I think Dexter is the smartest thing on TV. The writing is terrific and the concept works off the truth that there' s a little Dexter in everyone. Anyone read the books? Does the series come from the books, or are the books drawn from the series?
Allow me to politely disagree, my friend. I think the smartest written series now on the tube is 'Fringe.' It is where the old X-files should have been originally. Not only the stories are intriguing, but the characters are very interesting.
Neither show is properly a crime show, but both are excellent.
The books came first. I read the first book but didn't continue. I didn't find the character sympathetic at all. There's also a part at the end of the book I found stretching credibility. I guess the whole thing requires a bit of suspension of disbelief anyway. Too much so for me.
I've read all the Dexter books and I really enjoy them because (unlike most people in this forum, I'm sure) I'm a right-wing conservative and the idea of chopping up serial killers and peadophiles fills me with a warm glow of satisfaction. I enjoy the television series much more then the books, however, because the series potrays Dexter as more human, whereas in the books he's more of a dark, witty voiceover than anything else.
The books came first and the first season of Dexter was based on the first book, but after that the series went off on it's own. On telly, Sergeant Doakes is killed in an explosion. In the books, Doakes is... incapacitated in such a way that Dexter no longer has to fear him. One particular plot point in the books that never carried over to the TV series was the fact that Cody and Astor have Dark Passengers too, because of the heinous abuse their mother suffered at the hands of their father. This leads Dexter to try and teach the next generation his code. Another point in the books that never carried over was the fact that by the end of the first book, Deb learns about Dexter's secret hobby and later considers turning him over to the cops. But then she's attacked by a man whom Dexter later kills, so she doesn't feel so sympathetic to Dexter's victims after that. Unlike what the telly will tell us, Dexter's kills have never been recovered in any of the books so far.
I don't think the warm glow of satisfaction is merely a conservative sentiment. I think what drives crime fiction in general is a desire for justice in a criminalized world, something everybody shares down deep. What I like about Dexter is the honesty. Everybody's a little nuts. We are all, in a sense, responsible for the world we've created. Dexter and the serial killers he ritually murders seem to slip below the moral pretensions of a society that pretends to high virtue but is full of hidden rooms. His sense of humor is deadly accurate.
I'm popping in a little late on this conversation. I love Dexter. I don't watch television, but found the first two seasons on Netflix's "watch now" option. I'm anxiously awaiting Season 3 disc 2 to see what happens with Dexter's girlfriend and the bloodthirsty D.A. played by Jimmy Smits. I find the forensic stuff interesting and the characters endearing. Funny though, I watched the first two episodes and almost gave up on it because I thought it was too dark and gruesome. Glad I stuck with it!