SPN 7:01

Sep. 24th, 2011 02:34 am
oselle: (Default)
[personal profile] oselle


This was the first time I ever had someone over to watch the season premiere with me, so we were gabbing more than we were watching. I recorded it on my "VCR" (you kids won't know what that is -- let's just say it's a sort of primitive ancestor of the DVR, in which television shows were recorded on big plastic cartridges known as "cassette tapes"), so I'll have to rewatch this weekend. These are just my initial impressions:

1) Nothing could have annoyed me more than having a Sera Gamble "behind-the-scenes" featurette foisted on me. You folks who download the episode will at least be spared listening to Gamble babble on about "urban legends" as if that premise hadn't been played out years ago, and having to look at her acting all important in her office made me want to peel off my skin. I hate this woman.

2) Although I know (I think?) it's just a hallucination, the suggestion that Sam is still in hell and that everything he's experienced since supposedly leaving hell has just been conjured up to torture him is (hallucination or not) one that was floated by viewers all the way back in Season 4...when it actually would have been interesting. I actually held out a hope through most of Season 4 that we would find out that the radically altered Sam and the awful Ruby were nothing more than the supporting cast of Dean's custom-tailored hell, and that part of Season 5 would revolve around the REAL Sam springing his brother from the Pit. Alas, Gamble chose to take what was a good idea three years ago and finally use it...for Sam.

3) Speaking of things that were good ideas, I had Meg in hiding in a broken-down white trash trailer years ago in one of my stories, so Crowley hiding out in a broken-down white trash trailer sort of felt like something I came up with. A long time ago.

4) I amend my statement in (1). Nothing could have annoyed me more than seeing that the not-so-dynamic duo of Andrew Dabb & Daniel Loflin have now been elevated to producers, thereby continuing and expanding their Reign of Suck. I hate these guys.

5) The one bright spot was that Castiel looked so vicious at the end of the episode that it sure seemed like he was finally going to do to Dean what he's clearly wanted to do to Dean for a long time, whether Dean was on board with it or not, but of course that's not going to happen on television. It should at the least inspire some really filthy fanfic, though.

6) If they want us to feel for Sam, they should endeavor to make his hell look a little less like a kids' Halloween party. Where did they get the props for that scene, Party City?

7) To be honest, I DON'T feel for Sam. I know this is a dead horse, but Dean appeared to get over his time in hell pretty quickly (even without a "wall") so I don't know why we're expected to believe that Sam's trauma is so much worse. I know, I know, "worst part of hell" and all that but please, that is SO Season Six, and it didn't make any sense back then, either.

8) Castiel loves Dean so very, very much that all he could do in his brief return to himself was apologize to Dean while gazing at him with heartbroken regret. Man, that cat is smitten.

9) The Tao Te Ching says "to compare one thing to another is a disease of the mind." Well I say, the hell with that. I started watching The Vampire Diaries over the summer and caught both the season premiere and this week's episode and cannot believe how good it is. Not just great storytelling and characters, but also genuinely scary. That scene in the woods with all the zombie-like werewolf/vampire hybrids was so creepy it gave me goosebumps -- I don't think I've ever seen anything on SPN that was remotely as frightening. I don't know why TVD can maintain a consistent, compelling, forward-moving storyline and SPN just seems to flounder all over the place, hardly knowing what kind of show it's supposed to be (Procedural or serial? Drama or comedy? Ghost story or grossout?) As an added benefit, Steven R. McQueen is giving Jensen Ackles a serious run for his money in the pretty department, and I'm hoping the increasingly lovely Jeremy has a more central involvement in the episodes this season so that I can get all fluttery over a character who's actually in a good show. From what I've observed on the few occasions when he's gotten beaten up/bitten/murdered, he also suffers quite beautifully, and the writers and producers should take note of this and have him suffer more. Yesss, a great deal more. Right now he's being tormented by the ghosts of not one but two dead girlfriends, and that's a great start.

10) I found out today that Lauren Cohan, who once occupied the thankless role of Bela on SPN, will be part of the second season of The Walking Dead. I always feel happy for her when I see her in something good (like her brief turn on TVD last year) because she was so ill-used on SPN that it was downright painful to watch.

Date: 2011-09-24 06:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mulder200.livejournal.com
7) To be honest, I DON'T feel for Sam. I know this is a dead horse, but Dean appeared to get over his time in hell pretty quickly (even without a "wall") so I don't know why we're expected to believe that Sam's trauma is so much worse. I know, I know, "worst part of hell" and all that but please, that is SO Season Six, and it didn't make any sense back then, either.

I know! It's so annoying! When Dean went to Hell everyone told him to suck it up and deal but because this is SAM, his experience is ten times worse and gets more sympathy.

(I am also sure this has nothing AT ALL to do with Sera's hard on for Sam. I mean really could she be MORE obvious.)

Date: 2011-09-24 02:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oselle.livejournal.com
Also, Jared really needs a haircut.

