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Guest Post: Dexter’s Work-Family Balance by Morrie Mullins

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For another Dexter fix, read about the work-family balance of Dexter‘s characters with The Psychology of Dexter contributing writer Morrie Mullins.


In my essay for the collection, “The Scientist and the Serial Killer: A Study in Work-Life Balance,” I examined three perspectives on work-family balance as reflected in seasons one-four of Dexter. Season four, as most of us know by now, culminated in the death of Rita, Dexter’s wife, at the hands of Arthur Mitchell/Trinity. Season five picks up at the moment where the prior season left off, with Dexter’s discovery of his wife’s body and his infant son sitting in a pool of blood nearby.

If anything, season five may provide more opportunities for psychological analysis than the other four …

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The Death of Independent Dexter

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As Dexter lover’s avidly await season six, let’s wish a happy belated 40th birthday to Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall and dive into the possible death of an independent Dexter with The Psychology of Dexter contributing writer, Stephen D. Livingston.


My essay “On Becoming a Real Boy” discussed issues of social development and strategic presentation of self. I was excited to see that the latest season of Dexter promised to explore these complex themes, but admittedly a bit disappointed by the overall viewing experience.

In “The Pool Guy,” an award-winning episode of the sitcom Seinfeld, the neurotic and duplicitous George Costanza is worried that Susan, his steady girlfriend, has begun frequently socializing with Elaine. George acts differently around Susan, presenting to her …

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Rationalizing Dexter

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The season five finale of Dexter is behind us, but (thankfully) we’ll continue to share some thoughts from The Psychology of Dexter contributors over the next few weeks.

Today, we have Wind Goodfriend‘s guest post.


In my chapter of The Psychology of Dexter, written with co-author Chase Barrick, we argued that Dexter is the reigning king of Freudian defense mechanisms. For those readers who haven’t read the chapter or who didn’t take Psych 101 in college, Freud argued that “defense mechanisms” are ways that our minds deceive ourselves to avoid stress, trauma, or anxiety. If we have a memory we can’t deal with, we repress it. If we can’t handle things like an adult, we act like a child, a …

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Real Love Among Monsters (And Victims): The Reinvention of Dexter in Season Five

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With the fifth season of Dexter riveting viewers, and the (sure-to-be-talked-about) finale just up ahead, it’s a treat to have a guest post from Tamara Greenburg, one of our contributors  to The Psychology of Dexter.


“Despite having considered myself a monster for as long as I can remember, it still comes as a shock when I am confronted with the depth of evil that exists in this world.” (Dexter, Season 5, “In the Beginning.”)

Though some thought that the Showtime series, Dexter, could not top its brilliant last season, the writing and acting in the fifth installment of the nail-biting show have surpassed my expectations. Dexter has a new partner in crime, Lumen (played by the incredible Julia Stiles), and …

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Must-haves for Dexter Devotees (Plus Enter to Win)

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We’ve done Harry Potter, Glee, Narnia and now it’s time for a gift guide for all the people in your life who love a serial killer. (Well, not just any serial killer, thank goodness. A lovable, fictitious one.)

First up, wearable Dexter gifts:

Top row: 1. My Dark Passenger Made Me Do It T-shirt; 2. Dad Says Tank Top; 3. Bay Harbor Butcher T-shirt

There are even a couple things for the tiny Dexter fans out there.


1. Dexter bib and 2. Food container

How about a Dexter caffeine fix?


Then we have the blood-inspired gifts. (Come on, it’s Dexter after all.)

1. Blood slide soaps and 2. Dexter’s memento necklace

And, of course, we have the very best Dexter-related gift: our …

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Dexter: In One Episode, Mental Health Skyrockets

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Here’s a guest post from Jeremy Clyman whose Psychology of Dexter essay is “The Angels on His Shoulder.” Enjoy!


In my chapter of the recently released Psychology of Dexter I focused on the positive people in Dexter’s environment and how those voices helped shape an increasingly accurate, adaptive, and optimistic inner world for the lovable serial killer. Season after season, Dexter has had to fight off devilish voices (stemming from traumatic experiences and relationships with dysfunctional others), and inch slowly and circuitously toward a mentally healthier life.

Finally, in season five, episode nine (Teenage Wasteland) we have a tipping point of sorts. The good kind. Dexter’s step-daughter, Astor, is back in town and she’s not doing so well. She’s drinking, she’s shop-lifting, …

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Is Dexter a Successful Psychopath?

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As with many of our anthologies, we like to bring our contributors’ voices to the Smart Pop blog from time to time. So, here’s a great post from a couple contributors to The Psychology of Dexter. This post has come at a great time, since Dexter is now back on the air (season five premiered this past Sunday). Without further ado, here’s a must-read from Melissa and Edward Burkley.


In the book The Psychology of Dexter, we wrote an essay where we analyzed Dexter using classic Freudian and Jungian theories. It is a fun read, and we recommend checking it out. But in this blog we wanted to offer up our thoughts on a new topic. Several of our fellow authors …

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TV’s Top 5 Characters

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There are entire shows I have been charmed by based on one character alone (see: Blair Waldorf and Gossip Girl below) and there are others with an entire group of well-developed, interesting, and watchable characters (see: The West Wing, The Office). So, it’s no small feat to pick the best tv characters to ever appear on the small screen (even if it’s just in my opinion!). It’s downright hard, in fact, but these are the things I do for my job: talk about tv. Life is tough.

In no particular order:

1) Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl. It’s safe to say this show is the definition of a guilty pleasure, but there is actually one aspect I find award-winning and that’s Blair …

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Some Emmy Thoughts!

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The Emmys have come and gone and you just know a company devoted to pop culture commentary has some thoughts on who won and who didn’t. (Also on who wore what, but those particular thoughts might be best saved for a different time.)

So, drumroll…

Some Nice Emmy Moments:

  • While I love Glee and can (and often do!) vouch for its awesomeness, seeing Modern Family take a few of the writing awards — and, of course, the best comedy prize — was pretty great as I think it’s one of the best-written shows on tv right now. In fact, I can’t remember laughing as hard or as often as I do at any sitcom since the first few seasons of The Office. (Although Archer

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The Psychology of Dexter Winner

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We have a winner!


#5 is Vivi Anna, who I’ll be emailing for contact information shortly.

To everyone else, for this week only, get 50% off the list price of The Psychology of Dexter when you order directly through us (the book’s buy page). This means you’ll only pay $7.47 through Friday at 11:59 p.m.

Buy your copy today and enjoy reading it by next week.…

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