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Dexter

"This is an awesome fucking show," Cas said to me. "I love it."

He was talking, of course, bout the show Dexter, a kind of crime show where the protagonist is a serial killer who only kills serial killers. I kind of hedged around the thing because the concept didn't really appeal to me--to be honest, it sounded cheesy and stupid--until one day he gave me the season one collection on DVD, and told me to watch it. Now, years ago, Cas discovered South Park, way the fuck before anyone had ever heard of it, before it became big, then small, then what it is now, and I love South Park, and he's never let me forget that he found it before me. When he tossed me the box set of Dexter, he went as far, even, to say that he had found South Park, and that I ought to listen to him because this new show is fucking awesome.

Yeah, well, it wasn't.

I'd like to say it wasn't, because that's how these narratives work, isn't it? You feel apprehensive about something, then you watch it, and it turns out to be sweet, but this wasn't the case. I was right: the concept was cheesy and stupid, and it wasn't helped at all by the fact that, in my opinion, the guy playing Dexter had all the charm and acting ability of a cardboard cut out. Also, he looked like a second rate Stephen Dorff. That should let you in on how much I thought about him. Every scene with the father and the young, just learning about his serial killer thing Dexter, set my teeth on edge because it rang so false and unconvincing. I figure the show is meant to be some kind of black comedy, and usually I can get into this, but I just couldn't. The sister annoyed me. The cops annoyed me. The girlfriend, a rape victim who fears sex, and enjoys Dexter's company because he's not into fucking (cause he's a serial killer), annoyed me also. I guess it's safe to say I didn't gel with the show, and that it just shat me, on all its levels.

Maybe you'll dig it, though. One of the guys I teach thinks it's awesome. He's using it in an essay about subversive genre use, and it is that, which I suppose a few people will get into, but way I figure, if you're going to create an anti-hero serial killer, you're going to have to do it differently to get my support.

But, since it's reportedly up to season four, it doesn't need me.

(crossposted)

Comments

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porphyre
Nov. 24th, 2008 02:58 am (UTC)
Oh yes, Showtime's nonsensical, blood-splatter serial killer who feels nothing, but for ANGST!

You and me both, on this one. It's like there's five writers, but only one of them's scintillating. The rest write TV.

benpeek
Nov. 24th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC)
sweet, i'm not alone. i thought i was going to be there for a while.
porphyre
Nov. 24th, 2008 04:13 am (UTC)
Oh, hell no. It's flat, effortlessly predictable, and full of characters that might encite empathy, if only the plot decisions didn't suck.
nick_kaufmann
Nov. 24th, 2008 05:07 am (UTC)
Gotta disagree with you on this one. DEXTER is one of my favorite shows!
benpeek
Nov. 24th, 2008 08:29 am (UTC)
yeah, but you didn't dig SUMMER HEIGHTS HIGH, so we all know your taste ;p
nick_kaufmann
Nov. 24th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've seen three episodes of SHH now. It's growing on me a little, but it's still not grabbing me.
benpeek
Nov. 25th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC)
i do think a lot of it is cultural. it probably also helps if you know kids like the ones he's portraying in the show. it's satirical, but it's so fucking spot on in what he's doing it, it's just awesome.
nick_kaufmann
Nov. 25th, 2008 03:59 am (UTC)
The amazing thing as that Mr. G and Ja'mie are totally caricatures, but when he's playing Jonah it's a full transformation, an actual character. You almost forget it's Chris Lilley altogether!
benpeek
Nov. 25th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
yeah, jonah is his best character, and it's really quite heart breaking in the end what happens.
strangedave
Nov. 24th, 2008 07:30 am (UTC)
I haven't watched it yet, though I have been meaning to just to see what all the fuss is about.

I did read the first of the books, though, and I found that he didn't ring true as a character for me at all. He is a movie serial killer, cool and slick and not at all real, not a real one, full of malice and spite and anger.
benpeek
Nov. 24th, 2008 08:29 am (UTC)
that's pretty much how he is in the show. though, to be fair, the show doesn't at all present itself as any kind of realistic portrayal.
mastadge
Nov. 24th, 2008 12:22 pm (UTC)
I do enjoy the show, but I don't love it. The big problem for me was in his character. He's a sociopath, except when he isn't. The writers want to highlight the difficulty of him pragmatically trying to fake emotions that he doesn't feel and can't comprehend in order to fit into society, and yet they also need to make him a character that the audience can actually relate to instead of a cipher, especially since he's the POV character, and so frequently those feelings he isn't supposed to have show up -- and then he gets angsty again about not having feelings!
benpeek
Nov. 25th, 2008 01:55 am (UTC)
yeah, i didn't really see much angst in the one episode i watched, but that kind've thing would seriously annoy me in a serial killer.
lucius_t
Nov. 24th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
It sucks. My Daughter-in-law subjects me to it whenever I'm in new york. I don't think she likes me.
benpeek
Nov. 25th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
kind've sounds like it to me.
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