I’ve got Dexter

under my skin.

How can I be so in love with a television show about a serial killer? With such an absurd premise as a serial killer trained to be efficient by his policeman foster father, and committed to using his drive to kill as a force for good (he kills only murderers who would otherwise kill innocent victims)? And who is finding his ability to feel emotion being brought to life by his relationship, initially faked, with a woman who is a domestic violence survivor? And is playing a mutually fascinated cat-and-mouse game with a “bad” serial killer, whose skill he greatly admires?

Ah, love is a strange thing. And Dexter is a fascinating, creative, entertainment.

Years ago I read Walter Winks Engaging the Powers, in which he makes a strong case against what he calls the “myth of redemptive violence.” I thought I did not embrace redemptive violence. And yet Dexter makes me question myself. It’s a smart, urbane, Miami version of a “Dirty Harry” sort of ethic.

There is a redemption going on in the story which has nothing to do with violence, an unfolding love which Dexter’s secret life throws into relief. It’s an allegory, I know. But it’s still kinda spooky that I like it so much.

With Dexter and South Park and Weeds, all I can say is who the hell thinks this stuff up?


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