Saturday, May 21, 2011

Supernatural Season Six - The Year of Missed Opportunities

Let me preface by saying three things.

1. I am a huge Supernatural fan. It’s always been my favorite show.

2. I have watched every episode of seasons 1-5 several times.

3. Do not read further if you haven’t watched season six. Unapologetic spoilers throughout.

What can I say? I was really excited for this season. I had complete faith that the remaining team could keep it great. They didn’t. They failed. We were promised more monsters; more a show like season one. It didn’t happen.

The first couple episodes lacked life. It wasn’t until Dean was kicked back to the road that it at least got back some decent music. Little very little. If I’d watched only the first episodes and didn’t know the series, I never would have watched any more of it. They were that lifeless.

Truly, it was as if the actors and directors were working with the writers’ first draft outline. It was never fleshed out. Let’s dissect:

Lisa, Ben and Dean: Use Lisa and Ben or kill them, okay? Seriously, it was okay at the beginning, although I wanted Lisa to fall off a cliff about fifteen minutes into the first show. But then it was as if the two were just randomly tossed in to give Dean some personal tension. It was so widespread it was nothing but an über-convenient plot device. C’mon writers. Dean was a complex character before this. Whatever layer you were trying to add should have been peeled away quickly like a sunburn. Instead, you muffled his personality with unnecessary detritus.

That said about the early episodes, let me just say, that the beginning of the season was far better than the rest of the season. It showed great promise in some of the episodes I’ll mention below. But back to the suck…

Sam: Really? Pick a storyline for him. I hate the phrase “hot mess” but dude! There’s no other way to describe this. He’s hot and the rest was a mess! And the mysterious he’s been back a year and he’s changed stuff. A little less ambiguity and a little more detail please. Also, Jared Padalecki is a capable actor. He was failed with his constantly shifting story this year. Pick a trauma and let him go with it. He should have gotten his soul back earlier or not gotten it back until the end. Though…let me say I breathed a sigh of relief when he got it back because OMG Sam without his soul trashed the core relationships that held the show together.

The Campbell family: This was a place where use them or kill them didn’t apply. This was one of the opportunities. They could have been an awesome addition to the show. Instead they were all jerks and ended up killed off. Giving them some likability would have at least made it better when they were killed. And you really liked jerkface Grandpa? Really? Looking back, it’s as if the writers thought “oh this is a good idea then realized it was a monumental mistake.” One episode then death would have been okay. As much as they were given…FAIL.

The Djinn: They have a vendetta. Opportunity missed.

The Changelings and the Changeling children: Interesting. Lots of options. Opportunity missed.

God’s weapons being stolen: right…this was cool. Then dropped. This would have been an excellent story to follow. But no…the purgatory thing. The writers didn’t think hell for the past two years was enough?

And Purgatory, since I brought it up: If you’re going to make a big deal about it, at least use it for God’s sake. This was perhaps the most monumental fail. Monsters being released? Not so much. It was more singular and temporary. And the obtaining of souls? We didn’t even get to see it. It was more, “Oh yeah, I’m back. Guess what? I tricked you and now I have the souls. You suck. I’m God. Ptttttttb.”

Crowley: I love him. I love his character and other than being occasionally annoying, I mostly thought he was one of the only redeeming factors this year. EXCEPT…the writers tried to make him all über-evil in places. That’s not the character he was in season five and not how he was portrayed for most of six. He’s a slimy worm and dryly funny. His evil is amusing. Yes, he tortures monsters, but even his reason for that isn’t as dark as all that. But again, the writers waffled all over the place with him. Mark Sheppard is awesome in his element if the writers will let him have it, unfortunately, they seem to like the game keep away.

The Twilight episode: This was one I loved. It was good.

The Dragons: could have been great. Missed opportunity. I liked some of the episode, but the premise and follow-through was a fail. But then, it ended with the lame opening purgatory stuff. That whole line washed out everything.

The Goddess of Truth: Good episode.

The werewolf/family dog episode: Actually, that was one of my favorites. I cried.

The UFO/Fairy episode: Meh. It had some good parts, but it wasn’t great.

The Unforgiven Episode: Round two of Meh. Could have been better.

The One with the Mannequins: Creepy! This one was good. Classic Supernatural. Classic awesome!

And that demon Meg: Can she just stay in Hell already? Please?

Appointment in Samarra (which I like to call Death Takes a Holiday): Was another classic Supernatural episode. Definitely good and I love the character of the female reaper in that show. I’ve always enjoyed her episodes.

The Unforgiven episode: I would have forgiven the writers had they skipped it. (apparently, I really didn’t like this one since I mentioned it twice — another failed idea)

The TV Show episode: One of the BEST episodes of the season. It was good. While I don’t want all the shows to be funny, more of this caliber would have been great.

The Fate episode with Ellen and Bobby as a couple: Pretty good. I liked it. It was sad too. It would have been stronger though if the shows would have had a bigger connection this year.

