Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Discuss our favorite serial killer.
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Stephen
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Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Post by Stephen » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:45 am

I just read Darkly Dreaming Dexter, the book from which the show is based. Pretty easy read. The book has much less story. E.g. when a movie is made from a book, content is cut. When a television series is made, a lot of content has to be made up. A lot of the book content is a lot different. I'd recommend both.

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Re: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Post by MekareQ » Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:08 pm

I enjoy the fact Debra is cool with her serial-killer brother.

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Re: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Post by You-Know-Who » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:21 am

I've never seen even a minute of this show, but I find it hard to believe the whole marketing question of "Am I a good person doing 'bad' things?, Or a bad person doing 'good' things? Sounds kinda lame. Is there any way that the fact that he's killing people be legitimately morally justifiable?

Stephen
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Re: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Post by Stephen » Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:34 am

You-Know-Who wrote:I've never seen even a minute of this show, but I find it hard to believe the whole marketing question of "Am I a good person doing 'bad' things?, Or a bad person doing 'good' things? Sounds kinda lame. Is there any way that the fact that he's killing people be legitimately morally justifiable?
Well he only kills murderers.

Here's the first 10 min of the pilot.
YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.

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Re: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Post by You-Know-Who » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:39 am

Yeah, but it's an interesting question. I mean he's becoming a murderer himself too. And how bad are these murderers? Are they serial killers who just kill for no apparent reason, or is it a person who killed once in a drug deal gone bad or for money or something like that, but in other parts of their life their nice people with families and friends and a life?

I mean isn't that similar to what Dexter is, a person who kills murderers but he's a really nice guy in his normal life. I mean basically he could be killing someone who does or did what he does or did and is almost exactly like him in terms of who's the murderer. I mean does Dexter really think that death is the right fate for these people? I mean where does his justification come from? It seems like it's whoever is guilty in his eyes, what gives him the right to decide who deserves to die?

Even if Dexter is murdering these murderers to make the world a better place, and it's a better place because he kills these people, one person should never have that much power over another person even if it's to make what they think would be a better place. What if Dexter said "i'm going to kill all mentally retarded people, than the world would be a better place". No one has the right to harm anyone or impose any of their views by force. Once one person is deciding who lives and who dies by their own moral standards it's a slippery slope that can go downhill very fast. We've seen this happen throughout history.

Killing is not the answer. Admission into recuperation and helping is the answer. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Now, this looks like it might be entertaining as you get attached to the characters down the road, and that's great. Though 10 minutes is too little to know, I didn't like what I saw. But it sounds interesting to have a show about a guy who kills murderers and we follow him around and see his everyday life. I just think the tag-line of "Am I a good person, or a bad person" Is way to unrealistic and black and white and it's kinda hard for me to buy...

Sorry, to go off on that long tirade. But basically what I was trying to say is that I don't think the question should be "Am I straight-up good, or straight-up bad" when the people he's killing are probably neither straight up good, or straight-up bad. It's just a problem with those easy black and white marketing and ideas that doesn't make me interested. And those first 10 minutes are really boring.

Stephen
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Re: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Post by Stephen » Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:08 am

Funny you should mention a drug deal gone wrong.
Spoiler
When Dexter was 2 his mother was killed in front of him with a chainsaw in a drug deal gone wrong, and he was left in a cargo container soaking in her blood for a few days, which is supposed to be an explanation as to why he is so messed up.
And as his foster father, Harry, learns, Dexter is almost wired to kill. Rather than killing just anybody, Harry, a kinda weird cop, decides to teach Dexter how to "kill for good".

Just off the top of my head he killed a guy who smuggled people into the US from Cuba but killed them if their family didn't pay something like twice the original agreed on price. A psychiatrist who convinced a few depressed that killing themselves is a noble thing to do, and even told them how to do it. A guy who has killed quite a few people while DUI'ing, and has even moved states only to do it again. A gang member who has killed dozens of people with a machete.

Of course killing people is never the answer, which makes this show so different. Most shows are about catching killers, but this one is about the killer.

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Re: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Post by You-Know-Who » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:26 am

Stephen wrote: Just off the top of my head he killed a guy who smuggled people into the US from Cuba but killed them if their family didn't pay something like twice the original agreed on price. A psychiatrist who convinced a few depressed that killing themselves is a noble thing to do, and even told them how to do it. A guy who has killed quite a few people while DUI'ing, and has even moved states only to do it again. A gang member who has killed dozens of people with a machete.

Of course killing people is never the answer, which makes this show so different. Most shows are about catching killers, but this one is about the killer.
Yeah, I feel like the smuggling and psychiatrist and to a lesser extent the DUI case are situations where there is a lot of grey area.

I just don't seem to like shows about catching killers. I also don't like medical shows or lawyer shows. I just don't like the technicalities of those shows, there more about how/why did the criminal do that, or what happened to this person and how can we fix him/her. I like shows focused more on characters and in these kind of shows characters get introduced for one episode and rarely come back, obviously there are some main characters that stay through-out the life of the show, but they're never the focus and commonly are not very layered.

Dexter does seem like a bit of a less conventional show, but I still don't understand the fascination people have with killing and the like, It's not that I can't watch gore it's just that I'm not interested when it doesn't have a strong backbone of backstory, motivation, and character, and I find tv shows lacking in that respect.
Now, movies are a different matter. I enjoy Tarentino's movies and they're fairly gory/bloody, but they have smart writing (I won't say they have layered character's, cause they don't). The gore might pull you in, but the writing keeps you there.

That's why I like LOST. If it was just weird things happening on an island and people getting chased around by a smoke monster (sorta like Jurassic park) it wouldn't be as interesting. But since they do spend time on building character's and their backstory you actually care. I do admit that some character's on lost really suck and sometimes they spend too much time on the boring ones, but classic characters like Locke and Ben usually make up for it. If LOST was only a character show I wouldn't be interested. If LOST was only a technical/supernatural show I wouldn't be interested. It's the magical recipe of combination that makes the show truely great.

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Re: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Post by Justin » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:53 pm

Dexter is serialized, so it isn't like CSI or the like.

I never saw the marketing, so it didn't bother me. But I agree, I don't think that what Dexter does is morally good. At best, it's morally ambiguous. Many times they make it clear that the people he's killing will "get away with it" if dexter doesn't do anything. Dexter makes sure to compile enough evidence so that he is sure the person is guilty, but for some reason or other, this evidence can't be used in a trial. As I recall, if the state can convict the person and lock them up, he will let that happen instead of killing them. I think, if you're going to be a murderer, it is hard to be more vigilant about it than Dexter is.

I just accepted the premise, and as you get to know Dexter, you have a hard time hating him.

Oh, and it takes awhile to get going. The series really picked up for me around ep 6 or 7.

Stephen
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Re: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Post by Stephen » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:57 pm

Well I don't know what to say. You seem pretty dead set on not liking "Dexter" from the get-go. Give it a chance and don't base your opinions on taglines.

"Save the cheerleader, save the world" makes me never want to see "Heroes", but I don't talk about how much I don't like "Heroes" or why I won't like it because at the end of the day I've never seen it.

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Re: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Post by You-Know-Who » Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:11 am

I'll try to give Dex a chance, but it'll be hard when from everything I've seen it looks like a show I probably won't like. :)
Funnily enough, "Save the cheerleader, Save the world" reflects exactly what kind of show Heroes is. I've seen season 1 and 2 (1 is better than 2) and that's why I don't enjoy the show... it's too simple, do this than this will happen.

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