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27 February 2008 @ 10:05 am
SPN S1  
Finished re-watching S1 of Supernatural with Mark last night. He's enjoying it, he said "the most he's enjoyed a TV series since Firefly [and BSG]" - color me shocked! I mean, I love the boys and all, but my love of Firefly is a near perfect thing, not to be compared with pretty much any other show out there. So I asked him why, and he said because SPN has smart writing, and that was his favorite thing about Firefly.

Mark's favorite FF scene of ever: In "The Train Job" , when the guy threatens to hunt Mal down and kill him, and Mal kicks him into the engine. It was the first episode he saw, and as the guy was going off "I'm going to hunt you down, I'm going to..." Mark was "I'd just shoot him." And then Mal kicks him into the engine, and Mark looked at me and said "This is the best show I've ever seen." That was it, he was hooked.

He sees the same elements in SPN. Above all, he hates when characters do stupid for the sake of the plot, or when stories break their own world rules for the sake of convenience. SPN has consistency in world building. If they say salt in front of your door repels demons, salt comes up time and time again, for instance. Rock salt against spirits, etc.

And at its core, the show is about the relationship between Sam and Dean, and for S1, their relationship with their father. Sure, they hunt evil, but it all comes back to why they hunt it. Dean's fear of losing his family, Sam's need for revenge, John's obsession, and his need to protect his boys, all tangled up with hunting the evil that's stalked them all their lives. It makes for a good story. It helps that there are moments like that one in Firefly, where the characters do smart things. As an example, Sam shooting John/the demon in the leg in the S1 finale (I'm not cut tagging, because heck, if you haven't seen S1 of SPN by now, why are you still reading this post?) "You shoot me, you kill him." Well yeah, except shooting doesn't necessarily mean killing.

I think he also likes the 'guy' vibe SPN has. The car, the music, Dean's obsession with hot chicks, the troubled relationship between the boys and their father. When Dean finally sides with Sam against John, and tells him "We saved your ass, you do need us, we're stronger as a family," and John looks at him and says "You're right. I'm not too fond of this new tone of yours, but you're right." Mark laughed, and said "I think it's hard for fathers when their boys grow into men, because usually the son's strength is a reflection of their father's."

He's going to be pissed when he watches the season opener for S2. But he also already knows John's not around later, because he's seen some bits and pieces of S3.

Oh, and because I know a large portion of fandom thinks John Winchetser was a terrible father, blah, blah, this is Mark's take after watching all of S1 - now, realize my husband comes from a family of very strong men. The only picture I have ever seen of his Grandpa Marion has the old coot flipping off the camera as he's standing there, smiling and holding his wife's hand. Because he didn't want to take the picture and was pissed about it. When Mark's Dad was born, the doctor came out to their cabin and delivered the baby, then he and Mark's Grandpa took off and went hunting immediately following the birth. Realize, hunting back then was so their family wouldn't starve, but still, the way the story goes, that baby was barely born before both men picked up guns and took off. When he was growing up, this same grandfather got into a fight with his younger brother, and their mother made them take the fight outside. He let little bro get out the door first. When Marion walked out, little bro cold cocked him with a hunk of firewood. Later, when Grandpa told Mark the story, he said "It was my own damn fault - I never let him get the drop on me again." The orneriness lessens some with each generation, but Mark still has plenty of hard and stubborn in his personality.

So, John Winchester - he found out there was evil in the world, and he did everything in his power to keep his boys safe from it, which meant teaching them how to kill it. When he finally found a lead on the Big Bad, of course he disappeared. He knew it was too powerful and didn't want to put his boys at risk. If he was hard with them, it was because he had to be. In the show, John called it becoming a drill sergeant. But that's what he had to do. If he'd been soft with them, the boys wouldn't have been strong enough to deal with many of the things they've had to. Even in a normal family, it's tough to strike that balance between discipline and love with your kids. Now, add to that what the Winchesters have been through, and John made some tough, necessary choices. He tells Sam "This isn't the life I wanted for you," and it's not. But he did what he saw he had to. The demon is still after his son - it killed Sam's girlfriend when Sam tried to go and get that other life. And John knew when Sam left it was dangerous - he told Sam "All I saw was you, all alone. Vulnerable." All John can do is try to shield his boys as much as possible, while keeping them as prepared as possible. That's why he gives them orders without explanations. As frustrating as it is for Sam, John isn't keeping stuff from them for selfish reasons. He's doing it to keep them away. Because he really doesn't expect to survive the confrontation with the demon, and he's hoping to take it with him, so that his boys have a chance once he's gone. In the end, he sees that he needs Sam and Dean if he has any chance of killing the demon. They force him to see that his boys have grown into men, that because of everything he's taught them, they are strong and capable, and far stronger together than alone.

Tonight, probably we'll start S2. Which IMO was better than S1. It'll be interesting to watch it again with Mark.
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"Connoisseurs of Difficulty"kistha on February 27th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC)
Above all, he hates when characters do stupid for the sake of the plot, or when stories break their own world rules for the sake of convenience.

Mark and I are much alike. That scene in Firefly was one of my all time favorites, for those reasons. My favorite episode though is Ariel.

I've been thinking about re-watching it. [But we're re-watching B5 so I can send it to you, and playing Bio Shock] Is the one with the haunted mental institution where the girl is the one who knows how to use the shotgun in 1 or 2? I wonder if Mark will find it as funny as I did. Oh, and the one where they're just serial killers....

We should live closer. :(
rhienellethrhienelleth on February 27th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC)
Both of those are S1. Of course, many eps and Mark's responses to them are a blur, as we've been marathoning...I can't remember what his response to the girl knowing how to use the shotgun was.

The serial killers, I'm assuming you mean the ones who were hunting people? Yeah. Creepy! Mark called that one in the first few minutes "I wonder if they're doing 'The Most Dangerous Game'" - then "Ha! I was right!"

Ariel was an excellent episode. But then, they all were. :)

Maybe someday we'll (<--either/or/all) be independently wealthy and distance won't matter cause we can pick up and go visit whenever we want! Hey, you never know.

But yes, we should live closer!
"Connoisseurs of Difficulty"kistha on February 27th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)
In the people hunting people one, I just loved the "Dean, they're just people!" Cracked me up so bad.

Maybe someday we'll (<--either/or/all) be independently wealthy and distance won't matter cause we can pick up and go visit whenever we want!

Here's hoping!
rhienellethrhienelleth on February 27th, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)
Yes, true. It was a nice way of showing that evil does exist without the aid of demons or dark spirits.

It was a creepy episode, though not nearly as creepy as the X-files one it reminded me of.
Nuquiet_rebel on February 27th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
Hehe. After work I'm going out to buy SPN season 2 DVD.

Wonder what Mark will say about season three since (IMO) the writing has not been that great compared to the earlier seasons. Maybe now the writer's strike is over that may change.
rhienellethrhienelleth on February 27th, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
Really? I've highly enjoyed S3 so far. What has fallen short for you? (is curious)
Nu: book/tv--the angst!quiet_rebel on February 27th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
Aside from the writing, the theme has changed for me, where it was about two brothers going after urban legends. It's gotten kind of "too big" and complicated for me with the demons and the war. I'm all for conflict and stuff, but I don't think the writing is strong enough to pull it off.