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TV's serial killer chic (article by Brent Bozell)
Townhall.com ^ | October 6, 2006 | Brent Bozell III

Posted on 10/06/2006 10:55:35 AM PDT by EveningStar

Are television critics a menace to society? What do we do when our media tastemakers, the men and women entrusted to evaluate the artistic merit of Tinseltown offerings, exult in Hollywood's lack of taste? When perverse novelty and "edge" and complete moral confusion is what these critics live to watch and love to promote, they appear to be seeking to establish the polar opposite of a moral tone in our culture.

Take as an example the critics' views on the new Showtime drama "Dexter." Its sickening premise makes a hero out of a sadistic serial killer, because he kills only bad guys and does so in the dark of night. During the day, he helps the cops assess blood spatter patterns in murder investigations. He's a sociopathic killer-slash-hero, with the emphasis on the slash -- he carves his victims up to fit into Hefty bags.

Author Jeff Lindsay, whose gruesome novels inspired the series, joked to the TV critics this summer that, "As I looked out across the room, the idea just popped into my head that serial murder isn't always a bad thing." They laughed...

(Excerpt) Read more at townhall.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bozell; brentbozell; dexter; jefflindsay; serialkiller; showtime; television; tv
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1 posted on 10/06/2006 10:55:36 AM PDT by EveningStar
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To: Howlin; onyx; Clemenza; Petronski; GummyIII; SevenofNine; martin_fierro; veronica; Xenalyte; ...

Miscellaneous Ping List


2 posted on 10/06/2006 10:58:39 AM PDT by EveningStar
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To: EveningStar
The Romans has gladiators. We aren't there, but we do love blood and gore as entertainment.

Also: there is a widespread belief that our justice system is broken and that the guilty are not punished. Many folks wish that street justice would return so that right-minded people could just "take out the trash". Long-term, that lack of faith in the judicial system is quite damaging.

3 posted on 10/06/2006 11:00:36 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The broken wall, the burning roof and tower. And Agamemnon dead.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Yep. This is just a grisley version of Batman.


4 posted on 10/06/2006 11:01:54 AM PDT by Sans-Culotte ("Thanks, Tom DeLay, for practically giving me your seat"-Nick Lampson)
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To: EveningStar

The Dexter books are clearly comedy, and I expect the series will lean more towards dark comedy than attempting to portray Dexter as a hero.


5 posted on 10/06/2006 11:02:51 AM PDT by LanPB01
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To: LanPB01

I've never heard of Dexter.


6 posted on 10/06/2006 11:03:52 AM PDT by EveningStar
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To: EveningStar

Much ado about nothing. This isn't on the public airwaves, no innocent children will stumble upon it: if you want to see it, you have to pay for the channel and bring it into your house.

Besides, vigilante stories are nothing new - even Batman used to kill criminals who fell through the cracks. Maybe this is a more gruesome treatment, but it's not a new idea.

The only real question is if the series is good or not. I don't have Showtime, so I can't speak to that.


7 posted on 10/06/2006 11:04:40 AM PDT by highball (Proud to announce the birth of little Highball, Junior - Feb. 7, 2006!)
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To: ClearCase_guy
The Romans has gladiators. We aren't there

But it would be a sold out stadium......

8 posted on 10/06/2006 11:04:40 AM PDT by myprecious
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To: Sans-Culotte
Yep. This is just a grisley version of Batman.

Damn. You beat me to it!

9 posted on 10/06/2006 11:05:14 AM PDT by highball (Proud to announce the birth of little Highball, Junior - Feb. 7, 2006!)
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To: EveningStar

Or Jack Bauer killin' terrorists or John Wayne shootin' up the cowboys in black hats or...

Nothing new under the sun.


10 posted on 10/06/2006 11:05:40 AM PDT by BJClinton (Celebrate diversity: re-elect Congressman Foley!)
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To: EveningStar

On the Cartoon Channel he has a laboratory.


11 posted on 10/06/2006 11:05:46 AM PDT by techcor
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To: EveningStar

I don't think either of the books were on any bestseller list, so most of the public probably hasn't heard of these books. I was surprised they were popular enough for Showtime to make a series based on the character.


12 posted on 10/06/2006 11:05:56 AM PDT by LanPB01
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To: ClearCase_guy
I don't pollute my house with TV, nor am I familiar with the books that inspired this series, so my input is somewhat moot. Having said that, it seems on the surface, anyways, that what's being described are not so much the actions of a serial killer as they are that of a vigilante, and in that regard, differ little from the Deathwish films by Charlie Bronson, or even the vengeance driven origins of a number of comic book superheroes that have been around for decades.
13 posted on 10/06/2006 11:09:00 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: ClearCase_guy

The Romans has gladiators. We aren't there, but we do love blood and gore as entertainment.
______________

When I took my son to his first pro football game, as we entered the stadium, I told him that this is the closest he's likely to experience what the Roman masses saw when Christians were thrown to the lions.

Anyone remember Michael Douglas in the "Star Chamber"? Sounds pretty much like this, only as a solo gig.


