(excuse me while I fanboy all over this show)
This all started with a free preview of Showtime. Over the course of four days, I watched 10 episodes of Dexter season 4. The damn preview ended a day earlier than I thought it did, so I missed the last two episodes. I don’t know what happens with Trinity, and it looks like I have to wait til August (at a guess) to find out. Waaahhhh! The weekend after I got cut off, I went to the video store and rented the first disc of season 1. I didn’t even finish it before I realized I HAD to OWN this show.
OMG, I love Dexter! The premise of the show, the dark humor, the excellent writing and acting, everything about this show is covered in awesomesauce. I wonder what my neighbors think when I yell, “Get ’em, Dexter! Get ’em!” I know I have no problem rooting for him to catch and kill murderers, but it’s a testament to the quality of the show that much nicer people than me are Dexter fans.
Dexter himself, of course, is the highlight of the show. For those not familiar with it, Dexter is a serial killer, but his step father instilled in him a Code. Dex only kills murderers that will kill again. He prevents more murders by these people while satisfying his own need to kill. His job as a blood spatter analyst for the police department comes in very handy for this. He must be sure of his victims before he kills them, and many of those he kills have escaped legal justice for one reason or another. Dexter tries to lead a “normal” life in order to stay safe, and this forced veneer often conflicts with his true dark nature. His interior comments have made me laugh so hard on a few occasions I was almost in tears. The supporting characters are well developed, like his sister Deb. Growing up with a father that paid more attention to Dexter, for reasons she’ll probably never know, and with her brother emotionally distant, she craves attention and love but hides behind a tough exterior. Dexter’s girlfriend Rita is emotionally damaged. He encourages her to be strong, and she coaxes some emotion out of him. Her two kids are adorable. Dexter’s coworkers are fun, too, from the suspicious Doakes to the pervy-in-a-funny-way Masuka.
The show is also providing a lot of inspiration for Crossbreed, my vampire/werewolf novel that is due for a complete rewrite. For a long time I’ve wanted to explore the idea that Crossbreed is killer, and not just for the blood. He needs to kill. That urge is a part of who he is, and all he can do is control who and what he kills. See the parallels? When I rewatch Dexter, it might be smart to have a notebook handy to write down some of the ideas it sparks.
Then there’s the outsider aspect, lying and hiding one’s true nature in order to “pass” in normal society. Crossbreed does have a few friends he can be himself with, but for the most part even among his own kind he’s an outcast. When he spends time with regular humans, he has to become someone else. At times he longs to be like them, to be a normal person, to be free of his dark nature.
Crossbreed needs two — well, three — things to make it be a public worthy book. 1. better writing, and I know I’ve gotten better in the last few years 2. more research to ground it in the time periods it’s set in, and 3. going deeper into emotions and psychology. Dexter is certainly giving me ideas for the latter.