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Thursday, 10 December 2015

Supernatural S11 (First Half)


Supernatural
Series 11 (First Half).



So, I've mentioned before how the last serieses of both Supernatural and Once Upon A Time ended with identical plot developments (a problem that has plagued the main characters for multiple series turns out to be a prison for 'the Darkness', which was sealed away in ancient times by a now absent powerful figure, and has now been released), but that while Once Upon A Time took it in an interesting direction, Supernatural took it in the most boring and predictable way possible. 

Well, that's still true, especially that last part about 'boring' and 'predictable', although I could also add a few other adjectives like 'terrible', 'tired', 'cliche', 'physically painful' and so on and so forth, by now you all probably know the drill, if you, say, have read any of my Supernatural reviews before. This is old hat by now.

In this series of Supernatural, the Darkness manifests within a baby, who begins to grow at a rapid rate, wreaking chaos and draining people of their souls as she goes. Revealed to be the sister of God, and equal to him in power, the Darkness - now calling herself Amara - sets out to settle an old score with him, who she claims is a jealous and violent egomaniac who imprisoned her because he feared that her creation would be more perfect than his. While Dean feels strangely drawn to Amara, Sam begins receiving visions from God, telling him he must return to Lucifer's Cage.

Sigh.

So, I've been staring at this page trying to figure out what to write, and coming up with nothing, because Supernatural - tired, dying, limping its way on as executives pour money into it, writers struggle to come up with anything new, and actors rehash the same plotlines and emotional beats as they have a thousand times with an increasing air of exhaustion - is no longer even entertainingly bad. It's not Gotham, which is terrible but which is also hilarious as the cast straight-facedly work through the most absurd storylines possible. It's not Once Upon A Time, where a handful of stunningly good actors are making the best of some absolutely terrible writing. It's not Arrow, declining somewhat but still with a host of factors that make me come back to it every week, and a chance of redeeming itself, especially now that its main villain is not a slightly bewildered Australian gentleman. 

It's just - there. The televisual equivalent of slightly moist bread. Bland, kind of disgusting, but you can swallow it if you have to. Unpleasant, to be sure, but not traumatically so. You wouldn't willingly eat it, but if there's nothing else and you're starving you can try drying it out in the microwave and forcing it down. That's Supernatural now. That's its selling point: "You can feasibly stomach this show if you absolutely have to, probably definitely maybe."

I'm not sure I want to stomach it any more. I kind of have to, because doing so and then complaining is literally my job which I get paid for, but I don't want to. 

Just - just insert your own mildly humourous captions, okay?

What can I say? That I nearly fell asleep during the less arc-focused, episodic plots, and that no amount of questionable humour could rouse me, because every joke told was one that the series had already told, another time, in another episode? That even during the plot episodes, I could predict in exacting detail every plot element before it happened with a hundred percent accuracy? No, seriously, what can I possibly say about this series that I haven't said before when it's given me nothing new?

I feel kind of bad for saying that it should end, because at this point, Jared Padalecki will not get another job. Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins, sure, they have other roles they can do; Mark Sheppard has a steady stream of non-Supernatural work in which he usually plays characters identical to Crowley but in slightly different contexts; but this is the end for Padalecki. It's this, and potentially a brief cameo if they ever do another House of Wax remake. 

No, really, it'll be fun, there can be a prize. Whoever wins can have my bone-deep
exhaustion with this show.

But it should. It needs to end, not just because it is an unremittingly terrible horror, circling the same cliches again and again, but also because it has reached a natural end point. I mean, another natural end point: After you've faced off against Evil God, there isn't really anywhere you can go to raise the stakes. In much the same way that the show has struggled to give its conflicts believable stakes since the whole Lucifer plotline, the show will probably never manage to match the threat posed by Amara.

It's time to let it perish. It was time to let it perish years and years ago, and to be honest, I think the writers know that. I think the fact that they keep trying to push Supernatural spin-offs and keep failing to get any of them picked up is a sign that they know it's time.

I mean, Padalecki can probably just live off royalties and the money he's already made, it's fine, it's fine. 

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