14 posted on 10/06/2006 11:10:38 AM PDT by dmz
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To: ClearCase_guy
The Romans has gladiators. We aren't there, but we do love blood and gore as entertainment.

It's common throughout human history. If gladiatorial contests were broadcast on TV today, is there any doubt they would be wildly popular?

15 posted on 10/06/2006 11:10:39 AM PDT by Rummyfan
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To: EveningStar
Like any lecturing cultural commissar, Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle demands that "anything as daring and original as this should be trumpeted to the masses if it indeed does cross a social line." Television is always, always about "testing the boundaries of what's acceptable." It is "the ultimate challenge -- providing grown-ups with difficult fare."

That's just fricking insane.

16 posted on 10/06/2006 11:11:03 AM PDT by ichabod1 (Face it, every empire comes to an end, and ours is on the down hill slope.)
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To: EveningStar

I saw the series premier of Dexter over the weekend. Interesting show. The guy is hardly portrayed as a hero, and the point is made repeatedly that he's not a good guy.

I don't know if I'll watch it again, but it held my interest for an hour. At any rate it's on cable and easy to avoid if you don't like that sort of show.


17 posted on 10/06/2006 11:11:23 AM PDT by kms61
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To: myprecious

We don't even git ta watch executins. :(

Shoot, they don't let us dew nuthin' no more.


18 posted on 10/06/2006 11:12:33 AM PDT by ichabod1 (Face it, every empire comes to an end, and ours is on the down hill slope.)
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To: myprecious

We don't even git ta watch executins. :(

Shoot, they don't let us dew nuthin' no more.


19 posted on 10/06/2006 11:12:36 AM PDT by ichabod1 (Face it, every empire comes to an end, and ours is on the down hill slope.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
Many folks wish that street justice would return so that right-minded people could just "take out the trash You mean like in DC?
20 posted on 10/06/2006 11:14:01 AM PDT by 03A3
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To: kms61

I liked it, and I think the guy who plays Dexter is a good actor, based on his work on Six Feet Under.

I'll keep watching, thank you DVR.


21 posted on 10/06/2006 11:14:15 AM PDT by Julliardsux
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To: Joe 6-pack

Those Charles Bronson movies, or at least the original Death Wish, were more about the grief, anger, and frustration that finally drove a thoroughly non-violent man to pick up a weapon and go out into the streets. And then his struggle with himself over whether to continue.

This one just sounds sick.


22 posted on 10/06/2006 11:14:55 AM PDT by ichabod1 (Face it, every empire comes to an end, and ours is on the down hill slope.)
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To: highball

I know nothing about this but Bozell frequently writes provocative articles and they can make for fun threads.


23 posted on 10/06/2006 11:18:05 AM PDT by EveningStar
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To: Rummyfan

It's not like football is that much better. The Gladiators didn't go out and fight with the intention of killing each other, but it was vicious, violent, and bloody and sometimes they DID die. They couldn't have them fighting to the death regularly, they took too long to train, they'd have run out of Gladiators.

(that doesn't say anything about the criminals and political prisoners and animals that were butchered in the Arena. THAT is where the REAL blood came in)


24 posted on 10/06/2006 11:18:09 AM PDT by ichabod1 (Face it, every empire comes to an end, and ours is on the down hill slope.)
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To: EveningStar

I've often fantasized about becoming a sex offender serial killer.


25 posted on 10/06/2006 11:18:32 AM PDT by sandbar
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To: EveningStar

Most of Hollywood's killers go after innocent women and children. This is a step up from that...


26 posted on 10/06/2006 11:20:44 AM PDT by GOPJ (Quickest way to put the Foley scandal behind us is for Foley to switch parties - BufordP)
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To: ichabod1
"Those Charles Bronson movies, or at least the original Death Wish, were more about the grief, anger, and frustration that finally drove a thoroughly non-violent man to pick up a weapon and go out into the streets. And then his struggle with himself over whether to continue.

What little I know about this show is based exclusively on this article...my supposition is that the character is driven to his acts because of what he's seen at crime scenes as the result of his work. Admittedly an assumption, and probably a poor one to make. Having said all that, if the themes of the show are what I suspect, they are really nothing new:

Shakespeare & The Law: Obligation, Vengeance, and the Abuse of Power

27 posted on 10/06/2006 11:22:22 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: kms61
I saw the series premier of Dexter over the weekend. Interesting show. The guy is hardly portrayed as a hero, and the point is made repeatedly that he's not a good guy.

Are the "bad guys" he goes after really Republicans? It's hard to believe Hollywood knows the difference between good and evil...

28 posted on 10/06/2006 11:23:00 AM PDT by GOPJ (Quickest way to put the Foley scandal behind us is for Foley to switch parties - BufordP)
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To: EveningStar
Not this Dexter..my kids will be devastated..


