Sunday, August 23, 2015

Supernatural: a Love/Hate Relationship (but Mostly Hate)

I'm slogging through Supernatural. I'm only two thirds done with the first season, and half the time I feel like gouging out my eyes with a spoon. The only reason I'm sticking it out is because I'm waiting for Castiel to come and rock my world.

(For those of you who don't know, Supernatural is a TV show about two brothers--Sam and Dean Winchester--who hunt ghosts, demons, necromancers, and other evil entities while searching for their dad, who's gone missing. I assume they eventually find him--dead or alive--for now, he's missing.)

Dean: "Why does he get a snake? I want a snake..."

I love the banter between Dean and Sam. It makes me homesick for my snarky little brother.

And the horror can be pretty damn terrifying. Like that scene in "Home," when he's working on the drain and you know the garbage disposal is going to shred his hand. That was great suspense.

But threre are three big bones that are stuck in my throat when it comes to Supernatural that are almost enough to completely ruin it for me.

Formulated

This is a flaw for a lot of TV shows. Just look at House. A problem's presented, then there are three false diagnoses before House finally gets it right. Same with Supernatural.

I know Sam and Dean are going to conquer every problem before hitting the road again.

I know the bad guy will be defeated.

I know which of the minor characters is going to live and which will die gruesome, horrible deaths (hint: if it's the first character you see that isn't Dean or Sam, they're probably dead).

I know Sam and Dean, while they may get hurt, will always survive.

There is zero suspense.

No, I'm not worried. At all.

Why Can't Sam be a Lawyer Again?

Maybe this is just me being an individualist. I hate when parents/older siblings/anyone tells someone what they can or can't do with no reason other than "I'm your parent/older sibling/anyone." It's Sam's life; butt out.

Worse, they're doing it in a way that just condemns education, like going to college is a bad thing (i.e. "You left us to go to college," is something Dean spits out in one of the earliest episodes). Do they expect Sam to be surgically joined to the hip with Dean or their father for the rest of his life? Do they want him to not learn about the rest of the world?

And yes, family is important. I totally agree with that. But if Dean and Mr. Winchester really believed that family was the most important thing, then they should listen to Sam's needs, dreams, and desires and at least try to find a compromise (i.e. "Sure, you can join the soccer team, Sam, but if you mess up your bow-hunting you're off the team." See? Compromise.)

And it's not that Sam hates his family. He is, after all, running around the country with his brother on super dangerous missions hunting ghosts and looking for their dad, worried sick about both of them. He just shows his values in a different way. For that, he gets punished.

One of the best scenes on this show that demonstrates Sam and Dean's different family values is when their dad calls them, and it's the first time they've had contact with him since he went missing. Sam answers the phone first, and he's (obviously) demanding answers, like where are you? What do you mean you want us to hunt a ghost while you hunt something so much more dangerous--alone? Then Dean takes the phone, jots down the info his dad gives him, and hangs up.

Look at any period of history. Bad things happen when people just blindly follow orders. Goods things can happen, too, but unquestioningly following any kind of figure--be it a parent, a priest, a politician, or anyone--is begging for trouble.

The other argument that's brought up supporting Dean and his father is, since there are monsters out there and they're one of the few who know how to deal with them, they have the responsibility to deal with them.

Ok. But in doing that, how many times have they been arrested doing all sorts of illegal shit like fraud, impersonating an officer, B&E, etc...

A lawyer would be pretty damn handy!

Bet you wish you had a lawyer now, huh, Dean?

Where Are All the Women?

This is the big one. If you're a woman on Supernatural, you get one of two roles: damsel in distress, or villain. All the hero roles go to the men.

If Sam can't be Samantha, or Dean can't be Debbie, can't we get a girl every other episode who can handle a shotgun and blow off a minotaur's face, or something? Or for one of the times when one of the boys need to be rescued, can't they give the rescue to a ghost hunting lady?

I guess Dean's pretty enough to count as a girl.

I'm not saying Supernatural has to go completely feminist with ear-numbing slogans every episode. But the problem is that this show is teaching its viewers that women can't be fighters or heroes.

It's teaching them that it's best to put all dreams and hopes aside for the fast-track to revenge.

It's teaching them to blindly follow orders even if those orders directly go against what you want to do with your life, or what you believe.

I'm giving it until the middle of third season. Castiel had better be the greatest f***ing thing ever.

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2 comments:

  1. Castiel doesn't appear until season 4.
    There are girl heroes. But they die. Every. single. time.
    The shapeshifter episodes are the best.
    Enjoy the music and the metallicar.
    The haunted truck episodes is the worst.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously?! Season 4?!

      ...is it worth it?

      Delete