And that’s where it all went awry. I should have stopped watching for the season at that point, but you know how it is where you keep hoping it will get better, that it will return to its former glory? That’s why I kept at it. I kept hoping. I wasn’t gripped by the show, just by the hope.

The episode with the introduction on the Mother of All was a fail. By itself, it could have been okay, but it was part of the underdeveloped purgatory story line. It wasn’t given enough attention and everything was shoved into a small little package. When you have a small space, things can get left out. There’s just no room. To me, it seemed the writers decided to do a story arc too late in the season then didn’t have the room for development. I keep saying that, but development is a big deal for me. I was further irritated by the anticlimactic end of the Mother of All line. BIG HUGE BUILD UP, then snap! Done.

The Wild West: This episode relied heavily on one-liners. By that point, the season had spun so far out of control that the quips came off cheesy. I laughed, but I wouldn’t call the show particularly good. And the phoenix thread? Completely missed opportunity. This would have been a great monster to go against for something other than fighting the Mother of All. Perhaps the writers were hoping to resurrect a story out of the ashes? I think by that point, the story arc didn’t have the will to live — and the back to the future nod at the end? Really cheesy. Super triple, deluxe cheesy.

Let’s forget the Mommie Dearest episode. It was mostly forgettable. Oh yeah, the Mother of All offing happened here, I guess. It was lame. The entire point of the episode was handled in one line “Crowley’s alive.” Save me an hour, okay? Have a demon spout it while the boys are fighting real monsters.

And here’s where Castiel’s story line picked up. Look, I love Misha Collins. He’s great. Whoever allowed this drek for him? Not so much. Castiel’s character, which has developed so nicely over the past two seasons, was utterly and systematically destroyed. There is no other way to put it. Castiel’s character was sometimes the best character in past shows. This year, the writers… The only word I have is “destroyed”. They destroyed all the good that had been made there.

And Cas aligning with a demon? Who thought of that? A first year intern who hasn’t watched the rest of the shows?

Which brings me to the finale. Let me say, when someone yells “what the hell” at the TV when a show ends, you want it to be because they’ve been left at an earth shattering cliffhanger. You don’t want it to be because of the utter suckage of the past 2 hours. The season finale brought home with a missile point the whole of the disjointedness that over arched the entire season. First off… If you’re going to do a 2 hour finale, do one show, not two back to back. Second, you might want to think about continuity, believability and answering a few questions.

Ben and Lisa…glad to see them go. Sam fighting his memories? Could we buy a few clues? Really? The whole dream world thing was confusing, neglected and again, a missed opportunity. His showing up to try to save the day? Convenient don’t you think? It was a lot like the eagles flying in at the end of the Lord of the Rings movies. What the heck?

And for all the expression the characters had in that episode, they could have phoned in the performances. I’m being harsh. I don’t hold the actors responsible. It was the scripting and development that failed.

My opinion of the ending is, well, I already said it. What the hell.

Season Six, Supernatural F minus minus minus.


Bronwyn Green said...

Okay the whole Lisa and Ben thing. The memory wipe was the lamest thing ever. Yes it would have been sad if they'd died but this entire world these characters inhabit is built on grief and revenge. It's what fuels these characters. This was a total whitewash of not only plot, but real, meaningful emotion.

Let's look at the whole Campbell storyline. That was just lazy ass writing. Talk about taking the easy way out. Need the boys to know something? Have them stumble across it in this whole 'nother library that's out there with info that no other hunters have ever had. Sorry, but that's too damn convenient for my taste.

Also what the hell with the boys' relationship? It's like once Sam got his soul back their relationship - you know, the one the show is built around - ceases to matter. In some scenes, they might as well be co-workers rather than brothers.

Will I watch next season? Absolutely. I love the series and the boys (not to mention hanging with you) not to but I really hope the writers pull it out for next season. I want the good stuff back. No shortcuts. No lazy writing. No jumping the shark.

Bronwyn Green said...

Oops - meant *too much not to*

And about Cas. How the hell are they going to believably fix that little corner they've written themselves into? I worry that it's going to drag on forever like that one season of House where the one cop was dogging House's every move, investigating his Vicodin Rx fraud and by the end you just wished they'd have sex already and the rest of the show pretty much ground to a halt while that went on.

Sorry I digress. So either it's going to drag on endlessly or they're going to wrap it up super quick skipping over the important details (you know, like the whole Purgatory-poof-all-the-souls-are-mine scenario) and the conclusion of the storyline wi be rife with more missed opportunities.

No. I'm not bitter. Why ever would you think that?

Sommer Marsden said...

well, i have to say, i feel better now. more than once this year i found myself very confused and wondering if i had dozed off.

or...struggling to remember the week before's episode so i could catch up.

but the TV episode hands down a favorite. i laughed my ass off both times i saw it.

ah well, i thought originally the show was to be five seasons. get in, hook em, slame it down, get out.

but i think fan bases came in and wanted more. the only problem with people clamoring for more if there is no more are issues such as these.

i hope the wrangle it in next year and take a tip from shows like Cheers and Frasier etc. Leave on a high note.