Date: 2011-09-24 10:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tazical.livejournal.com
Agreed! I don't understand why, when Jared shows up at cons, his hair is perfectly acceptable and yet, as Sam, it looks like he's been smothered in butter and pushed through a hedge. I think he's seriously pissed off the hair & makeup people at some point in the past.

Date: 2011-09-25 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oselle.livejournal.com
I dunno, he was looking like a mountain man or possibly a werewolf at that con in Nashville.

Date: 2011-09-24 08:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kinkthatwinked.livejournal.com
Vampire Diaries is good? Seriously, vampires in high school? Just the premise kept me from watching it. Is it True Blood good? Or just a shade above Twilight (another fandom I haven’t even given a chance)?

I remembered thinking it is pretty pathetic they had to run a “please keep watching this show” commercial minutes into the season opener. At least that’s how the Gamble spot struck me.

Brother, I remember sitting there thinking “A hallucination? Finally, an interesting idea!” I’ve gotten to the point where it doesn’t surprise me at all that the audience was miles (or years, I should say) ahead of the writers. My, how my standards have sunk for this show. Actually, the more I’m thinking about this new Sam Problem, the less I care. Maybe I’d be more invested if Dean’s sentence had wrecked him, but apparently Hell isn’t much worse than getting mugged.

They can’t do anything but make Hell look like a Halloween kids’ party, because it has to stay on the same level as the rest of the show’s writing. This is one reason, IMO, this show was a lot better back when Heaven and Hell were abstracts left to the viewers’ imaginations. It felt like the show knew its limitations, understood when something was “above their pay grade,” as they love to say on this show.

The way they made fresh-from-Hell Dean bounce back like he’d just had a bad day always felt like the writers’ glaring lack of imagination. I suppose now, three years later, they finally get that someone tortured in Hell should at least be as traumatized as your average war veteran. Let’s see if they at least get that right, and we know they’ll give it every effort because, you know, it is SAM this time.

As pissed as you are that about how they’re wasting Dean, I’m as disgruntled about Sam’s lost potential, which is even sorrier when you consider his character has always had the writers’ full attention. Give me some fanfic where Sam is still sympathetic, honorable, driven and heroic, yet also secretive, moody as hell and dangerous, and still psychic, goddammit! You know, back when he was three-dimensional.

Date: 2011-09-24 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oselle.livejournal.com
Seriously, vampires in high school?

The "vampires in high school" premise kept me away from TVD's first season, but there's precious little high school here, even though most of the central human characters are teenagers. Seriously, it IS good. As for True Blood, nothing could be further from Twilight than that. True Blood is spectacularly raunchy (nearly pornographic at times), violent, scary and complex, while Twilight is the dullest romance novel ever written, about the least interesting characters ever to appear in fiction. Stephenie Meyer becoming rich off of four books in which almost nothing ever, ever happens is one of the greatest sleights of hand I've ever seen.

I remembered thinking it is pretty pathetic they had to run a “please keep watching this show” commercial minutes into the season opener. At least that’s how the Gamble spot struck me.

Actually, I think the CW has been doing these little spots for all, or most of their shows. Up until now I've only seen them for the new ones -- Kevin Williamson's The Secret Circle and Sarah Michelle Gellar's Ringer. But the fact that they had Gamble do it (not Eric Kripke or one of the Js) seems to me like a public show of confidence in her, in spite of the hash she made of last season. She strikes me as so full of herself that I'm sure she was thrilled to finally get her mug in front of the camera and talking about the show as if she owned it, even though, as usual, she had nothing remotely new or interesting to say.

The way they made fresh-from-Hell Dean bounce back like he’d just had a bad day always felt like the writers’ glaring lack of imagination.

At the time, I seem to remember Kripke saying they didn't want slow things down by wallowing in Dean's trauma. Season 4 got off to such a great start that I thought Kripke had made a smart decision to have Dean get right back on the horse instead of dwelling on his PTSD. Of course, the rest of Season 4 -- and pretty much the entire show since then -- has been more or less about what happened to Sam after Dean died, and now here we are, full circle and officially wallowing in Sam's post-hell trauma, while Dean seems to have forgotten he was ever there (and so has everyone else).

I’m as disgruntled about Sam’s lost potential, which is even sorrier when you consider his character has always had the writers’ full attention.

I think the problem is which writers are giving Sam their full attention.

Date: 2011-09-24 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghyste.livejournal.com
As you know, I spent a great deal of S4 desperately hoping that what we were seeing on screen was just part of Dean’s punishment in Hell, but alas it was not to be. Le sigh.

Glad to hear you’re enjoying TVD. I had a bit of a struggle with the first few episodes of S1 but then it seemed to hit its stride and, as you say, it really delivers on a weekly basis. They also have the knack of creating female characters that can be both stunningly gorgeous and interesting. The only one they’ve gone a little astray with, IMHOP, is Bonnie and that’s because she’s the only one they’ve tried to make “spunky”.

