Kama Pida: The Dark Emotions Evoked by the The Netflix Dahmer Story


  • Helge Ridderstrom OsloMet




serial killer, kama muta, kama pida, viewer responses


This is a study of emotional responses as expressed in user-generated content at International Movie Database (IMDb) concerning the 2022 series Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. The series has triggered vehement emotional reactions. The theoretical point of departure for examining 679 reviews of this series is a phenomenon called kama muta (Sanskrit for “moved by love”), an experience of being deeply moved or touched by something amiable. Kama muta is an intense and elevating feeling of communal sharing (Fiske 2020). This article proposes kama pida (Sanskrit for “moved by pain”) as a term for the opposite feeling. Kama pida is on the very “dark side” of the emotional spectrum. It is a multivalent emotion accompanied by bodily reactions or embodied experiences. The emotion of kama pida is in most cases expressed by metaphors concerning the stomach, the nerves, the heart, breathing, and other bodily functions, but also by more cognitive/mental reactions like the experience of being very stressed, seeing a nightmare, or sharing in a trauma. The affective content of kama pida concerns the utterly unspeakable experience of horror, but is all the same expressed by the reviewers of the Netflix series about the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.


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Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022)




How to Cite

Ridderstrom, H. (2023). Kama Pida: The Dark Emotions Evoked by the The Netflix Dahmer Story. Series - International Journal of TV Serial Narratives, 9(1), 21–30. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2421-454X/10970



Narratives / Aesthetics / Criticism