Friday, April 7, 2017

Showtime's DEXTER

So I may have binge-watched another show/season. Yes, I seriously binged this one. The last show I watched (Code Black), was near impossible to binge because of how emotionally packed it was with it's punches and raw display of trauma and life. Dexter though- Dexter is a drama with an important story line that makes you feel like one episode is not enough.

Description:
Dexter Morgan is a Miami-based blood splatter expert who doesn't just solve murders; he commits them too. In fact, he's a serial killer -- but he only murders the guilty, so he feels justified with his lifestyle choices. His policewoman sister and his cop co-workers have no idea Dexter lives a double life; however, adoptive father Harry knows his secret, and does, in fact, help Dexter hone his "skills." It's a unique brand of justice for which charming Dexter feels a psychological hunger.

Okay before I convince you to actually watch this show, let me clear things out first. It's rated 18+ for a reason! You've got Miami cops with no censorship swearing 24/7. Then there's the fact that even among the cops, it's the homicide division that the story follows. And then there's the fact that the main character is a serial killer, so there's going to be a lot of uncensored blood, violence, gore, nudity, etc. Is it graphic? Absolutely.

Don't watch it if you're squeamish or if these kinds of things make you feel uncomfortable. It's okay to feel that way though! I felt that way about a lot of things, to the point where I didn't want to watch anything involving real people because the thought of seeing people get hurt and bleed (even if it was all just acting), made me feel very uncomfortable.

I remember when I was in 4th grade in the US, we had to watch this movie during our Islamic Studies classes. I can't remember the title, but it captured things pretty well, with the searing Arabian desert, bedouins in their strange, heavy clothing, fighting with swords and spears. Nobody bled (and I don't remember there being any visual of blood), but I used to HATE having to watch that movie because seeing everyone fight with sharp objects and get pierced and die was horrifying for me. I'd put my head down and try to block out the sounds of yelling and people dying and wish the class would hurry up and end.

I'm totally okay with that now. I think it's mostly because of med school, since we have to study injuries and pathology so much, it kinda desensitized me to a lot of things to the point where I won't even flinch at the gore, but lean closer and try to figure out what happened and how it happened. It's weird, I know! Don't judge me! I'm that annoying kid who would be yelling "How did THAT happen!!" every time someone in a movie dies mysteriously, and then proceed to argue in medical terms.


Anyway! Moving on with the plot: Dexter Morgan lives a double life. Working in the Miami Metro Police Department as part of their forensics team, he uses his position in the police to solve crimes in his own way- by murder. While it looks like he's doling out justice as a vigilante, it's not his primary motive.

He doesn't kill for justice, he kills for himself. The desire to kill stems from childhood trauma that gets buried deep in Dexter's memories, but still manifests itself as his 'urges'. The police officer who takes Dexter in as his own, Harry Morgan, sees how Dexter functions and hones his skills to make sure Dexter doesn't get caught. Why? You see, Harry Morgan is a police officer who wants justice- but sometimes, the law lets criminals get away. So Harry build a code to have Dexter channel his need to kill and to function as the law outside the law.

Dexter works with a code. His victims must be declared guilty and Dexter makes sure of it by spending weeks tracking down his prey. Once he's got a criminal in his clutches, he shows them their victims and then proceeds to kill them and dismember them and put them into trash bags. Like trash. His standards of declaring someone as 'guilty' are pretty high though! Nevertheless, Miami is a city rampant with criminals, drug trade and homicide- so it seems like Dexter's only problem is making sure the police don't get on his case.

He doesn't feel proud of cleaning up the criminals- he just needs to stave off the desire to kill, which can be compared to an addiction. Knowing that the said criminals won't be killing any innocent people anymore is just an added bonus.


The story and the execution and everything is great, fantastic. I was hooked. I would binge several episodes on the weekend and even though I've only seen the first two seasons, they were very satisfying to watch. I think my favorite part about the execution of Dexter is how Dexter, in his monotone voice, would narrate or speak out his inner thoughts, sarcastic as they were, and a great companion to his poker face expressions on the screen. Another thing I really liked was Dexter's relationship with his foster-sister, Debra Morgan. Their dynamic was great and their bond as siblings was fun to watch.

Unfortunately, I get tired really easily, so I don't think I'd be watching any more episode of Dexter and will be moving on a new series soon. Since I knew I wouldn't be coming back to Dexter, I sweeped through the Wiki page (for spoilers.... and the conclusion...) and it turns out that there have been cases of people being inspired by Dexter (despite it being a fictional show) to carry out their own murders, claiming that they too, felt the way Dexter described himself.

That just blew my mind. It kinda makes me wonder how many people decided to try out cannibalism after watching Hannibal. I feel like this kind of topic deserves a post of it's own and I'll definitely be researching a bit about it. It just fascinates me, really, the effect that entertainment and games can have on real life (which brings me to another thought as well, but we'll talk about that some other day).

