moonshayde: (Team Free WIll)
[personal profile] moonshayde
So...I've been very unhappy with the direction Supernatural has taken over the past two seasons, namely Season 8 and 9, but despite my unhappiness, I just might be falling back in love with the show. I haven't talked about it much, but I'm about to now.

(Spoilers for through the end of Season 9 below.)

It's not so much the storyline - I think Carver does a better job at overall arcs than Gamble did, though Gamble was a master at characterization - but Carver's characterization has been horrible. Sam not looking for Dean, not even trying? I had no problem with him trying to start over and escape his pain. That is what Sam does. He runs away. I don't buy that he never looked. We saw that Dean was looking in Season 6. A throw away line or a flashback of Sam giving up would have done it for me. Then when Dean was super upset over the whole thing, they could have revealed that Sam had tried.

In Season 9, we had Sam possessed by Gadriel. Not a terrible idea, but poorly executed. Again, I had issues with Sam's characterization in that he just decided he wanted to live in the S8 finale when he and Dean had that great moment before the angels fell. And then all of a sudden he wants to die? I can't make sense of that. It was just a poor excuse to have Dean do whatever it takes to save Sam. Then, in the second half, when we had the cool Mark of Cain arc building up, the brothers acted like they couldn't stand each other. I didn't sign up to watch them be so...cold.

The show has fallen into this bad habit of manufacturing tension between Sam and Dean. Sam didn't look for Dean. Dean took away Sam's agency. But it's not just been Carver. With Gamble, we had Dean kill Amy behind Sam's back. We had Soulless!Sam, though that made more sense. Kripke did it too. The big problem is that as the series has aged, the tension has moved from something organic to inorganic. It doesn't work. Why not have a season with Sam embracing the Men of Letters and Dean more aligned with Hunters? We saw crazy MOL collector. Could Sam become THAT obsessed? You could easily use their different personalities to highlight this split and show how much stronger they are when they work together. This past season, the possessed!Sam could have opened up some interesting doors - even though I was sour on the idea because I prefer Dean aligned with heaven (I blame fanfic). Spending more time on Sam's awareness of Dean's descent and heck, even making Dean's unraveling a little more coherent would have worked.

Anyway, it sounds like I'm ranting. In many ways I am. This is my show. This, apparently, will always be my show, surpassing the love I've had for Star Wars and X-Files and SG-1 combined. So I've been upset when I see the potential wasted and I sit in front of the TV anxious what more damage will be done to the characters in the name of tension and drama.

But these past two months, I've been thinking about the remaining potential in the show. I think about how invested the cast and crew still are. I've thought about some of the valid problems I've had, and maybe the not so valid ones. I am not a writer on the show. I can't will the show to take the direction I want. I have to let go and just watch. I can't control everything.

I've been rewatching old episodes and remembering just how much I love the family themes in the show, the themes of sacrifice and love and doing the right thing. I really still do love this show and I'm excited for when Season 10 begins in October. Seriously, this new season could be amazing. Then again, I could be fooled again.

Do I think everything will be perfect? No. I've been burned too much by false hope before. But I still do have some hope. Cautious hope? Whatever happens, I know that this show will always have a place in my heart and that I won't give up on it until I have no more hope to spare.

Even if I am all alone.

Date: 2014-07-20 03:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jennytork.livejournal.com
I am with you.

I just want Dean back.

Date: 2014-07-20 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moonshayde.livejournal.com
Me too. I hope it doesn't last too long, but when that it's a satisfying arc.

Date: 2014-07-20 09:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vanae.livejournal.com
The big problem is that as the series has aged, the tension has moved from something organic to inorganic. It doesn't work. Why not have a season with Sam embracing the Men of Letters and Dean more aligned with Hunters? We saw crazy MOL collector. Could Sam become THAT obsessed? You could easily use their different personalities to highlight this split and show how much stronger they are when they work together.

This. I would love this. Didn't even have to be this exact scenario, I just... this.

