#amwatching #Dexter #amwriting

Stories can be powerful. Any reader or otherwise consumer of fiction knows that, has experienced the impact of a well told and powerfully crafted tale. I have already admitted I am late to the party with regards the show Dexter, everyone’s favourite serial killer. Watched a show from season 5 on Netflix tonight. May have been the season 5 premier. In any event, it is the one immediately after we find out his wife was murdered by the Trinity killer.

What is interesting here is, Dexter is a character that can’t feel emotions. Emotions are an alien concept. So in getting us to feel for him, emotions are off the table. That’s right, seeing what he is going through is the way we as consumers of fiction experience, well, feelings for the character. But Dexter is a blank page. He has to fake emotions which only elicit fake emotions in us. If at all. But the writers, and the brilliant interpretation of those words by the actor have done a skillful job of showing in a powerful way what this man with no experience with feelings is… Feeling. Dexter watches other people go through the turmoil of Rita’s murder and in his study of how regular people should feel, he mimics it and convinces us to feel for him. And in the process shows us the character developing and learning something about himself. It is worth watching if only from an academic point of view. Writers do what Dexter is doing all the time. Not knowing how to do something and mimicking those who do it well. And in so doing convince others, and maybe even themselves.

The writers and actor did something awesome. They made me feel empathy for a character that had a complete lack of…empathy.

Well done.

Profile Picture for Philip A. McClimon
Philip A. McClimon is an author who likes to write about the end of the world (post apocalyptic, Sci/Fi), mostly because he thinks the shopping would be awesome (No crowds, everything free). He likes heroes that are the strong, silent type and not necessarily male. By silent he means up until the time there is something snarky to say, usually before, during, and after doing something cool. He writes Urban Fantasy under the name Billy Baltimore for no other reason than that he likes the name. Many of the same rules for his other stories apply to Billy’s, strong silent types, smart mouth, does cool stuff, but these stories take place in a made up town called Hemisphere and involve stuff you only ever hear about on late night conspiracy talk show podcasts, which are, if you think about it, pretty awesome too. So, that’s Phil. He’s not strong, rarely silent, and isn’t known for doing a lot of cool things. But his characters are.