Date: 2011-09-24 05:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oselle.livejournal.com
They also have the knack of creating female characters that can be both stunningly gorgeous and interesting.

Elena has fallen a bit into the trap of being The Girl Everyone Loves, which seems to be a prerequisite of vampire stories, whether it's TVD, Twilight or True Blood. She's a nice enough girl but Nina Dobrev is far more interesting as her doppelganger Katerina.

Meanwhile, Klaus is more terrifying than all of the "Big Bads" SPN has ever put together. I'm serious, that scene in the woods was creepy as hell -- and shows you that with a little imagination, you really can do scary, even on network and even on a low budget.

Date: 2011-09-25 06:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghyste.livejournal.com
One of the things that nearly made me drop TVD in the beginning was the fact that Elena seemed to be a bit of a Lana Lang, but they did tone that down and having Katherine in the mix helped a lot. Caroline, however, is just adorable :)

I watched the first episode of a British show called The Fades last week and whilst a bit uneven some of the supernatural stuff in that was utterly terrifying. SPN has never been very scary, but at least there were a few in the first season that made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. For me it dates to the move from urban legends to Angels v Demons - the further they got from "real life" stuff the less scary it got.

Date: 2011-09-25 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oselle.livejournal.com
I've been sitting here trying to think if I ever found anything on SPN even a little scary and I don't think I have. They tend to take a tongue-in-cheek approach to their spooks and monsters that really defuses the fright factor.

Actually, the one thing on SPN that at least startled me was when the car got hit at the end of the Season One finale. That STILL gets a jump out of me, no matter how many times I've seen it.

Date: 2011-09-24 06:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emeraldus.livejournal.com
Not even Dean being pretty saved this episode for me. I was pretty much bored from the beginning, with a little bit of interest peeking out at the end. Longer this goes on, the more I wish they had simply ended it with season 5.

Date: 2011-09-24 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oselle.livejournal.com
I haven't even rewatched it yet. I doubt it'll be better the second time around.

Date: 2011-09-24 07:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mangokulfi.livejournal.com
The epi played out pretty much exactly how I imagined it would after the Comic Con interviews and barring the scene with Dean and the few secs where real Cas comes back shows how very, very much he still loves Dean, I was bored.

Maybe if Sam had the Hell story first, I would have found it interesting but it just seems like a lazy rehash of what Dean went through except the visual effects look much cheaper when the scenes last longer than just a flash. Also JPs flaming face is so cartoony that it just makes me roll my eyes.

Date: 2011-09-24 08:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oselle.livejournal.com
Are we supposed to think that Castiel is now dead and that there's nothing but Leviathan walking around in that body? Because if so, then that was an altogether too brief and disappointing deathbed parting between the two of them.

it just seems like a lazy rehash of what Dean went through

Rehashed or not, it's just impossible even to give a shit about the after-effects of hell when we were told and shown three years ago that they were no big deal!

Date: 2011-09-24 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mangokulfi.livejournal.com
But, but, but Sam was in Hell so much longer than Dean and he has suffered more than any human ever (tm Gamble) ... it amuses me how many people are actually drinking that Kool Aid.

RE: Cas - we know Misha is back next week so there may be another Cas reappearance but it wouldn't surprise me of that's all she wrote, either.

BTW in my earlier post, I meant the scene with Death, since none of the Dean scenes seemed particularly interesting in and of themselves.

Gamble's lack of interest in that character is just painfully obvious.

Date: 2011-09-24 09:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oselle.livejournal.com
Gamble's lack of interest in that character is just painfully obvious.

Yeah, I have to admit that she really seems to have no use for Dean. I wonder if Castiel's write-out isn't due at least in part to the fact that his character was so linked with Dean's. There was just never any real attachment between Cas and Sam and apparently you can't have any story elements that don't revolve around Sam.

Date: 2011-09-24 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mangokulfi.livejournal.com
I think so and added to that, they never could generate any interest or chemistry between Sam and Cas. But beyond that, I think they were threatened by the popularity of D/C bromance which easily eclipsed the brobond for a lot of people.

Date: 2011-09-26 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] layne67.livejournal.com
8. That's pretty much the highlight of the show for me. Plus Lucifer minus the skin lesions.

10. She's also in Chuck!

Date: 2011-09-27 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dodger-sister.livejournal.com
I think M told me about Lauren Cohan, but it has been a bad week, so I forgot about it and then just now got re-excited all over again. I am now looking forward to the new season of Walking Dead more than I was before, if that's possible.

So, I should be watching TVD then? I started it, but when Boone Ian idk his character's name but the brother didn't start eating people's faces right off, I got bored. Maybe I should be watching this show. I am disappointed in everything else I watch during the regular season thus far.

Though to be fair to SPN, it was good back in season two. By season six of TVD, it may also suck ass.

All I have to say about SPN so far is that Cas loves Dean so very, very much. The only thing I enjoyed besides how much I love Jensen's hair, were the two "real" moments between Dean & Cas.
Edited Date: 2011-09-27 02:23 am (UTC)

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