I’ve recently fallen in love with Dexter, the TV show about a serial killer who kills serial killers. I’ve got through 3 seasons in about a week and a half, and just starting my fourth. I realized after watching a few episodes that the show fulfills all of the criteria I have for a good TV show:
A like-able, relatable main character
A “cat-and-mouse” type story arch
Unpredictable twists and turns
A well-planned out storyline, with resolutions at the end of every season (*cough* LOST; Heroes)
Poses interesting ethical delimmas and forces you to ask yourself , “Is this right? What would I do in this type of a situation?”
The last one is a fairly important one. I find that a show can’t just be entertaining, it has to be intellectually stimulating, and Dexter is one that is.
If you’re familiar with concepts in ethics, and specifically ‘utilitarianism’ or ‘consequentialism’ — the belief that in any given decision, the consequence is what matters most, and what should be measured — the first thing you’ll notice about Dexter is that he’s a consequentialist. He believes that it’s justified to take a life in order to prevent more innocent lives to be taken, and for justice to be served to the previous lives there were.
A famous consequentialist dilemma is the one about being stuck in a lifeboat which can only contain 7 passengers when there’s 20 of you. What would you do? Would you throw the weak people off to give the strong ones a chance to row back to the shore? Would you randomly throw off some people so that it’s not unfair to some, while risking some certainty that people left will be able to row back to shore? Or would you just let everyone drown together and no one survive?
A consequentialist would choose the first option, because it’s rational in that ‘most human lives have the chance of being saved’ who could then ‘lead on to affect the world in a positive way making the world, consequentially, better off.’ The fact that you’ll essentially have to murder for this to happen isn’t a factor because in the end, you’re saving some lives as opposed to saving none.
Coming back to the show, through the episodes I’ve kept on asking myself, “Am I a consequentialist?”. While I feel totally justified with Dexter’s decisions, and support him in every kill of his, I’m not sure I would choose to push the weak people out of the boat, because put simply, I don’t think I could. While I would save lives in the end, I’d like to think that everyone on the boat is on the same boat, so to speak, and no life is worth saving more than the other.
So if you’re in the mood for some philosophical pondering, check out Dexter. I’m about to start season 4 now, and if it is as good as the others, I’d have to give it to Dexter to being the most consistently awesome show on television.
I hated this year’s Oscars and it’s obvious why. But one thing that really got to me was best director. I thought I knew what this award was for — guess I was wrong.
Before it was given, the buzz was, “Oh, I hope it’s Bigelow! First woman ever! Yipeee!”. I don’t have a problem with women winning this spot — I hope a woman wins it every year. But to me, best director should be given to the director who was “responsible in a major way, as the director, for making a film (leaving apart the script, acting, technicalities) into what it turned out to be on celluloid.”
Let’s take two other fellow nominees: Quentin Tarantino for Inglorious Basterds and James Cameron for Avatar. Without these people, can you imagine their respective films even existing? I doubt anyone in this world would have the vivid imagination and historical knowledge to write and direct something like Inglorious, and add to that the technical-knowhow, curiosity, and drive for something at the scale of Avatar. Inglorious Basterds was Quentin Tarantino. Avatar was James Cameron. These people are true visionaries, pioneers, creative geniuses, directors, and it shows in their products. Regardless of whether you can argue if their movies were critically or commercially appreciated — which they were — you can’t argue their influence on it.
Katherine Bigelow for The Hurt Locker? Because she’s a woman who created a decent movie, and for whom winning it would make her the first ever to do so? Give me a break.
Each Monday, Storychord.com will feature one story, one image, and one song— each by a different underexposed, talented up-and-comer. All issues are thoughtfully curated by Sarah Lynn Knowles (SARAHSPY, The Furnace Review).
To submit work, please carefully follow all guidelines below. Submissions are held in consideration for up to 6 months. Please note, you will hear back only if your work has been selected for publication.
Writers may submit short fiction (3,500 words maximum) either in the body of an email or as an .rtf attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to send a short bio, including any recent or upcoming publication credits and your website link.
Photographers & other visual artists may submit links to 1-3 images (no attachments, please) to email@example.com. Be sure to send a short bio, including any recent or upcoming gallery/publication credits and your website link.
Bands/labels may submit songs (1-2 songs per artist) via our Soundcloud dropbox. Be sure to include a short bio specifying the artist’s location, label (if unsigned, say so), album title/release date, and website.
This is a cool idea. I often wonder why media in the 21st century is limited to mainstream “movies”, “music”, and “books” — what The Machine wants us to consume. There are so many talented writers, photographers, musicians, film-makers out there… since when did the scale of a release become the measure of good art?
I’m working on a short story which I may submit, but if not, I look forward to seeing what other people come up with.