Anyway! On the whole, I definitely thing that Dexter should be on your watch list, especially if you're interested in serial killers and homicide. It lies in with the same category as popular tv series like Hannibal and it has a bit of the same vibe, but it's much more light hearted in some aspects: Dexter has his comical moments, there are tons of other characters (as opposed to the core few in Hannibal) with their own stories and Dexter has a normal appearing life with a healthy relationship with kids etc. The show doesn't revolve around homicide and serial killing, it revolves around Dexter as a person and all his relationships, problems, and thought process.

Overall, I'd give Dexter a 4/5 with a warning (as stated right at the start) when it comes to audience age. It's a great show otherwise. It's based on a book titled Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay and I'd really love to get my hands on this book.

What do you think about violence and murder being so popular as a genre in entertainment? Do you think humans have a morbid interest with death and serial killers? Have a nice day!

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10 comments:

  1. i am not kanra, i am aliApril 7, 2017 at 7:23 PM

    humans are more interested in suspense so its actually not genre, its the suspense. you should start watching indian romantic movies with romantic dance numbers. These english series will make you crazy and you probably would find yourself in medical hospital instead of medical university. i remember some of my friends were robbed at the trail no. 5 of margalla hills by a single man. i rememberthis story because it has suspense and a warning in it. i wonder why am i sharing this

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    1. I dunno, I think humans are interested/fascinated with shows about crime/murder because of the fact that it's wrong on all grounds and shows like these gives insight into such situations that don't happen every day.
      I'm not interested in watching any sort of Indian romance because it's generally trash in my opinion, especially the dance sequences.
      Your friends sound like cowards to be robbed by a single man.

      Delete
    2. there is a very thin line between coward and cleverness, i hope and i wish that you will never find any situation like i have explained above. You are right, its indian dramas are trashy but whats in dexter ?
      i like European literature and its equally trash. We just want to spend our time or i may say that we want to kill it. Thats why we find these shows interesting. Its all about killing time and living in own wonderland.
      Only thing that matters is present, how we can shape our neighborhood, strrets, city and country in a better place . Now thats difficult and complex,
      Ms. Khan, world only see one or two: Edhi's and Mother Teresa..... Its full of you, me and likes of us who kill his/her time.....
      PS: i sound too realistic or pessimistic. sorry for that
      Its better to fish at rawal lake instead of watching Dexter.

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    3. I think it's time to get off your high horse and appreciate people trying their own thing and or passing their time whichever way they like. I am really curious, Ali. How do you get time to reprimand others, repeatedly, on what they chose to do?
      Have you watched Dexter? How do you know that 'English series' will make Kanra crazy?
      In all honesty, i don't think you've watched any Bolly-movies either, because Karan Johar's movies literally don't have an ounce of sensibility in them. I think Kanra is better off not watching a content that only makes millions by objectifying women. Dexter seems a much better choice, it actually has a plot line. Google it if you don't believe it.

      I think it'll be better if you go and think about how to make your society a better place rather than posting obnoxious comments on other people's blogs. And that too, anonymously. Oh the utter irony of life!

      Regards,
      The friend who sent The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo to Kanra (you should read it tbh, teaches a thing or two about minding your own business and not mansplaining everywhere)

      Delete
    4. Good god,
      I appreciate your reply and i am sorry for you. You are right, i am unaware of bollywood movies because they are unaware of my circumstances. so i technically hate them.
      you are concerned about my posting or anonymous posting ?
      some of your questions are justified. i am thinking about it and it will take some time since i am a person with mediocre intelligence.

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    5. also, i forgot to mention this earlier. suspense is a genre. romance is a genre too. people interested in suspense means they are into that genre. another mansplaining gone wrong. :(
      please continue w/ your anonymous posting because if writing obnoxious comments and trying to force people into replying your emails makes you feel better about your existence then who am i to stop you. ^_^

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    6. we are all anonymous, at web we are all. though i assure you that i am irrelevant

      Delete
  2. This series sounds way too gory for me :P I'm all right with a bit of gore and violence, just not too much, and anyway I'm too young if it's 18+
    But I really, really enjoy crime drama, my favourite shows are NCIS and Sherlock! And hmmm... maybe it is weird that so many TV shows are about death, but I guess it's just because it's interesting to watch shows that are about trying to solve mysterious crimes. :)

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    1. I've seen sherlock (talked about it in a post too) but not NCIS! My friend was talking about it the other day though and now you bring it up. I really got to watch NCIS now!
      Thanks for giving me your recommendation!

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    2. No problem ;)
      NCIS is like my favourite show ever, I used to be completely obsessed with it (still kind of am XD). You really should watch it, it's good!

      Delete

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