Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dexter's Crime Laboratory

I just downloaded the first episode of the new Showtime series Dexter.
No, it’s not a show about a young mad scientist, but rather tells the story of a serial killer who preys on other serial killer.
The basic idea is that as a boy he suffered some sort of trauma (which isn’t explained and he purports not to remember) before being adopted by a cop and his wife.
While still young he began exhibiting all of the classic symptoms of a future killer, such as animal torture and killing, which his adoptive father recognized and tried to help him overcome.
Ultimately the father accepted the fact that Dexter was destined to be a killer and rather than trying in vain to put a stop to his homicidal tendencies he decided to help his son channel them for “good,” using the skills his father taught him to track down killers who have escaped prosecution and/or detection and to dispense justice. Brutal, remorseless justice.
In that way he gets to gratify his urges while providing a valuable service.
That’s the theory, anyway.
For his day job Dexter works for the police in forensics, with a specialty in blood spatter (Dexter, by the way, keeps a dab of blood from his victims between glass slides as a trophy), and tries to use his keen insights into serial killing to help advance the career of his adoptive sister who has gone into the family business and wants to move from working Vice to working Homicide.
The show started off being a little too derivative of most serial killer fiction, but became more original as the premise unfolded, and it’s genuinely interesting to watch someone who has no real understanding of human interaction fake his way through standard social settings, and do it really well.
It’s also an extremely creepy show, which is hardly surprising considering the subject matter. The creepiest scenes, however, involve Dexter investigating crime scenes and clearly becoming aroused as he admires the professionalism of the killer. At one crime scene he actually had to wipe away some drool.
Adding to the creepiness of the show is the fact that actress Jennifer Carpenter plays his sister. Carpenter was last seen in the titular role in the movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and while she is sort of attractive in a gangly, big-headed way, I can’t look at her without thinking about how she made the simple act of counting to six one of the scariest fucking things I’ve ever seen in my life, and now that I’ve seen her today there’s like zero chance that I’ll get any damn sleep tonight.
Anyway, the show has potential, so I’ll probably check it out again.
This morning I realized that if I weren’t forcing myself to get out of bed I would probably still be lying there getting bed sores even as I write this; it’s just that comfortable.
I can tell you now that 5 am Thursday is going to suck.
After I did finally get up today I realized that I didn’t have to go anywhere today and that this is really my last chance to just totally waste the day, and so I was going to sit around and do even more nothing than usual.
I did have to make dinner, as I thawed out some chicken and needed to put it to use.
As I was just finishing with putting dinner going in the crock pot, Brian beeped me on the Nextel and put an end to my plans to totally waste the day.
He’d heard that there was some new hamburger stand in town and wanted to check it out, so I cleaned my contacts and put them in, took a shower, got dressed, and headed out to meet him.
Turns our that the place is called Hamburger Döner and sells “The Number One Fast Food in Germany,” an item called a “döner,” along with other foods served on flat bread, such as falafels.
I’ve never actually had a falafel before so I decided I’d give it a shot. Not bad, though the thing was huge. Way more than I could eat.
And from there I made my way home, watched Dexter, and now here we are.
I actually used to have a friend named Dexter. He was a VP at the college I used to work at. He stayed in an unused dorm room during the week, then traveled about 100 miles on weekends to spend time with his family. His family didn’t want to move because his son was in his senior year in high school and it didn’t seem fair to uproot him.
So, because he lacked anything better to do, most nights Dexter could be found at the same bar that I could be found in every night.
I would say that he had a pretty serious drinking problem, but he seemed to be at least slightly more functional than I was, though he also got canned from the college not too long after I did.
Hell of a nice guy though. One of my favorite things about him was that, as a VP, he was free to say things such as “That guy’s a fuckhead” about the VP that I worked for, which left me free to agree with him.
One of the more entertaining Dexter anecdotes actually involves his oldest son, who at the time was in the National Guard and was working on some joint initiative between the Guard and the DEA. He serviced Apache helicopters which were used in drug raids.
I remember Dexter relating a story to me about how the people his son worked with had recently stopped a huge shipment of weed that was on its way up to the UP from lower Michigan.
I was never a pothead, but most of my friends at that time – Dexter excepted – were major potheads, and I found this anecdote entertaining because for the week or so prior to him telling me about it I had been hearing complaints from all of my friends about how nobody seemed to have any weed. It was as if the supply had just gone, pun intended, up in smoke.
So that was funny for me. Not so much for the people jonesing for pot, though.
I just discovered that the guy playing Dexter on the new show is the gay brother from Six Feet Under. I very seldom watched the show, so I didn’t recognize him initially, though he did seem familiar.
One other thing I find troublesome about the show, by the way, is the fact that even though he’s a psychotic killer – the relative worth of his victims notwithstanding – Dexter actually has a girlfriend, portrayed by actress Julie Benz, who appeared as Darla on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and also made an appearance as herself in a very odd dream I had a while back. I don’t feel like looking up the entry I wrote about it so you’ll have to find it yourself.
That’s just the way it goes, though; harmless and only slightly creepy curmudgeons get no action while the serial killers get all the prime tail.

1 comment:

Vile said...

Thanks for the heads up about Dexter. I had never heard about it until now. I've seen all 3 episodes and it's a great show.

And btw, *I'm* the one that told Zalfiro abot the 3rd episode that you guys had not seen :p