xparrot: Chopper reading (books)
[personal profile] xparrot
In case anyone was wondering, SPN still has what originally sucked me into the show. That is, writers with an uncanny ability to channel 14-year-old fic-writing fangirls. The last ep was an h/c + presumed dead bonanza such that I've rarely seen (if you're familiar with the show, they've added a new plot twist to make the threat of death actually seem threatening. Well, not to the audience, to us it's more like setting up Chekhov's latest gun and I'm looking forward to how it's going to go off. But Sam & Dean are slightly more nervous about biting it than usual. And Dean takes the idea of Sam dying as well as he's ever done, to the tune of temporarily killing himself to try to puppy-dog-eyes a Reaper into giving him Sam back. (Said Reaper, Billie, is one of the more awesome chars they've introduced and I'm already dreading when the show kills her off. But she survived this ep! \o/ Also the actress is apparently a fan herself...))

The problem - or, maybe not the problem, because in a way it's a strength as much as a weakness? - the thing about Supernatural is that it has maybe the tightest character focus of any show. Which makes it an all-or-nothing proposition, at least for me, when it comes to fanning. Because if you buy into the basic conceit, that the Winchester brothers and their relationship is the most important thing in the show's universe and the reason to watch, then it's one of the most fannishly satisfying series ever made, bringing the angst and melodrama and smarm and love like no other TV I've ever seen. Even Starsky & Hutch, while it might beat out SPN on pure physical h/c (and not by that much), can't measure up to the emotional revelations and mutual sacrifice of brothers both figuratively and literally selling their souls for one another.

The issue is that if you ever stop caring about the Winchesters, the show loses most of its fannish appeal. While it has plenty of other temporarily fun characters, most of them do not survive, and usually die in the service of causing more angst for the boys. Even the few who have endured (almost all white males, except Jodie Mills, who has lasted so long by being much more minor than Castiel or Crowley) are still just supporting cast.

You can watch it just for the OTT and crack - I did for several years; by the time I dropped the show in 7th season I actively hated the Winchesters but still enjoyed the crazy meta absurdities. (And I dropped it partly because that aspect was lost, too - after just watching the whole series, s7 is definitely the nadir. This seems like a common problem for the ludicrously long-running shows; SG-1's s7 was its worst as well. I wonder if TNG or DS9 might've picked back up if they had lasted beyond it?)

When I dropped SPN, I thought it was for good. Even if I watched it again, I never imagined I'd get back into it (in my defense I never thought it would make it to 12 seasons, come on that's just ridiculous!) Now that I am...it's embarrassing, yeah; but it's also a ton of fun. Sibling love has always been my Kryptonite and nothing delivers like SPN. And while there's a part of me that thinks the show would be objectively better if it widened its focus and grew its characters, the fangirl in me wants Sam and Dean to go on being one another's most important people, through it all.

...Also, the real-life factor doesn't help. Way back in first season Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles said that they hit it off from the start and were becoming great friends and all, bonding the way casts often do, and that was sweet, and translated well to the fraternal chemistry of their characters. Eleven years on when they still say they're best friends, and their wives are best friends, and they talk about how their kids play together - in the same preschool, as JA moved cross-country to live within a mile of JP...I am not into RPF, at all, but they make it hard! Possibly worse because I'm not slashing them at all (their families are far too cute), but the friendshipping is harder to resist when as far as I can tell it's 'canon'...
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