Thursday, September 28, 2006

Yet another great TV show?

Showtime is making a series based on the Darkly Dreaming Dexter books. This will be really hard to pull off, but I am glad they are taking a risk. Dexter is a blood spatter technician who has excellent insight into crime, since he is a serial killer. Thanks to his father, who recognized something was amiss with the young man, Dexter has channeled his wickedness to do the least damage. He identifies and researches bad people, like child molesters. When he can no longer restrain his urges, he kills one of these people.

If that were all that was going on, the books would not be that interesting. The plots and the black humor take the book over the edge. In the first one, Dexter sees cases (in his CSI role) coming in that look a lot like how he kills people. It's a great read. The book is now out in mass market paperback, so you are only risking eight bones. Go get it.

The challenge for the show will be in effectively communicating the character of Dexter. To most people, he is simple quiet person, while to his victims he is a nightmare. Dexter appears almost incapable of normal human emotion but he wrestles with this when he gets a girlfriend. This is no easy acting job. So, if you have Showtime, give it a shot.


Brack said...

Antiheros - or flawed heroes, anyway - have always held a special place in American fiction, and the appeal is writ large when transferred to the screen. Tapping into that dark appeal without crossing the line into total camp seems to be quite a challenge. Three words: Doctor Hannibal Lecter.

Tripp said...

What is really interesting about the Dexter books is that you really root for Dexter. I mean he is killing bad guys not just unlucky cops like Lecter did.

But you are right, there is something about the violent antihero, as in Sin City.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a late-night drama with Lorenzo Lamas where he plays a judge who, due to the inconvenient provisions of the Bill of Rights, has to dismiss criminals in his Court? Then, at night, he becomes a motorcycle vigilante and goes after said criminals.

Sort of the "State Employee Vigilante" theme. I'm sure Dexter does it better.

Tripp said...

I saw an ad for Dexter while watching CSI last night. He had too big a smile for the Dexter I remember. I'd like it if his smile appeared wrong like someone new to a language trying out the strange sounds.

Still it was just an ad.