Friday, February 5, 2010

Oh for the Love ... !! I Quit. I Mean It. I Do. Maybe.

Note: It’s been a long while since I dedicated a blog but this one I am. This is for my favorite BubbleGirl. An awesome supporter and a sweet friend … pushing me, prodding me, and, when necessary *hugging* me. I don’t know when I can go backwards, Whims, but I promise I will try to continue to go forwards. This ramble prelude is for you. The full-on episode ramble will be ready no later than Monday morning. That’s my deadline and I give you full permission to become your peskiest textiest self if I don’t meet it. On that you have Keeper’s Word.

Supernatural is unlike any show I’ve ever previously watched and I’m not too sure that I’ll ever have the opportunity to watch another like it. Some may try and may come close, but they won’t be the same by any stretch of the imagination.

Now, I have avidly enjoyed television all my life. When I was young, I watched CBS soap operas with my mom during our lunch and early afternoon “rest” time. I loved the Hughes family with the conniving Lisa and the Bauers were always taking care of family in the most interesting ways. As I got older, and I got to stay up later on Fridays and Saturdays, I discovered late night television and Saturdays particularly stay in my mind because it would just be me and my dad, staying up late and watching movies (particularly westerns) while my mom & brother went on to bed. I even enjoyed spending time watching the PBS programs of Sesame Street & The Electric Company with my little brother. Of course, I was really too old for them. I was simply watching to keep him involved and learning. Seriously. *wink*

Over the years, my viewing wandered the television spectrum … Dallas was a must see on Fridays, but my favorite were the antics of Knots Landing on Thursdays. While the original Star Trek was watched with my family, it didn’t catch my attention as much as Star Trek: The Next Generation. Will Riker was lovely, but I was always a Jean Luc Picard girl. I even followed to Deep Space Nine and Voyager. I’m not really going to go into my 21 Jump Street phase, except to say that Johnny Depp may be a bit different, but even when he was just starting out, he inhabited an intriguing and ever changing character. We also won’t go into my Hercules and Xena phase. Let’s just say that Kevin Sorbo was … um … ahem … well, I’ll just say I sure did enjoy that show!!

Then came Buffy and, later, Angel. Oh, good grief! How I did love those shows. Time would stop and I would simply enter the worlds of Sunnydale & Los Angeles to be swallowed up in the characters and atmosphere created by some incredibly talented people. There was also my Firefly adoration. I’m still angry with FOX and their lack of faith in something so incredibly wonderful.

Along the way there have been many other shows that I’ve made a point to stop and watch, to videotape, to mention in conversation with friends, to watch again. I’ll confess, I still have my video tape of the original 6 episodes of Max Headroom and pull it out periodically to watch. There are currently run program I adore … The Big Bang Theory … and enjoy … NCIS & Bones & Chuck & Criminal Minds and others … or get frustrated with but still keep coming back … 24 & Numbers. Yet none of them hold a candle to the love I have for the show Supernatural.

I don’t just enjoy the show, I am a confessed fan.

From the moment it premiered on September 13, 2005, I have been carried away and blown away by the world and the characters created by Kripke and his band of merry torturers … er … um … writers. His creative staff continually pull together each week some of the best television I have ever watched. The worst episode of Supernatural, in my opinion, is better than anything else I’ve watched on another program. That’s my opinion. I realize it isn’t for others. Many have laughed at me or scoffed my dedication. That’s okay. It doesn’t hurt my feelings.


Because along with finding a program that I thoroughly enjoy, I gained something incredible … a family of fans that became a family of friends, even if we are spread across this nation … and, in a couple of cases, overseas. Granted, the internet was a big proponent. Through TVGuide’s, once upon a time, wonderful website, I found people who were not only interested in talking about this show, but also encouraged me to write about my feelings, write about this show that I loved and enjoyed. I found people who went past just the program and actually cared about me as a person. People who, after the demise of our favorite spot on, found alternative ways to gather, to continue to chat & discuss & check in on me and the others of our group. Friendships were forged and, as time progressed, meetings took place in person and faces were attached to names as we traveled.

So … after all this … why in the world would I sit down and declare last night that I hated this show and vow to never watch again?

I was serious. I was sobbing. I was so frustrated and filled with emotion for the episode that had just played itself out on my television screen that I wanted to throw my remote and not my Nerf ball at the television. (Nerf balls are safe, they don’t break screens the way remotes and other harder objects do.) The point had arrived that, in my brain I knew would come, yet my heart wasn’t ready and the fact that it came in the form of an episode written by one of my all time favorite Supernatural writers, Sera Gamble, is no surprise. She has wrenched my emotions before and has had me declaring my undying hatred and quest to quit watching more than once.

Of course, I might also mention here that I tend to get a bit rash in my declarations of intent when I am emotional. Most of the time I can remain calm and level, but when pushed to a point where rational thought is lost in the sea of emotion, I have been known to make some hasty remarks and last night, well, last night there was a lot of emotion going on … both on my television screen and on my couch.