29 posted on 10/06/2006 11:29:41 AM PDT by BerniesFriend
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To: Joe 6-pack

Good guess, but I think wrong. There are flashbacks to his life as a kid. His father was a detective. Dexter started acting on urges as a child to kill and hurt animals. The father picked up on this, and, knowing there was no way to fix it, tried to channel it by teaching him how to find bad people and kill them without being caught. Kind of like a serial-killing superhero.


30 posted on 10/06/2006 11:30:49 AM PDT by Julliardsux
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To: EveningStar

I don't know I liked the show myself.


31 posted on 10/06/2006 11:33:27 AM PDT by CajunConservative (If the Dems take the House, Nancy Pelosi will be two heartbeats from the Presidency.)
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To: Julliardsux
"Good guess, but I think wrong....."

My assumptions and I stand corrected, and my decision to Elvis the TV stands reaffirmed!

32 posted on 10/06/2006 11:39:02 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: sandbar

He's not a sex offender serial killer, just a serial killer of sex offender serial killers.


33 posted on 10/06/2006 11:39:44 AM PDT by CajunConservative (If the Dems take the House, Nancy Pelosi will be two heartbeats from the Presidency.)
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To: CajunConservative
That's an interesting sentence ;)

And I like dark humor as long as the good guys win....so this show is right up my alley.
34 posted on 10/06/2006 11:42:49 AM PDT by najida (The internet is for kids grown up-- Where else could you have 10,000 imaginary friends?)
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To: BerniesFriend

I love that Dexter (boy scientist).


35 posted on 10/06/2006 11:44:04 AM PDT by Cecily (`)
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To: CajunConservative

>>>He's not a sex offender serial killer, just a serial killer of sex offender serial killers.>>>

Yeah, that's what I meant. I wouldn't mind being him. Or at least being on a jury that is he on trial with. ;o)


36 posted on 10/06/2006 11:45:50 AM PDT by sandbar
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To: ichabod1
"And then his struggle with himself over whether to continue."

Some struggle.

Death Wish was followed by Death Wish II, Death Wish 3, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, and Death Wish V: The Face of Death

37 posted on 10/06/2006 11:48:28 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: EveningStar

bump


38 posted on 10/06/2006 11:48:34 AM PDT by lesser_satan (EKTHELTHIOR!!!)
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To: najida

It was pretty interesting and well acted. It's not for everyone but it had a good hook the first episode. I have to find out who is the serial killer who is on to Dexter.


39 posted on 10/06/2006 11:48:41 AM PDT by CajunConservative (If the Dems take the House, Nancy Pelosi will be two heartbeats from the Presidency.)
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To: sandbar

He's keeping the taxpayers from having to support the really really bad guys.


40 posted on 10/06/2006 11:51:04 AM PDT by CajunConservative (If the Dems take the House, Nancy Pelosi will be two heartbeats from the Presidency.)
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To: EveningStar

I liked it (there is also a mini-OZ reunion with 3 castmembers from that show in support here). Humor includes Dexter trying to "fit in" by buying and passing out donuts to fellow cops.


41 posted on 10/06/2006 11:52:59 AM PDT by isom35
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To: CajunConservative

Yeah,
hook me and I'll watch.

Like CSI NY and the whole Danny/Lindsay thing....
Those folks must be reading my emails.


42 posted on 10/06/2006 11:54:18 AM PDT by najida (The internet is for kids grown up-- Where else could you have 10,000 imaginary friends?)
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To: isom35

I never saw Oz either.


43 posted on 10/06/2006 12:01:08 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: EveningStar

Two points.

Killing bad guys is one thing. But dismmeberment and mutilation?

Also, in Dexter's list of bad guys are prostitutes. They don't deserve to be killed. Ergo, he's one of the bad guys.


44 posted on 10/06/2006 12:10:08 PM PDT by Killborn (Pres. Bush isn't Pres. Reagan. Then again, Pres. Regan isn't Pres. Washington. God bless them all.)
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To: Killborn; All
Here's the official show site.
45 posted on 10/06/2006 12:15:17 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: robertpaulsen

Okay, so he didn't struggle that hard.


46 posted on 10/06/2006 12:43:03 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: ClearCase_guy

I just bought "Natural Born Killers in the $5.99 bin. It is clearly an endictment of our culture and, as the film ages, it becomes quite apparent just how prophetic it was.

It'll get worse. Much worse.


47 posted on 10/06/2006 12:44:56 PM PDT by RobRoy (Islam is a greater threat to the world today than Naziism was in 1937.)
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To: Killborn

Prostitutes are not on Dexter's list of bad guys, at least not in the book, and the first episode followed the book almost verbatim, so I assume he won't be after them in the TV series, either.


48 posted on 10/06/2006 12:49:18 PM PDT by LanPB01
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To: EveningStar
Its sickening premise makes a hero out of a sadistic serial killer

I question the premise of this premise.

I watched the premier, and it does not make a "hero" out of the character Dexter. He is a sick man.

49 posted on 10/06/2006 12:55:56 PM PDT by Lunatic Fringe (Say "NO" to the Trans-Texas Corridor)
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To: EveningStar

Like the Boodock Saints?


50 posted on 10/06/2006 1:00:44 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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