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November 03 2006

Julie Benz chats about her new show 'Dexter'. She also mentions how much she misses playing Darla.

Great interview! I'm loving Dexter, and Ms. Benz is just great on the show. And I just found this article at Variety.com, which confirms that there will be another season of Dexter, so good news! Yay Julie! :-)
Woohoo! Dexter is awesome! I love it!

[ edited by flightofserenity on 2006-11-03 10:14 ]
'Dexter' just gets better and better. Depending on my mood it's competing with 'Heroes' for favourite new show.

Take slight issue with the Variety article (thanks for the link billz, great news ;) cos I don't think he's seeking justice, I think he's just meeting his urges in a marginally less socially unacceptable manner (thanks to his foster father). Dexter probably knows what justice is, he just can't 'feel' it like we can and so can't really want it.

Watching nature compete with nurture over his behaviour is one of the really interesting aspects of the show, IMO (though even his 'nature' is a learned behaviour since we know something happened to him to make him how he is). It's kind of like the way Star Trek used Spock and later Data to examine the human condition from an outsider's perspective. Great show.
Agreed, Saje. Dexter is getting better and better each week. Michael C Hall is amazing in the role - and Julie Benz is his equal.

Also, ex-Buffy writer Drew Z Greenberg is a writer/producer on the show and his first script for the series was the fourth episode - when I finally realised I was watching a great new show. Definitely one of the highlights of the new season.
I really love how Julie plays her character. Is another strong female character in her carreer, but unlike Darla or Roswell's Topolki, the strongness from her character in Dexter, can't be looked down, just because is not so out there like the mentioned Angel's sire or that FBI agent.

I'm also really enjoying Dexter too.
Has anyone seen Satan's School for Girls? That title alone makes me giggle.

And what does her husband do?
Julie's husband is John Kassir. He's an actor and just played a jeweler in a recent ep. of Bones. He's been around a long time and was the voice of the Crypt Keeper in Tales from the Crypt.
This was a nice, brief interview.

Xane - I've seen the remake of Satan's School for Girls with Julie Benz. It was a pretty crappy TV movie that aired on ABC a number of years ago, starring Shannen Doherty.
I don't think he's seeking justice, I think he's just meeting his urges in a marginally less socially unacceptable manner (thanks to his foster father). Dexter probably knows what justice is, he just can't 'feel' it like we can and so can't really want it.

Interesting point, Saje. Dexter shows a bit of excitement when he finds a Big Bad to use his, er, special skills on, like in the most recent ep where . I agree he doesn't feel like a normal person and so doesn't want something as abstract as justice (or, doesn't want much at all, as we saw when Rita made her, er, very kind gift to him), but Dexter does seem to enjoy killing the "right" person in some way. He also takes time to demonstrate to the Big Bad what it is they've done and to get a confession out of them before he gets medieval on them. Is it because it's "just", or because it's what Harry taught him to do, or because he's simply glad to have a new sample for his box of slides? Maybe some of each. That's why Dexter is such a great series; nothing at all is simple, it's all mixed in shades of gray. :-)

Also: a killer who kills those who are as bad or worse than him. Wonder if he had a role model *coughangelcough*? I'm just sayin'. ;-)
Is it because it's "just", or because it's what Harry taught him to do, or because he's simply glad to have a new sample for his box of slides?

I guess that depends billz on whether he's (in his own words) 'just a collection of learned responses'.

We see a few times that he's aware of 'wrong' and I think he's probably aware of 'unjust' in the same way i.e. he can tell by experience and observation of others (as well as Harry's code) what's wrong or unfair but he doesn't have the internal moral compass most of us take for granted which is why he sometimes gets confused in novel situations (situations he hasn't learned a set of rules for) often to hilarious effect.

(maybe he enjoys killing the 'right' person so much because in those cases Harry's code and Dexter's urges mesh so that he doesn't feel any internal conflict ?)

But as you so rightly say it's all about the shades of grey in that show and I think one of the questions it poses is are we all just a set of learned responses ? Is the much vaunted moral compass also just an arbitrary set of rules but one that most people internalise at an early age (compared to Dexter's conscious application of 'the code') ? Or are we naturally moral, is there natural justice ?

And as he says in ep 4, Dexter is something new, something the ice-truck killer wasn't expecting. He's the serial killer you can take home to Mum (or, y'know, not ;) and I think that's to do with the mixture of influences you mention above. Again in ep 4, he says 'Harry wouldn't want it and neither would I' not 'neither do I' so it seems like he's imagining what the Dexter that could've been (without the massive trauma/abuse) would feel and act like and previously he's talked about being a 'little wooden boy' as if he knows, like Pinocchio, that he's missing something and actually misses it.

So there's plenty of substance to the show, IMO, (as well as great acting, great script, nice plots, hell, even the opening credits are cool ;) though it's not always as accessible as the metaphor rich Buffyverse. Or i'm way over-analysing ;).

(not watched ep 5 yet so i've avoided your invisitext, hope this still makes sense in light of that)
Excellent analysis of the show, Saje. I think the ep 5 developments I invisotexted will be worth watching unspoiled, so I will say no more till you see it. ;-)
Ah, yep, he does seem to have dropped himself in it a bit with the invisotexted events ;).

And it seems like . Also, as with Buffy, musical cues seem quite important in Dexter e.g. he got the same upbeat Spanish guitar riff as a reward (what I think of as Dexter's hero riff, or as close as he's likely to get to hero anyway ;). Likewise,

Interesting developments both from a character and story POV.
Huge thank you to those invisotexting this. I'm not that far in - torrents 3:16. I will say it's my favourite new show this season, and I'm thrilled it's coming back. Also, Julie is perfect for the part she has.
Saje, glad you got to ep 5! Your observations are once again great. I might have to go back and listen for music cues more closely! ;-)

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