We’re watching “Dexter,” just about finished with Season Two.
I read the books not too long ago. I enjoyed them. They have a very different tenor than the television show: darker, more violent, twisted in a different way.
The show, I think, is actually better. There’s a great deal more character development on all sides. You see the animal in Dexter, but you also see the side of him that his Dark Passenger overrides, the side of him that struggles against the Dark Passenger, the side of him that truly cares about Rita and her children. You also see a lot more of the other characters, from Doakes to Deb.
The books are a good read, if you have a strong stomach and are into that sort of thing. But the show covers a much longer span, and I think the producers use that expanded time frame beautifully to explore the characters and the morals of the situation much more fully. Listening to Dexter debate himself over and over inside his head and to him speak openly about himself and his code to Doakes… It gives an interesting insight into what it might be like inside the mind of a serial killer.
The worst of it is that I find myself sitting here thinking, “He’s not so bad, really. He’s good to the kids, he’s restrained himself from killing crazy Lila, and he hasn’t chopped Doakes up into pretty little pieces.” And when he talks about his code, it almost makes sense. I mean, I work in law enforcement; I don’t approve of what he does, but some days, I can’t help but think… Then reality kicks in and I know that it would never be worth it.
As Dexter goes back and forth on whether to turn himself in and what he needs to do to insure it goes smoothly, it’s hard not to feel sorry for him. It’s hard to reconcile the Dark Passenger with the side of him that tries so hard to adhere to Harry’s code.
I want to go back and reread the books now, to take a closer look at how they differ and how they’re similar. I think that’s my new mission for the week: stop by the library and pick up Darkly Dreaming Dexter. Yes, I do believe that that’s exactly what I’m going to do tomorrow. 🙂