Why Dexter is One of the Most Unintentionally Conservative Shows on TV

Nudity? Occasionally. Profanity? All the time. Dismemberment? Every episode.

The protagonist in Showtime’s controversial series “Dexter” is an unrepentant serial killer. The show, in its seventh and final season, is a darling of liberal viewers, while conservatives tend toward the less niche fare offered by the major networks. However, even with its morally complicated plot, “Dexter” is one of television’s most unintentionally conservative shows.

Why?  First you have to understand the backstory.

The young Dexter (Michael C. Hall) witnesses his mother’s murder in one of the bloodiest murders in Miami history. Harry, the police officer who works the crime, adopts the young boy and raises him as his own child. Soon, however, Harry (James Remar) is horrified to discover that Dexter has been killing neighborhood pets. Assuming the desire to kill must’ve originated upon witnessing his mom’s death — and believing he can’t control Dexter’s urge — he teaches his son to kill only those guilty of heinous crimes. In other words, Dexter becomes a vigilante — a Batman of sorts — for whom viewers unwittingly end up rooting.

The show is not “conservative” in the sense that you might want the church youth group to watch it for spiritual lessons. The show’s themes, however, are subversively conservative.

Read the three reasons why here.

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About Nancy French

Nancy French is a three time New York Times Best Selling Author.

  • MeanLizzie

    Link not working?

    • http://www.NancyFrench.com/ Nancy French

      Thanks! I fixed it. Sorry!

  • rvs

    Subversively conservative… interesting. It is heavily deontological, to be sure, but I wonder if the code participates in a kind of behaviorist and rigorously naturalist worldview as well, which I suppose can also manifest itself in a conservative way. Regardless, thanks for the post–Dexter is a fascinating show.

  • Nick

    Great it’s conservative. But what really matters is it Christian? Would Jesus approve of a vigilante murderer going around and killing criminals? Is that how Paul instructs Christians to act?


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