Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Dexter: The ultimate Nature vs. Nurture? - TV Review, Television, Television Review, Movie Reviews, Film Reviews, Dexter, TV Shows, Television Shows, Entertainment

There are some things that are just disturbing to watch. Whether it’s a disturbing image like from news of a tragic event like a shooting or a video set up on YouTube like a recent serial killer did or a more fictional depiction of tragedy like the Saw films, Scream or a television depiction like Law & Order, Bones, or Jersey Shore. However there are some things which are hard to understand why exactly you’re disturbed by them. For me that show is Dexter. You can always look at a show like this and say that what is disturbing about it is the graphic depictions of sex, language and death that are disturbing, and yes it can be tough to watch the way in which people are both killed by the main character and kill other people but often that’s the least of what disturbs me.

What usually bothers me about the show is the way in which the characters evolve over time. Most disturbing of all is Dexter who struggles to deal with who he is versus how he was raised. Each season deals with the reality of his life as both a forensic blood spatter analyst and a serial killer. Living with such a contradiction alone would be difficult enough, but trying to relate to people without revealing this contradiction is even harder for him. He does manage to make some connections to people, though they are pretty basic at first over time they evolve and grow much like Dexter himself. The thing that disturbs me most about Dexter is how much people connect with the character. And not just in the sense of the insane ones who try to reenact or mirror his crimes.

My own connection is quite a strange one. I know what it’s like to feel disconnected from the world and other people, trying to find a way to connect to people when you don’t feel connected to anyone or anything. It’s hard to care about others or have a conversation that you find meaningful when you don’t care about what other people are saying. But you keep trying because you see the people around you talking and caring about each other and you want to understand what they feel like. You want to know so bad that you start to feel something just from that itself.

Ultimately, I think that’s what Dexter is all about, a man trying to connect to others without really knowing how. He tries to connect with his girlfriend, his co-workers as well as his family and friends. Yet no matter how many times he fails he keeps trying, despite the fact that doing so is against his nature. The main reason he fails is because his natural instinct is to shy away from people and do his own thing. But he was taught to spend time with people and to at least appear like everyone else so that he can try to fit in. This creates a tragic battle within the main character that is often played out within the inner monologue/voice over of the episodes and seasons as a whole.

As the seasons progress, he learns how to manage between his nature and the way he was nurtured to embrace in life. Watching him try to live up to both perceptions of himself that he has while dealing with the people around him and keeping them from learning the truth can be both tragic and disturbing at the same time.

So is Dexter the ultimate nature versus nurture? I think it is.

1 comment:

  1. People who watch crime shows have some twisted affinity for the morbid or obscene. By any means a staggering and disturbing fact that such people exist which highlights many sick aspects of the world we live in today.