I like to think that I am an all around good person. I was raised to care for others above myself, to obey the law, to never do harm to anyone, and to believe that the wicked should be punished and justice served. These values are so deeply rooted in who I am that to cheer for someone doing something evil despite their motives behind it feels so wrong. Yet the following characters are two of my favorites and I grow more afraid with every episode that they will get caught and have to pay for their crimes. Allow me to explain.
Look at that face! He is the worlds most adorable serial killer. Yes, he’s twisted and terrifying but I still want nothing more than for him to live happily ever after.
I’ll admit, I’ve only watched the first 2 seasons of this series but that was enough to make me fall in love with this character and I hate myself for it. I mean what does that say about me?! I’m rooting for a serial killer! I feel sorry for him and almost encourage his behavior for his own good and for the good of us all.
Beware the spoilers…
James Manos, Jr. is the genius screenwriter behind Dexter. He tells a story of a child traumatized by the brutal murder of his parents and now as an adult he has developed a bit of an obsession with blood. He managed to get a “respectable” job as a blood spatter analyst with the Miami Police Dept. but that’s not enough. See, he’s got this itch and the only way to scratch it is to commit a nice murder. I told you, twisted.
But he’s not a bad guy! He has a sister that he loves more than anyone, a nice girlfriend with kids that he wants to take care of and he tries to live a seemingly normal life but he is broken and scared and this addiction is not something he can control. He knows what he’s doing is wrong and he would stop if he could but since he can’t he has learned to channel his rage. He is a sort of vigilante killer who only prey’s on the wicked. He studies and researches his victims to be sure that they do not deserve to continue breathing. His actions may save more lives than he’s taken.
I really feel for this character. That’s not to say that I connect with him though. He is messed up and has an intense and terrifying darkness in him. He is by every definition a monster but I pity him. I want him to be better, happy, and normal. I want to protect him. This goes against everything that I believe.
Breaking Bad, my newest addiction. Vince Gilligan created and produces this amazing series. This show houses some of the best writing I have ever seen. The first couple of episodes are brutal and a little hard to watch but they set up the rest of series so brilliantly that you can’t tear your eyes away.
Walter White is just your average, under-paid, genius, high school chemistry teacher. He has a spiteful, judgmental wife, a son with cerebral palsy, an unplanned baby on the way, a super nosy sister-in-law, and her obnoxious DEA agent husband to deal with. To top all of that off he gets diagnosed with lung cancer. Sucks to be him!
Now Walt is a good man. He provides for his family, is a law-abiding citizen, and an all around kind and decent human being. He doesn’t deserve the hand he’s be dealt. I think we can all identify with that. Now facing death he is forced to look at the life he will be leaving behind for his family. It’s not a good one. Their home is run down, there are no savings, no college tuition for his son and new-born daughter, and now facing the high cost of his cancer treatment his family will be left in financial ruin.
He doesn’t have much time left to secure his family’s future before he’s gone. So what’s a man to do? Why, become a Meth dealer of course! Duh! I mean, technically he’s just the cook but he is the finest cook in all of Albuquerque. His meth is the most pure and chemically stable product on the market. If you’re going to do something, do it well!
Apparently meth dealing is a dangerous business. Who knew, right?! Walt does not belong in this world. He is forced to commit some unspeakable crimes. His actions, regardless of his reasons are unforgivable and he should be put in jail. And yet I find myself worrying about him. Even when the episode is over, I worry what will happen next.
This isn’t right! These kinds of shows make me question my morality. I hate that I love these characters.
Is this the product of good writing or am I just secretly evil?