I'm in lurve with a serial killer

My friend Erin and I have a lot in common. First of all, we are both lucky enough to teach at Vanier College which has GREAT students. We also like to sit around and intellectualise pop culture. One of our latest obsessions is Dexter, on Showtime. Dexter is about a serial killer. Yeah, I know.. Whatta catch. But not only is he a serial killer, he also works for the Miami Police Department. How's that for a twist? And he doesn't just randomly kill -- he kills with a purpose. To clarify, he only kills those who deserve killin', like fellow serial killers, naughty nurses etc. So many villains from which to choose!

   We both use television as a teaching tool and in fact, Erin teaches a Televison as Literature course, which is, as one could imagine, very popular. I have shown, in the past, episodes of such shows as Six Feet Under, CSI  and Millennium to name a few. Right now I am trying to work out how to show an episode of Dexter (and Prison Break Season 1) in my gothic literature class, Ravens and Shadows.
   Each excellent show spotlights different ideas I would like to explore with my students. For example, we talk about the contemporary fears, such as the fear of serial killers. Dexter Morgan is a (hot) serial killer. We also talk about wolves in sheep’s clothing, monstrous sexuality as well as disconnection, and especially disconnection in urban areas, in my class. I like it. I hope my wonderful students do too.
   Prison Break is so authentically gothic in its excessiveness as well as unbelievable incredible plot narrative. It just has so many things I would enjoy discussing in my class, the biggest being the actual prison metaphor. The castle of the 18th century is replaced by the prisons of today. But the show is not just about its setting; it demonstrates in a very sensitive and subtle way just how much the past not only forms us but continues to haunt us everyday.
   Both of these shows also examine whether monsters are born or made and are the lead characters of Dexter Morgan and Michael Scofield (Michael C. Hall and Wentworth Miller) bad men doing good things or good men forced to do bad. Intriguing.
   I probably will end up writing about both these shows a lot, in a huge egghead nerd way.

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