Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Oh, my beloved Supernatural, what art thou doing to me?
Without question, this is my all-time favorite show, as I have written in earlier blog entries. I love the characters, I defend it to the hilt on message boards criticizing it, I have faith in the storytellers behind it and have been disappointed very, very rarely over its many seasons. And I hope for more seasons to come.
So why am I so frustrated by season 8? Why am I waiting to fall in love with this season? We are five episodes in and I know they're just mapping out where we're going, watching Sam and Dean cope with each other after yet another long separation, the changes each character has undergone in their respective experiences - Dean in Purgatory, Sam in retirement from hunting. And I know plot lines build to a head around episodes 9 and 10. So I have to find patience.
But at the heart of this show are the brothers and their relationship. I've read interviews with stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki and I know they appreciate the chance to play with and off of other actors and find interesting things to play when not in scenes together. I also know that they have practically carried the series single-handedly all these years and appreciate the chance to have some time off, deferring screen time to guest stars and recurring characters (Jared especially, being a new dad to 7-month old son Thomas).
But the last two episodes ("Bitten", the Chronicle-esque ep, and "Blood Brother") in particular featured the Winchesters far less than normal. Tonight's especially barely featured any scenes with them together at all. Tonight we got more insight into Sam's year off and the beginning of his relationship with girlfriend Amelia (Liana Balaban) and saw more of Dean's time in Purgatory with vampire pal Benny (Ty Olsson) and angel pal Castiel (Misha Collins). But it really was "The Benny Show." (though I do like the new term "Vampirate" ... thanks for that Ben Edlund). This is important information for us, I know, and the preview for next week's episode seems to confront the tension between Sam and Dean that has been slowly building. But dammit, the pacing and distance between the brothers is frustrating me. Even though we've had tension between them before, it bothers me more now. I can't quite state it eloquently. I'm just ... waiting.
So what is a die hard fan to do? No way in hell I'm walking away. I'm too dedicated, too invested. And I know it will become the show I love so much again. I can't call these growing pains ... they don't happen so late in the game. Second wind? 8-year itch? Call it what you will, I will never abandon this show. It's meant to much to me.
Despite what I've written here, I'm not saying I completely hate the new season. I'm just not excited by it. And that saddens me. I used to hate waiting a week for the next episode. Now I find I can wait quite easily. Should I be so emotionally invested in and bothered by what is simply a TV show? Hey, I'm a TV blogger. I live for TV. So at my core, I just can't help myself and I hope you, my readers, appreciate my passion and opinion.
If you're a fan of Supernatural, I can only ask you to stay with it. If you love it like I do but feel similar frustrations, trust in the writers along with me and believe that it'll find it's way back and being that show again. If you are ready to abandon it or have already, at least hold onto your love of its earlier seasons, because they really are stellar, entertaining and just plain great.
If you have never watched the show, don't let this entry defer you from giving it a chance. Watch from the beginning (it's on TNT twice every day and of course on DVD) and hopefully you'll discover you love it, too.
As for me, I will anticipate the next episode and the ones after that, always.
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to comment below.
Supernatural airs Wednesdays on the CW at 9 p.m.