Dexter Morgan is a serial killer, but it's okay, because he's the good kind.
Dexter doesn't kill just anyone, you see. He only kills other serial killers. Real scum of the earth types -- rapists and pedophiles, to boot -- we're all better off without.
Moral relativism doesn't usually have a place on network TV, but it's worked well for cable outfits like HBO and FX. They've made money hand over fist by getting viewers to identify with mob bosses, dirty cops and their ilk by placing them in worlds where, no matter how bad their behavior is, someone else's is worse.
Showtime dipped a toe in these murky waters with "Weeds," but a suburban mom who deals pot to pay the bills barely even seems like an outlaw figure anymore. An ongoing drama with a serial killer for a hero, on the other hand... that's going to get noticed. And it should. Sick, twisted and darkly funny, "Dexter" is easily the best drama in Showtime history, and maybe the series that finally puts the 30-year-old channel on the map.
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