Sunday, December 11, 2011

No Major Spoilers Here...Just Another Nanny

Now that finals are over, I have time to return to this blog and the very serious business bad Dexter is this season. But while other reviews and comment feeds are focused on plot developments with the villain and the main characters, I am fascinated and frustrated by a new minor character, Jamie. She is Angel Batista's sister, Dexter's new nanny, and Louis the lab intern's girlfriend. Notice a pattern there, people? Her interactions with other women are few and mostly negative - as when she and Debra fought over Deb's influence on Harrison - and even though she's uttered the phrase "my dissertation" once or twice, no way is that girl in school. I do not say that because she is coded as attractive, young, and happy and therefore we should interpret her as dumb or something but because we never see her near a non-picture book. Yes, when you are a nanny your focus should be on the child, but if you worked the kind of hours Jamie works AND you were getting a PhD, you would bring some of your own work to your job...because the kid naps, and what do you do then? Just prance around waiting for your boss to return...only to ask you to stay and work, oh, I don't know, 5 more unscheduled hours? You would be saying no even if you had no date to go on because you have to study and write and other schooly stuff.

A former nanny myself (and a current student), I realize I'm sensitive to this kind of thing, and in a show like Dexter it probably seems funny to single out this aspect as ridiculous. But c'mon. You don't get to have a female character as incredibly self-sacrificing as Jamie and still present your main character like this (from an interview with Executive Producer Sara Colleton in The Daily Best - emphasis mine):

This season, the producers and writers decided it was time for him to explore faith—and his lack thereof—as he raised his baby boy, Harrison, by himself and wondered what code he should teach him.

No disrespect to actress Aimee Garcia, but Jamie is a prop that gets less official credit for her work on the show than the mannequin hand of the Ice Truck Killer. Nice work, Showtime.