Identifying with Dexter

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Many contemporary high quality TV series tend to enable identification with protagonists who engage in morally dubious or outright abject acts. This essay takes Showtime’s series Dexter as a pre-eminent and extreme example of this tendency, and explores how the viewer’s identification with the serial-killing protagonist of the show is constructed and altered throughout several seasons of the series. In order to analyze the specific relation between Dexter and its audience, this essay first examines the more general possibility television series to produce firm identification of viewers with protagonists by comparing the format of the television series to two media that can be understood as its predecessors: literature and film.

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American, British and Canadian Studies

The Journal of Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu

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