the "sentence." But it is very satisfying to watch or read about vigilantes who get the justice that so many of us feel is denied in real life.
While the show is very dark, and not for everybody for sure, I can see the appeal of it. I do hope that everyone who is watching it realizes that such a fantasy is not really the way we as a society want justice to be meted out.
This thread with its underlying discussion of vigilantism reminded me of an incident that occurred in Lubbock back in the late 1970s right after I moved to the Panhandle from the land of fruits and nuts. A young woman was raped by two men. One of her relatives--an uncle or father--shot the two men that the family believed had raped the woman. Unfortunately, the two men were not the bad guys and daddy or uncle went to prison for murder.
That's a great example of why these types of characters are only sympathetic in fiction.
The show is a take off from the book "Darkly dreaming Dexter" a novel by Jeff Lindsay. For those of you curious but not willing to watch a not-for-family show, you can pick up the book at the local library or bookstore.
I think the show does a good job exploring (in an entertaining way) our society's curious mix of love for, and revulsion against, violence. On one hand Dexter is is carrying out a rather crude form of "justice" by killing people who "deserve it." On the other hand, he enjoys his task all too much (in his odd emotion starved way) and does things like mutilate bodies and keep "trophies" of his kills.
If we are going to have a death penalty, why not have someone who *enjoys* killing do the job? Imagine hearing the following testimony: "I was happy when the perp went for his gun, because it gave me legal justification to blast his brains out. What a rush!" No crime, perhaps, but that just makes it even more troubling....
If thinking about such things bothers you, I'd suggest skipping the show.
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