Writing meta below the cut.

This involves spoilers for a recent episode of Supernatural, "Dark Side of the Moon." I enjoyed the episode as fanfic, which would probably have had this label if it had been posted as such: "Hurt!Dean, Puppyeyes!Sam, Soulmate!Winchesters (but no explicit 'cest), angst, character death (but not really), sorry there's so little Castiel."

But it also reminded me of why I stopped watching the show regularly in S2, and completely in the abominable S3. After that I'd occasionally watch an episode to see if it ever got back to what I liked in S1 - pretty boy brothers who love each other but never say so, hunting monsters and angsting and saving each other. It didn't.

So, spoilery and not very squeeful, but also possibly of interest even if you don't watch the show at all, since it's meta about the problems of a long-running series.

Keep in mind that I am only aware of post-S3 events via fannish osmosis and occasional out of context episodes, so correct me if I'm wrong. Cut for post-S3 and possibly inaccurate spoilers:

Read more... )

Premise Bait-and-Switch

As you may recall from my Dollhouse post, the concept of "two brothers helping people and hunting (supernatural) things" is the show's premise. So this is an unusual example of a show switching premises in midstream, to, as far as I can tell, "two brothers are caught up in an oncoming apocalypse."

Note that I did not think that Angel switched premises in S5, as the concept of the show continued to be "a vampire with a soul tries to help people and redeem himself." This is, obviously, arguable, and a lot of people did feel that it had switched premises and did stop watching.

That's the danger of switching premises: viewers signed up for one type of show, and may not be interested in or may be actively turned off by the other type of show. Given the enormous weight of the tradition in American TV that premises don't change, the new premise had better either be pretty damn cool, or contain a lot of elements which people who liked the first premise are likely to enjoy.

(Note: TV in other countries often follows different rules. I am aware of this, and am only speaking of US network TV. Nor am I arguing that it's always artistically better to stick to the same premise. I'm just explaining why, on US TV, problems can arise when you don't.)

So, is the new premise pretty damn cool? Well, theoretically it is. I tend to prefer arc-heavy shows to episodic ones, and I love apocalypses. In practice... it doesn't look like it. I liked the execution of the old premise enough to buy DVDs of S1. I haven't liked what I've seen of the execution of the new one. Nor does the new premise have many of the elements which attracted me to the old one. See below...

Cut for spoilers for "Dark of the Moon." Good angst, but...

Read more... )
Clearly I have crossed the line into mad obsession. I dreamed about the show last night. Something to do with "Devil's Trap" and thinking John was being a total asshole.

Because he was! )
I can't much type now, but that was AWESOME. I mean, really good, not just guilty pleasure + Dean Winchester good.

But perhaps you all will comment in comments if you ahve watched that far about that last set of episodes?

lay some mojo on me )
The show certainly picks up a lot after the first two discs. (I skipped-- for now-- "Hook Men" and "Bugs.") I continue to be madly in love with Dean, but Sam has grown a lot on me too. Also, the interesting arc stuff (as opposed to the less-interesting legend of the week stuff) really kicks in on the third disc.

Random notes, not a proper review:

Dean does indeed suffer very prettily. Also, that is a damn cool car. )
This wasn't as emotionally intense as "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things," but it was a good solid episode, often extremely funny, and notable for being the first one I've seen where the supernatural story engaged me in its own right, as opposed to being either interesting as a mirror of the brothers' story, or boring filler surrounding the all-important fraternal interactions. It helped that the story was about my favorite plot element, psychic powers, rather than urban legends, which hold little inherent interest for me.

This episode had a lot to love. A few of my favorite moments:

The barbarian queen is riding a polar bear. )
rachelmanija: (Default)
( Oct. 25th, 2006 10:38 am)
[livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink has lured me over to the Dark Side. I am now totally hooked on this show about two hot ghost-hunting brothers on an endless road trip in a super-cool car.

The color palette makes me want to adjust the screen because everything's gone all dark and gray, women are mostly screaming victims (occasionally flaming on the ceiling), almost all characters are white and the land is strangely underpopulated, and the monsters of the week are pretty cheesy.

The reason I watch is that I have a mad crush on Dean there is a great sibling dynamic, the extremely attractive brother is also a good actor and the other brother isn't half bad, and all the scenes with the brothers interacting, with other people or each other, are terrific: sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking.