Have you ever read a book in which the author crafts the most amazing and intense story, drawing you into the characters, into the world where they revolve … intensifying emotions and weaving the threads of story so tightly that suddenly you have to quit? The book isn’t finished, but you simply have to stop. You have to physically put it down … step away … take a breath and gather back your equilibrium? Sometimes it takes just a moment … a quick trip to the fridge … sometimes it takes a bit longer. Ultimately you return, you find your place and you plunge once more into the world of your imagination – colored by the words written by this gifted writer.

The same thing can happen with a piece of art … a canvas being drawn … a ceramic piece being painted … a needlework being sewn. You work so hard on it, watching it grow from a blank, empty, unformed base towards that finished product that only you can truly see inside your head, inside your imagination. Yet you reach a point where you believe it will never look the way you see it … that it is simply a mess of colors and paint and thread and has no form or pattern. You have to step away. Your emotions have gotten involved and you need to take a moment to get perspective before you can return and finish the piece of art that you are lovingly crafting.

It seems as though each season of Supernatural does the same thing for me … to me. I get so caught up in the lives of the Winchester Boys, in the adventures, in the emotions, in the story being woven – overall and seasonally – that I reach a point in the season where I have to step back, gain some perspective, and calm my heart before plunging back into the story … onto the next episode. Lucky for me, I’m always given at least a week – although those stupid hiatus’ sometimes increase that time – to get myself mentally ready to continue on this journey that Eric Kripke dreamed of and his merry band of torturers … er … um … writers/directors/actors/et al … create through dialogue, direction, atmosphere, characterization, etc.

The Song Remains the Same was the episode for this fifth season that made me stop. I’ll admit it snuck up on me. I honestly didn’t see it coming. I’m not sure why I didn’t. It always seems to be the 12th or 13th episode that catches me. Season one … it was Faith. Season two … it was Houses of the Holy. Season three … it was Jus in Bello. Season four it was Sex & Violence. And this season, season five … it was The Song Remains the Same. Each one powerfully done, tying together the emotions and the path changes of the previous episodes of that individual season, taking the journey of The Boys and thrusting them forward in their thoughts, their beliefs, their incredibly complex and yet strangely simple black and white with shades of gray world. Their beliefs are challenged. Everything they previously thought has either been altered, confirmed or discounted. The world around them leaps and distorts as they try to keep their feet planted and believe in one another because in the end, it’s just them … two brothers (well … now two brothers and an angel) journeying on a hero’s path filled with pitfalls and lined with evil on one side and good on the other.

It’s been said that there is a fine line between good and evil, between love and hate.

With those last words spoken from young Mary to her unborn son, I knew in my heart three things …

1) That I hated this show with everything I had for the way it has woven itself around and through my heart for the past 95 episodes, for making me have to wait, and guess, and hope, and angst over the possibilities of what will come based on what has come previously … twisting my emotions with laughter and delight one minute, only to be quickly followed by heartache and despair. The show is evil.

2) That I loved this show with everything I had for the way it has woven itself around and through my heart for the past 95 episodes, for taking a genre so filled with stereotypical creatures and storylines and filling it with complexities and emotions, dysfunctional family dynamic where normal is defined only by the life of the individual leading it, for weaving a story so tightly over a period of 5 years, crafting a tapestry that shows dimensions in it’s picturing of a hero’s journey and quest.

3) That I had to write. I had to write about this episode. I had things to say, threads to follow, dialogue to weep over yet again even as it tied both past and present together. I had to declare my love once again, in written word, for the character of a father who, in all actuality, has only physically been present in 11 out of 95 episodes and two of them were flashbacks, the character played by two completely different yet eerily similar looking/acting actors, yet whose presence has been felt … through the words, actions, feelings of his sons … in each and every episode.

There’s a fine line between love and hate, between good and evil.

I love that Supernatural is a program that doesn’t take the easy path, that walks the fine line in it’s creativity and presentation, that it’s characters are not always good men, but that they are human and trying to be honorable men amidst the chaos that is their lives. I hate the fact that I can’t wait to progress in this story yet I hate for it to end, I am caught in the abyss of wanting it over so I know how it ends but not wanting it to continue because once complete, it is over. Unlike a book, I can’t skip forward and read the ending before finding out how we get there.

Frankly … this show is so good, it’s evil.

However, good or evil, this episode is one that had me sobbing and marveling, laughing and scoffing but more than that … it got me doing something I haven’t done in quite awhile … rambling. I’ve found I can’t keep my thoughts away from the threads that were so adroitly tied together in this episode, the tapestry deepened, outlined, woven so tightly throughout the five seasons that the picture of this journey is fills it’s viewers with passion for the story that has come before and anticipation of what is yet to happen.

So, the ramble continues …