Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Damn you Michael C. Hall!

Crime dramas bother me. In virtually every crime drama, the judicial system is actually an impediment to the struggle for justice because it is hamstrung by the Bill of Rights. Evil criminals slip through the fingers of the righteous policemen thanks to sissyfied civil rights and unctuous, amoral defense attorneys until the evidence finally proves their guilt, when suddenly their eyes narrow and they remorselessly and calmly lay out their evil machinations in minute detail, revealing their true, monstrous nature. The moral message of every other episode is: "Damnit! If only we didn't have habeas corpus and laws against illegal searches, then we could've saved that last victim!"

Dexter adopts this "moral" message and carries it even further, arguing not only that skirting civil rights makes for more efficient justice, but that it takes a serial killer to clean up the mess of criminals made untouchable by the Bill of Rights, that true justice is the western style, 2-in-the-noggin variety. Dexter is a more efficient and precise instrument of justice, we are told, precisely because he is unbound by the accused's civil liberties, and his justice is more enduring and complete because there is only one punishment.

Now if the damn show would just stop being so well written and acted, maybe I could stop loving it.

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