A much better overview, with photos, is here.

Mely also helpfully lists essential episodes, annotated according to where she guesses my interests lie. Warning: mild spoilers in comments.

I can chart the progress of my obsession as follows. Comments taken from Mely's journal, with spoilers omitted:

Rachel: (10/19 11:29 AM): So, Netflixed the first disc of Supernatural. Was utterly stultified by the pilot. What are the essential episodes (ie, good and/or with excellent fraternal interaction and/or Dean being especially hot and/or essential plot points) to watch before the show actually starts getting good?

[And then that night I watched "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things" live on TV.]

Rachel: (10/20 9:00 AM): You should blog about last night. Yes, it did spoil me for the end of last season (and I kept thinking there was something wrong with the color on my TV, and then it would go to a commercial and I would realize that I had color after all) but between that and the crappy first season shows I've been watching, I am developing a mild obsession about the show, flaming ceiling blondes and all. Or maybe I just have a massive crush on Dean.

Rachel (10/20 10:31 AM): Just watched the one where he has the pen in his mouth and keeps it there while he smiles at the waitress, who inexplicably walks away rather than making the natural response, which is to splutter incoherently, then rewind the scene four times. That's also the one where he tells the little mute boy about the vow he made to his mother.

Oh Dean, you break my heart, then you salt the pieces and burn them to ash.

The complete discussion, with significant and unmarked spoilers, is in the comments here: http://coffeeandink.livejournal.com/640347.html

And continuing, with spoilers for everything aired to date )
rachelmanija: (Default)
( Oct. 6th, 2006 02:51 pm)
Last night I started watching Supernatural on regular TV at 9:00 PM. The creators thoughtfully vidded their own show at the beginning of the episode. I'm sure it would have been extremely spoilery if I hadn't been laughing too hard to really concentrate at things like a dramatic hospital scene followed by a male chorus yelling "HUH!" as a glass of liquid dramatically falls to the floor in slow motion.

Then the show began. It was at a carnival. There were clowns. Have I ever mentioned that clowns scare me? A particularly creepy clown waved at a little girl, in a slightly mechanical manner that made it even creepier.

"Look, Daddy," said the girl. "The clown's waving at me."

"What clown?" asked her mother. We see that from the parents' point of view, there is no one there.

I had a cat in my lap, or I would have leaped up and turned off the TV right then. (The remote is buried under a pile of junk somewhere.)

The family is driving home from the carnival at night. The clown is by the side of the road.

That night, the little girl is alone in her second-floor bedroom. She looks out the window. There, on the lawn below, looking up at her, is the clown.

I leaped up, dislodging the cat, and slammed the off button.

That night I was woken up in the middle of the night by my smoke detection giving off an obnoxious, high-pitched squeal to inform me that its battery was low. I couldn't figure out how to disable it, so I pulled a pillow over my head and tried to go back to sleep. But it was still pretty loud, and then after a while I started hearing a different sound, a scratching, like my cats were molesting my wood furniture.

I got up to investigate, but the cats were nowhere to be seen. I went into the living room, and heard the sound again. I looked out the window.

There, on the lawn, looking up at me, was a clown.

Oh, no way, I thought. There is just no way I would see that TV show last night and then, in a total coincidence, find a clown on the lawn.

I looked out the window again. The clown was still there.

Then I heard the scratching noise again. I ran to the other window. Another clown had set up a ladder and was climbing up the side of the house.

I opened the window so I could talk to the clown. "What's going on here?" I asked. "What are you doing?"

The clown smiled and pointed over my shoulder. I whirled around. There was another clown standing behind me.

"What are you doing here?" I yelled. "How'd you get in? Get out!"

The clown smiled, picked up my five-pound dumb bells, and began to juggle them.

"Stop that!" I cried. "You'll drop them and scratch the floors! Go away!"

The floor creaked behind me. I turned around. The other two clowns were climbing in the window.

One of them took out a horn and honked it. "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" it shrilled. "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE..."

My eyes popped open. I was lying in bed, and the smoke alarm was squealing.

So it had all been a dream. Nothing but a horrible, horrible dream.

Or was it?

I hear a scratching at the win


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