Familiarity does reduce fear, I agree. But let’s not forget these writers are making a tv show. They are making a horror tv show. So they cannot use familiarity as a excuse for lazy writing. And I cannot forgive them on that basis either.
Look, they must have had like fourteen ghost episodes in the first season, and every single one of them was scary as shit. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Ghosts are freaking scary, bring on the ghosts.
Demons and vampires and angels are not scary anymore because the writing team doesn’t know how to build tension, opting instead for extensive monologuing over pseudo-complex morality, with relentless exposition that eliminates actual intrigue and plot. In Paper Moon, and you can go back and check, Sam and Dean barely even stood up in the entire episode.
Exactly. Look at the tension in “Metamorphosis” which also dealt with the “being a monster is a choice” theme. The problem is that this writing team falls back on the same plot devices again and again — the monologuing, the capture/escape, and humor. The writing has become very formulaic. I can’t imagine anyone writing an episode at the level of “Faith” or “The Usual Suspects” now.
Tasha was actually one of the first monsters in a while that I liked. The flashback of Kate walking in on her I thought was actually scary, and she wasn’t really ambiguous with her darkness, she was pretty full on a monster. But for the most part I entirely agree, there hasn’t been a baddie that scared me since the demon that that Jeffrey guy summoned in s7. And of course with Tasha they had to pair her with a feel-bad-for-me monster (Kate). The humanized monster was intriguing when it was rare but adding that “complexity” to every single hunt has ruined the show. There is no fear build-up, which makes it boring at best, but giving every monster different levels of humanity also means our hunters can’t hunt. And it sets it up so when they do make a kill, the audience isn’t relieved, but instead left feeling dubious about the morality of that choice, so instead of building up the characters it opens them up for criticism and just slowly builds up dislike for them.
Supernatural has become a four color comic book, dumbed down in almost every area. I know I spend a lot of time on tumblr making fairly excoriating criticisms of the show, but it comes from a place of very real anger. It used to be great, a real gem; unique, but the current showrunner and his coterie have reduced its complexity and nuance to a copy cat of any other genre show you care to mention. It’s unforgivable, and I don’t see why we should be sanguine about it.
And four color comic book quite literally, actually. The issues don’t end at the writing on the show. They extend all the way to how the show finally looks on screen. We have lost the dark, washed out faded Americana coloring that Kripke always insisted on having. Even when he got the note from the network that the show is “too dark” he fought to keep the coloring he wanted. And now, as soon as he’s gone, we get the coloring of some urban fantasy, something that is so out of place for a horror show that supposed to take place on dingy American back roads.
Yes, I agree. I always thought it was a mistake to lose that visual motif. It was an important component to that authenticity that hooked me in the first place. As with everything else, they sacrificed what was a carefully chosen, and complimentary cosmetic choice for superficial showmanship. Urban fantasy is precisely what Supernatural has become. Its’s like a Rob Thurman book, but without the quality. I love urban fantasy, and I love comic books, but I wouldn’t want Buffy to turn into a Walking Dead survival horror, or Agents of Shield to start channeling the X-Files. The genetic reengineering of Supernatural into a cousin of every other urban fantasy of the last 20 years was not only myopic and craven, it was also an act of vandalism; a hatchet job that reduced both the characters and their stories to superficialities. It has reduced a show that had fairly unique characteristics of authenticity and complexity, to a cliche. I think a lot of us keep watching out of nostalgia and hope. I know that but for my investment in the story of Sam and Dean, I would have quit a few seasons ago.