Thursday, November 8, 2012

Debating Debra: Dexter Season Six Disaster


While the benefit of time and perspective may change the minds of many in the future, the sixth season of Showtime’s hit series Dexter has generally been met with mixed to negative reactions. While there are a number of reasons for the less than flattering reception, including an obvious plot twist involving Edward James Olmos’ character and a slow paced storyline that involved main characters gathering information the viewers already possess, the most controversial aspect of the shows sixth season was the developing romantic feelings of Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) towards her adoptive brother Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall).
                While the two characters are not biologically related, there has still been much aversion towards the notion of a romantic relationship between them considering the viewers and characters themselves have seen each other as family for years. Nevertheless those hoping for a quick end to the slightly incestuous romance may be in for a long wait. At a recent network press tour, Showtime boss David Nevin revealed the storyline will continue into the next season and commented on how it was a long time coming:

“It’s something that has been building for a number of years, I think. It’s an idea that’s informed how they’ve done the show for a long time.”

Now as viewers we are essentially outsiders when it comes to the creative process of making this great series. However as viewers we are also arguably the most qualified to decide whether the intentions of the show runners have been met or made clear. It’s one concept to form an idea and throw it out there; it’s another concept entirely to have it resonate with the people.
Therefore, as a viewer, I must admit that Nevin’s statements feel like complete bullshit! Having watched every season of Dexter, it is very hard to understand where the notion of a series long budding romance between Dexter and Debra throughout could come from. Over course of the shows six year run, while Dexter and Debra have expressed a strong caring and bond with each other, neither of them has ever considered each other anything beyond family despite their lack of a biological relationship.

One could argue that there hasn’t been any evidence against the idea of a blossoming romance between the two characters, which is true to a certain extent; however there also has never been a clear indication that this was a strong basis on which the show has developed over the years. The burden of proof here lies on the show and network runners and if this story has indeed influenced the progress the series has made thus far, that was not very clear at all. Otherwise there would not be such a strong backlash from viewers had they sensed this storyline was even a remote possibility.

On a personal note, as an adopted child I’d like to express that even without a biological relationship to them, I’ve never had romantic feelings towards any members of my family, extended or direct. The show is almost insulting adopted children and their family but suggesting "Hey, you know you are now REALLY family, right?"  I know I don’t speak on behalf of all adopted people, but I feel I do have some informed insight to contribute to the debate. Also, considering I was adopted as a baby, the life with my family is the only one I’ve ever known. While Dexter has very vague memories of his past before being adopted in the Morgan family, in general he’s expressed difficulty remembering the full extent of his past. Therefore it’s hard to see Dexter ever developing romantic feelings for his sister, but what about Debra?

Personally I think it destroys her character, who has always had a strong sense of right and wrong even when the issues became far too complex to include only two sides. The route the writers took in having Debra make the leap from having a strong bond with her brother to loving him in a romantic way doesn’t make any sense in terms of character consistency. A lot of people in our lives are there for us, make us feel safe, and are considered loved ones in some fashion. For Debra to quickly associate these feelings with romantic love towards someone she’s always considered a brother betrays the way the character has behaved before this point.

What do you think? Is the Dexter/Debra Morgan romance creepy? Has this indeed been a long time coming? Sound off below!

Story Source: E!

No comments:

Post a Comment