Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Serial Fatigue


I've been watching the critics' reviews for the new television season and only one show really caught my eye: Dexter.

Dexter is a forensic investigator for a homicide squad who also happens to be a serial killer himself. The premise of the show is that he uses his interest in murder in a prosocial way---by killing the killers who 'got away'.

Altogether now: "Who thinks up this crap??"

Followed closely by: "ENOUGH with the serial killers already."

I'm suffering from serial corpse fatigue. It starts every morning when I read the local newspaper and see a column of blurbs entitled "Body Found". You'd swear they were passing out corpses around town like campaign fliers at election time. (One local park is particularly infamous, kind of the Hudson Bay of Charm City. When an elementary school class took a field trip there a while ago one of the young students asked the teacher: "Isn't this where they find all the dead people?")

Serial killers must be a good source of television advertising revenue, although I don't think they've maximized all their product placement potential. Just think of all the possibilities: Dexter could use a Black and Decker chain saw to dismember his victims (Although I have it on good authority that this is not the best method of body disposal. Time consuming and messy.) There could be a Lysol can placed near blood spills. You could have FTD florists delivering at funerals. Dow Chemicals could probably provide a couple 40 gallon drums of strychnine and rat poison. And then there's Seran Wrap for...eesh...let's not go there.

I realized that American television had hit bottom when a death row inmate told me he'd rather volunteer for execution than spend the rest of his life in an eight-by-eight foot cell watching Oprah. He got his wish. Now we've got Dexter.