9. Dexter - What If Your Brother Was A Serial Killer?
Showtime’s drama/ thriller Dexter was a runaway hit upon
its debut in 2006, with its killer premise—a serial killer who targets other
serial killers—managing to satisfy viewer’s bloodlust whilst also allowing them
to feel relatively morally upright.
And the show did manage to interrogate the morality of its protagonist throughout its eight-season run, with Michael C. Hall’s central turn never offering any easy answers or banal platitudes which excused the troubled protagonist’s twisted idea of vigilante justice. Well, until the widely-derided series finale, that is.
But there was a harder moral question at the core of Dexter’s premise, and it wasn’t the one faced by the titular protagonist. As tough cop and Dexter’s sister Debra Morgan, Jennifer Carpenter put in a career-best performance, but it wasn’t until after the show’s lacklustre sixth season that the series posed its most troubling moral quandary-- What if your brother was a serial killer?
When Debra walks in on Dexter disposing of his latest victim,
the smooth-talking hero convinces her this is a one-off occurrence, but the
return-to-form seventh season centres around Morgan’s struggle with her
complicity in Dexter’s crimes. Admirably the show offers no easy answers, and
leaves the viewer wondering how they’d respond when faced with the ultimate
test of family loyalty versus moral responsibility.