Why am I still watching Supernatural?
Two weeks ago Jennie, Emily and me gathered to do some catching up on the episodes we'd missed. The move to Friday nights this season hasn't worked out so well for our watching as a group. We soldiered through "Like a Virgin" and "Unforgiven" before packing it in and saving "Mannequin 3: The Reckoning" for another night. Somewhere in the midst of dragons, Purgatorial mommy issues, spider-people and slutty-Sam, I began to wonder (and tweet) if enough was enough? As much as I enjoyed 'The French Mistake" neither it nor "And Then There Were None" has made me think I'm being totally insane.
When do you stop watching a show that you once loved?
I give up on shows all the time. I give a show a couple episodes and if it doesn't hold my interest I move on without a second thought (Sons of Tucson). I watch a whole season, take a step back, realize I don't think it's very good, sometimes advise people against it (Californication), and then find a better show. Scheduling conflicts cause me to push a show off until it comes out on DVD and sometimes by that time I don't bother (The Office S6). But in the majority of these types of cases, though not all, I'm not attached to the show. It wasn't something that I loved, that I've invested YEARS of my life in.
Supernatural is a show that I loved, a show that friends and I watched, debated, and bonded over. I want so badly to have again the amazing show that I had a few years ago, and in light of the weekly disappointment of either a really terrible episode or a somewhat descent episode that doesn't seem to matter all that much, I wonder if I am so attached to the routine of watching Supernatural that even though I know the quality has declined, I can't imagine not watching. There is a routine established that now has in some way little to do with the particulars of the episode.
The worst part is that the show doesn't have to be so bad; there are elements that could be put together in a humorous and meaningful way, but for some reason just aren't. So Gramps Campbell is a total bastard who was willing to sell-out his grandsons in exchange for his daughter being brought back to life, therefore he should be set up as the antagonist for the season and Eve (the Mother of All) should be a backdrop against which the familial conflict plays out. Instead we meet Grandpa Ass-Hat, he betrays Dean and Sam, we don't see him for a while, then he's dead. Waste of storyline potential. On an episode-level even more waste. Bile rises in my throat as I write this, but "Mannequin 3: The Reckoning" could have been less terrible if a) instead of talking about themselves the entire episode Sam and Dean has actually discussed if people have a right to be saved or if there is some justice in the act of a vengeful spirit (like they would have seasons ago) and b) there had been even a pause between "the sister has a kidney from the murdering spirit" and "so now the sister is dead too." Maybe knowing that improvement is possible (if not probably) is kindling false hope in me, preventing me from severing my ties.
There are only six episodes left this season, so having come this far it's a fair bet that I'll finish it out. I don't often hope for shows to get canceled (okay, that's not true, but I never thought I would hope for this show to get canceled) but that would absolve me of the responsibility of making this decision.
I stopped watching Bones when the self-righteousness and the complete awfulness of Dr. Brennen's personality pissed me off so much that I was in danger of forgetting that I ever liked the show in the first place, and I think that is when I'll know it's time to walk away from Supernatural: when I cease to be disappointed, it will mean I've forgotten that the show was once excellent, and then it will be time.
Making the world a better place, one show at a time.
- The TV Girl
- Washington, DC, United States
- I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.