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Yoo

You're sick to like a show that's rooting for a serial killer. In fact, I'd say you're almost as sick as me. ;)

(Love the show, too, although I also emphasize with Dexter about not having a clue why other people do certain things ...)

Clare

That reminds me of why I like the book 'American Psycho' so much. What the protagonist does is absolutely repulsive but you also see how sick the culture around him is and how it allows him to get away with it. Dexter sounds a lot more fun though, I wouldn't say I like the Bateman character in American Psycho that much but in some ways he's preferable to the Yuppies around him.

I don’t think Dexter “cares” about whether the people he kills are good or bad, nor do I think he “cares” about what his father taught him. Rather, I think what his father taught him was that he must PRETEND to care in order to blend in, in order not to get caught. Sociopaths definitely do not want to get caught; they know this means they will no longer be able to satisfy their hunger. Plus, this curious aspect of Dexter’s behavior is one of his charms: knowing himself that he is a sociopath, he finds it curious when now and then he observes, almost from a scientific/clinical perspective, that he is feeling some emotion for his sister or his girlfriend. To the viewer, this means he is “only a little bit over the line” and therefore may be “savable.” It’s that save-ability that makes him so attractive to both males (who love to fix things) and females (who love to fix men).

That’s just my take on it. I’m not a shrink, but I play one around the patio table over a glass of red wine.

Christopher

I think this program shows just what a farce human "morality" is - how by playing the proper chords of society we can make people accept that which is thought to be "unacceptable."

I've written stories myself featuring protagonists that would often be considered "villans" by mainstream society, but I know the key to getting others to accepting those characters is to make them appear just enough like the audience to earn their sympathy: and thus I can insert any other message I want into the tale and it will be digested by the reader.

Heather

I just wanted to say that (as a psychology graduate and amateur sociopathy afficianado) that your friend is missing the point in Dexter's characterization. Sociopathy is not a black and white proposition: you have emotions and empathy or you don't. Dexter is a sociopath, but he has reactions that mimic real emotion and empathy, regardless of their origin. Real sociopaths exhibit these traits too, either from practicing so hard they convince themselves, or from building moral codes as intellectual abstracts (example: the Green Bay killer only targeted prostitutes. Homeless people or the mentally disabled would have made equally easy targets, but he justified his actions to himself by only attacking streetwalkers).

And the show is awesome.

Freidenker

Two things:
A. does it ever say that Dexter's a sociopath? I thought he was a psychopath. That's not the same thing, last I heard. Also, he's not completely devoid of emotion. SO he can't be, under any definition, a psychopath. He cares about his sister and he doesn't kill recklessly. I'd say he's not a complete psychopath. It's possible to have a gradient in those things - and as a normal person, he'd care a lot more about the person he cares about if he weren't in any way psychotic.

B.Even if he IS a sociopath,being a sociopath doesn't mean you have to be stupid. Killing good people does a lot more to get attention and eventually, screw you over as a killer. He could be killing only bad guys because of his own self preservation.

This whole "dad-police-code-thingie" is tacky even if we disregard the inconsistency with Dexter's sociopathy. I choose to disregard it to better enjoy the show :-)

Sean the Blogonaut

I am glad I got to see the uncut American versions of Season 1&2. They modified them for viewing on aussie TV.

Valhar2000

Are sociopaths really devoid of emotion? I thought they were just possesed of emotions rather different from the norm.

And, also, do sociopaths neccessarily feel the urge to kill? I thought that what they felt, instead, was no compunction about doing it when they think it will benefit them, whereas normal people require anger or rigorous training to be able to kill on demand.

Time to chekc the wikipedia, I guess...

Donna Gore

My partner does the same thing, he dissects the plot and points out what he thinks is implausible, etc. I say to him, "It's NOT a documentary, it's FICTION. It's intended for entertainment purposes only. Just relax and enjoy it, okay?"

One trait that I have is this. When I watch a movie that is supposedly "based on a true story" or "science fiction" I am curious to separate the fact from the embellishment, the science from the fiction. Then I get on the internet and start researching. But that's not out of any criticism, it's purely out of curiosity. That's what got me interested in quantum physics - I saw a movie about time travel that was suppoedly based on the actual principles of quantum mechanics. I ended up reading a Brian Green book.

John the Drunkard

Give the books a look. You'll appreciate how important good writing/acting is for a show like this.

It is an open question whether Dexter is really a full-tilt sociopath. The character bonds with children, is capable of (unenthusiastic) sex, is not driven be sexual sadism, and feels some bond--however odd--with his sister.

If Dexter 'recovers' from his traumatic past, will he continue his vigilantism?

At any rate, a chance to watch Michael C Hall do a 180% from the mild-mannered, church-going David is worth the price of admission.

John the Drunkard

Give the books a look. You'll appreciate how important good writing/acting is for a show like this.

It is an open question whether Dexter is really a full-tilt sociopath. The character bonds with children, is capable of (unenthusiastic) sex, is not driven be sexual sadism, and feels some bond--however odd--with his sister.

If Dexter 'recovers' from his traumatic past, will he continue his vigilantism?

At any rate, a chance to watch Michael C Hall do a 180% from the mild-mannered, church-going David is worth the price of admission.

Koby

While your friend has good arguments and points, I'll have to disagree with her. Dexter is neither sociopath or psychopath. He is an empty shell. His childhood was marred by such a traumatizing event, he dedicated his life to filling that shell...with blood. His step-father, Harry, knew that so he tried his best (and somewhat succeeded) to have Dexter do some good with his 'curse.' So, really, emotions play no part in this story. And I have to say, as an actor, Michael C. Hall does a fan-f***ing-tastic job of playing the part of an emotionless emotion-faker.

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