I like Dexter. I like the books, I like the show. And I don’t like myself much after having indulged the momentary pleasure in the snappy writing of Dexter’s internal monologue, the soap-opera style plotting, or the world’s most brilliant show intro. The eggs, the orange, and the floss all send a frisson of guilt-ridden pleasure coursing through my veins.
Why can’t I just willingly suspend my disbelief and enjoy the show like everyone else? I suppose it’s that I lack an “off switch” for the professional mode of my brain. I can’t endorse vigilantism, even the kind that comes with Dexter’s devastating charm. I can’t help thinking of the survivng family members of serial killers victims.
In real life, I have worked with some of these family members. While none of their loved ones were guilty of horrible crimes like Dexter’s victims, I can’t shake the feeling that these judgments about who deserves to die are fundamentally dangerous.
And yet… and yet. As much as I tell myself that I am watching the show to appreciate the brilliant representation of the sociopathic killer, I know that, really, I’m just enjoying another trip to Sardonic City.