There is so much that could be done in regards to tension going by their characteristics and personalities alone, too, and it doesn't have to be full on conflict and/or drama, either. I could do with a season just watching them do their business, working together with the natural back and forths that stem from being who they are as characters. I guess I sort of feel like conflict between the brothers has become an all encompassing thing that is always in focus. I miss the ripples of tension, I miss them working and doing stuff together, and really miss them liking each other. When they save each other, I want it to be because they want each other in their lives, not just 'cause. Okay, I'm starting to rant here ;)

I've been rewatching old episodes and remembering just how much I love the family themes in the show, the themes of sacrifice and love and doing the right thing. I really still do love this show and I'm excited for when Season 10 begins in October. Seriously, this new season could be amazing. Then again, I could be fooled again.

A friend and I are in the middle of a season 1-5 re-watch marathon, and when we started I fell in love all over again with squee bubbling up inside me everything. I was like "I wanna join the fandom!" even though I've been in the fandom since the beginning and have never really, truly left. The re-watch marathon made me long for what this show could do for me, and reminded me just how strongly invested I used to be - what it meant to me once and what it somehow still means. I see potential every season, but... still, gonna stick with it for a while yet. I'm with you for season 10.

Date: 2014-07-20 06:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moonshayde.livejournal.com
I think that is what frustrates me most. In the early seasons, you could have tension and drama just based off their different personalities. I's fine to have the brothers at odds on a larger scale, but not all the time. I don't think most of us turn in for that.

It's hard, too, for me to separate what I want to see on the show and just sitting back and enjoying it. I'm not a writer on the show and I can't expect to get my way.

But man, please don't blow it this time. Make Season 10 beyond amazing.

Date: 2014-07-20 11:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] captain-tiv.livejournal.com
I got tired of they way they've been writing Dean in the last few years. Whatever it was that made Dean think that Sam couldn't handle himself against demons or that he wasn't as good a hunter as Dean (actually, I think Sam is the better hunter overall), Dean should have woke up and smelled the coffee by now! Where is this distrust coming from? It annoyed me years ago, and it then it got worse.

Date: 2014-07-21 12:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moonshayde.livejournal.com
Whatever it was that made Dean think that Sam couldn't handle himself against demons or that he wasn't as good a hunter as Dean (actually, I think Sam is the better hunter overall), Dean should have woke up and smelled the coffee by now!

See, I never saw that in the show. Dean was nervous and fearful over what Sam could become in the seasons 1-5, especially after Ruby manipulated him. In Season 6, Sam had no soul, and when he got his soul back, his mind was a mess. Dean was trying to protect him.

In Season 7, Dean was concerned about the damage Castiel and Hell had done to Sam's mind. In Season 8, Dean was mad at Sam for not looking for him, and then wanted to protect him from the obvious toll of the trials. In Season 9, Dean manipulated the situation to keep Sam safe.

None of these instances showed Dean feeling Sam wasn't good enough to hunt. He might joke that he (meaning Dean) is the better hunter, but it's always a deflection of the fear he has deep inside.

If Dean is guilty of anything, it's that he doesn't trust Sam to stay alive and out of trouble. he also doesn't understand that Sam isn't the same as he is and shows his love and support in different ways. That's the part that Sam resents.

Date: 2014-07-22 11:21 am (UTC)
ext_37245: (musketeers snow)
From: [identity profile] el1ie.livejournal.com
Missed opportunities are rife under the Carver regime, sadly, I'm infuriated more and more by his constant disregard to some things in the past and glorification of others. One minute I see a character that's learnt from experience and the next regressed to the Pilot episode and I feel like my head's on a swivel trying to keep up. Basically I loathe the brother distrust, anger and separation as the main thrust of drama these days, especially when compared to all those missed opportunities, many of which you've pointed out.

I don't have a problem with the brothers at odds at times, their approaches have always been somewhat in opposition, a push and pull for a change, but I felt that we'd got well past some of their old arguments and it was time for them to move forward together. I have really disliked Carver's Dean in many, many episodes and I'm floundering to enjoy the show when that happens.

Hate to say it, or place blame, but his writing stable has severely lacked imagination and has fallen back on fan favourite cliches and rehashing stunning scenes from previous seasons pretty poorly. If you're going to homage those past moments then bring something new to the table and I honestly wish they'd all stay the hell away from fandom and stop trying to play the fandom games. It's ugly and getting worse.

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