In Which I Wonder What is Wrong With You People

After much hoopla and cajoling and downright ordering, I finally sat down (read: lounged in a comfortable reclining position) and watched the critically-and-friends-acclaimed series Dexter.  This is not a show to be confused with Dexter’s Laboratory, although both do feature an over-the-top scientist named Dexter who operates his own laboratory and has a secret life that he keeps hidden from most of his family in order to conduct his private business.  I approached the show with some trepidation and announced my worries with respect to the gore and violence factor.  “It is way less gross than Oz and True Blood,” assured Gojira, presumably to pay me back for making her watch “True Blood.”  A few others piped up and echoed her sentiments and fool that I am, I believed them.

"Blood is my life."

Don’t get me wrong – I love the show.  The plot is complicated, the writing is clever, the main character is complex and charming and the acting all around is pretty good.  But the gore and violence?  Oh my.  Out of control.  Perhaps those blood-thirsty buddies of mine don’t remember all the way back to the first season, but the dispatching of victims relied very heavily on chunky, thick, disgusting sight and sound; not so much with the gradual cutaways to let us use our imagination instead.  There were some scenes where I had to look down at my own shirt to make sure none of the blood spatter got on me.  I’m not saying that the vampire shows I’ve watched and touted don’t have their own share of brutal scenes.  But here’s the thing: vampires are (allegedly) not real; serial killers are.  I can sleep easily at night after having watched some vamp off a helpless hapless vic because I am not really worried that one will come after me and mine (especially since I have all sorts of wards and garlic around the place).  But murderers exist!  Some even in my neighborhood!

The show is great but very very gross.  When a scene involves visible injections, mutilations, dismemberment, etc. or, say, someone passing out in a room of blood, you have to admit it’s gross.  Even the opening credits give me the heebie-jeebies.  Yeah, yeah, I know all about Dexter’s code and as long as I keep my nose clean, I’ll be safe . . . unless I spoiler his blood slides and end up spoilering to smithereens in some God-forsaken cabin when his psychotic spoiler finds me and then it doesn’t matter how many years of service I gave to the spoiler or how innocent I am . . . and . . . you know.  On to Season Three!

post-script:  watching a television series on DVD is totally the way to go.  I don’t know how you folks could stand the suspense having to wait each week for some resolution to every cliff-hanger when the show was on the air.  I watched Battlestar Gallactica‘s first few seasons on DVD and it was bliss.  Then I watched it in real-time.  TORTURE.  Ditto The Wire, True Blood, and Six Feet Under.

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5 responses to “In Which I Wonder What is Wrong With You People

  1. The opening credits are the worst! They give me a major case of the creeps. (By “the worst” I don’t mean that they are bad, just really disturbing.)

    For me, the toughest season to take in terms of the gore and violence was season 3 (also the weakest season). I think my ability to stomach gore increases when the show is compelling. I don’t remember being too disturbed by the violence of season 1; what got me were the creepy moments, like the mementos left in the fridge. Those were the scenes I found tough to take and that lingered uncomfortably with me. Although I was pretty disturbed by some stuff in this past season even though the show was as strong as it had been at the start.

    Also, isn’t Rita so annoying?

  2. i think that there actually is less gore when they’ve got something meaty to hang the plot on (ew, that came out gross) and that there is more gore (or i notice it more) when the plot is weak. perhaps a defense mechanism kicked in and i just became less affected by the vivid details of sir saran wrap ™’s activities b/c season two did not seem as ultra-violent and showy as season one.

    rita IS annoying! especially considering that i last saw her riding the wave of vampire resurrection and destruction. and now this? oh, darla, where’s that spine of yours?! and, while we are at it, where’s that sidekick/granddaughter/mother drucilla of yours? i miss her.

  3. While it is sort of annoying to have to wait a week for each episode, I also love watching TV shows on TV when everyone else is watching it.

    When BSG was on, I did watch the first couple of seasons online and then saw it to the end while it aired on TV, and people were excited and discussed each episode and had theories and perdictions, it was really nice and participatory.

    I feel like the same is happening with Lost, which is the best part of it being the last season. Everyone is onboard and discussing it after each episode and it feels like a community of people who are brought together by dedicating a number of years to a TV show. What’s more special than that? Okay, lots of things, but it’s fun!

  4. you do have a point – i really enjoyed the camaraderie and theory-spouting we all did in that final season of BSG – which i would have missed out on and probably would have been spoiled on had i watched it on dvd. okay, let me rephrase: nothing beats watching a tv show on DVD AFTER it has already been proven to be a good show BUT BEFORE the final season. avoiding commercials, getting to watch it whenever (before dawn, after midnight, everything in between) and wherever (in bed, on the computer, in an airport), and getting to gorge until you pass out has its perks.

  5. Hahah okay, I will agree to that!

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