If we appreciate [Dexter’s] humor and laugh at his wry observations, doesn’t that laughter amount to endorsement? … If we watch, doesn’t our watching amount to endorsement?

Douglas L. Howard, Dexter: Investigating Cutting Edge Television
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Dexter is not so much an ad for serial killing as it is a show that, in the end, does what television does do in its finest hours: it refers to some unusual commonalities, reflects some general trutsh about the human condition, and makes us rethink our own sacred codes that we have held so dear.

Douglas L. Howard, Dexter: Investigating Cutting Edge Television

I stared at the screen, wide-eyed, as Dexter realized that his blood slides were gone, as the FBI knocked at his door, as he apologized to his sister, as Lundy and Matthews glared down at him and demanded an explanation for the rectangular wooden box in the plastic bag. That was it. It was all over for Dexter- … I did not feel that sense of satisfaction, though, that comes with seeing the guilty punished or justice served. Rather, I felt a curious disappointment, the kind that goes along with getting caught after breaking curfew as a teen or even watching an underdog sports team getting knocked out of the playoffs, and then a slight bewilderment at my response, in rooting for the admittedly disturbed serial killer over the propriety of law enforcement. Had television warped my sense of values, or had it just brought out the worst in me?

Douglas L. Howard, Dexter: Investigating Cutting Edge Television