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Old October 23 2008, 05:42 PM   #16
auntiehill
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Re: Sell me on Dexter

Nosferatu wrote: View Post
It's like crack.
It is. Video crack. If Dexter came in dime-bags, we'd all be seriously screwed.
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Old October 23 2008, 06:34 PM   #17
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Sell me on Dexter

Watch the premiere episode. If you like it, stick with the show. If not, drop it. (Rent it, don't buy it. If you really like it you can buy it later. I'm buying all the seasons of Dexter and I don't normally buy anything on DVD.)

I've had too many cases of me watching shows that others rave about and being disappointed for me to do that to anyone else. If a show has a good, representative premiere episode, then you only need to invest an hour of your life to find out whether you'll like the whole thing.
the idea of the protagonist being a serial killer (even of criminals) seems a bit distancing to me
Me too. I was envisioning something off-putting like those dumbass slasher movies I find so contemptable. But Dexter is the polar opposite. Slasher movies are cynical exercises in throwing blood and gore at the audience without dealing much with the consequences of the violence. Dexter actually downplays the violence - when you really start noticing it, you'll see they cut away from violence rather than dwelling on it.

The show is all about the elaborate emotional and moral consequences of the violence they hardly even depict. Instead of reminding us how scary Dex is by showing him chopping someone up, they rely on Michael C. Hall's amazing acting skills to occasionally freak us the hell out, which is crucial to maintaining the show's credibility. Dexter can never be allowed to become the audience's pet serial killer.
Another thing I'm always very wary of is one-hit wonder shows where they get off to an amazing start the first season, gain a large following, but then never really manage to keep that same intensity as things go on
I loved S1 and wondered how they could keep it up. S2 was even better. Reports from those with Showtime are that S3 is keeping up the level of quality.

Surprisingly enough, Dexter, in his own twisted way, is a very moral person.
Most people don't need to wrestle with morality at every moment of their waking lives. Dexter does. Sometimes he comes off as downright puritanical in the way he parses every action.

but how does this concept lead to several seasons worth of story arcs?
There are many supporting characters who are important in Dexter's life for various reasons. Keeping the secret from them creates an ongoing web of complexity that provides plenty of story material. There's also an arc of increasing self-awareness for Dexter that keeps things up in the air.

The show does not pull any punches.
It pulls a lot fewer punches than most shows, but it's not 100% brutally gutsy. The writers have a tough task to keep the audience in love with a guy who is extremely creepy if you allowed yourself to think about him. I've noticed certain manipulative elements and plot conveniences such as

Last edited by Temis the Vorta; October 23 2008 at 06:50 PM.
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Old October 23 2008, 08:21 PM   #18
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Re: Sell me on Dexter

Temis the Menace wrote: View Post
The show does not pull any punches.
It pulls a lot fewer punches than most shows, but it's not 100% brutally gutsy. The writers have a tough task to keep the audience in love with a guy who is extremely creepy if you allowed yourself to think about him. I've noticed certain manipulative elements and plot conveniences such as
Well, yeah, it can't afford to be 100% brutal toward its main character, but they come as close as anyone ever could, with less than 12 hours per season.

I don't think we have to be in love with Dex, we only have to identify with him, & they are successful in doing so
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Old October 24 2008, 01:55 AM   #19
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Re: Sell me on Dexter

Dexter is the greatest detective in the history of the universe! Batman is a kid playing Clue by comparison.

The vigilante thing is by far the least interesting part of Dexter. Family and work relationships are by far the most interesting. And in those relationships, Dexter tries hard to do good. The basic story is Man Goes Sane. It should be watched for the novelty alone.
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Old October 24 2008, 05:06 AM   #20
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Sell me on Dexter

Dexter shows no signs of "going sane." More likely, he's been more sane all along than he gives himself credit for - his self-image as a "monster" is just a way he denies his emotions. But his mental stability is not going to get any better unless he starts making attempts at improving it, and he's shown no inclination to do so.

For him to do so would undermine the core of the story, the radical notion that Dexter is okay has he is, and the ideal solution is for others to come to accept him (as depicted in the fantasy-parade in the S1 finale). If he has to change, and go sane, to make others accept him, that betrays the whole point of the story.
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Old October 24 2008, 05:13 AM   #21
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Re: Sell me on Dexter

Thing you got to remember about Dexter is that he doesn't randomly kill just anybody, he kills bad pople like killers who get away.
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Old October 24 2008, 05:16 AM   #22
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Re: Sell me on Dexter

I have never seen this show but many people I know recommend it. Does it, at any point suck?
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Old October 24 2008, 05:39 AM   #23
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Re: Sell me on Dexter

Well, I'm a few episodes into season 3, and it hasn't sucked yet.
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Old October 24 2008, 05:41 AM   #24
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Re: Sell me on Dexter

If I can find a used DVD set up for grabs, I"ll pick it up.
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Old October 24 2008, 08:43 PM   #25
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Sell me on Dexter

BOO!-tarada wrote: View Post
I have never seen this show but many people I know recommend it. Does it, at any point suck?
I've seen it thru S2, and to that point, there were no bad episodes or even mediocre ones. Only good, great, and mind-blowing!
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Old October 24 2008, 09:27 PM   #26
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Re: Sell me on Dexter

I don't buy DVD's. I refuse. I rent or borrow. So it says a lot that I own both seasons of Dexter.

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Old October 25 2008, 12:21 AM   #27
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Re: Sell me on Dexter

Dexter is a work in progress, like all serialized dramas. The track record for them is extraordinarily poor. It is necessary for the dramatic resolution of the story to be artificially delayed. Thus, Dexter cannot go finally, completely sane til the end of the show's run, even if it means
Having the show turn out to be the escapades of Dexter the same at the end as at the beginning would be a complete failure artistically. I suppose part of their problem is that a man going sane seems like a happy ending, a comedy. (Dexter has lots of humor.) But both the plausible and morally conformist endings would be pathetic or tragic.
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Old October 26 2008, 06:37 AM   #28
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Sell me on Dexter

Dexter deserves a happy ending. The only happy ending is one where he stays true to himself - as insane as he's ever been - but with at least some people in his life seeing him for who he truly is and accepting him. At very minimum, I'd say that's Deb and Rita (and the kids, but kids accept what they're told is okay). That's enough for me.

Dexter will never be sane. It's implausible and it would violate the integrity of the character. The point of the story is that for him, insanity is sanity.
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Old October 26 2008, 06:48 AM   #29
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Re: Sell me on Dexter

antichristhill wrote: View Post
The main character kills people---yes, that's true. But the way he justifies it almost makes it less horrible. He only kills people that he knows are a threat to society. He sees it as his calling. He satisfies his need to kill and protects the world from criminals.
Does he ever make a mistake? Meaning, has he ever killed somebody he thinks is a criminal but is actually innocent?

Kirkman1987 wrote: View Post
I really don't think I would be turned off by a serial killer as lead.
I think I would. See above.
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Old October 26 2008, 07:44 AM   #30
auntiehill
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Re: Sell me on Dexter

Babaganoosh wrote: View Post
antichristhill wrote: View Post
The main character kills people---yes, that's true. But the way he justifies it almost makes it less horrible. He only kills people that he knows are a threat to society. He sees it as his calling. He satisfies his need to kill and protects the world from criminals.
Does he ever make a mistake? Meaning, has he ever killed somebody he thinks is a criminal but is actually innocent?
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