When A Fandom Love Becomes Dysfunctional

This is about the CW network series, Supernatural.

I love Supernatural.  I love the Winchester boys.

Or rather, I love the boys but the series’ writers and producers–also known as The Powers That Be (TPTB)–have become lame-ass.

Supernatural finished its 12th season this past May.  It wasn’t all that thrilling.  The same can be said of everything after season 5.  The only improvement was Crowley and his witch mom but they (TPTB) cocked that up royally.

The show actually started downhill in the 4th season when the wonderful formula of music-inspired episodes began to disappear.  By the 5th season, the second to last episode no longer had a musical intro.  And the finale’s “Carry On Wayward Son” musical intro became the only mainstay.

The musical intro/recap for each seasonal premiere began to die of relevance at the beginning of season 5.  And during most episodes, there was no classic rock overlay for transitional moments of importance.  That was a series’ plot requirement, as we see during seasons 1 and 2.  Starting in season 3, it died down, and by season 5, it disappeared.

Why?  Changing of the guard, that’s why.  Creator Eric Kripke and Exec Producer McG disappeared.  The people who came on board after had absolutely no damn idea how to run the show.  They tried, but they fucked up season 3 by bringing on two women semi-regulars.  One was pivotal to the plotline and the other wasn’t.  In my opinion, TPTB did this because they were bored with the episodic themes and they changed the tenor of the show from supernatural creatures preying on humanity to a bizarre hell-vs-heaven theme show.

While I enjoyed a lot of season 4 and, in later seasons, the inclusion of God (Chuck) and Amara (God’s sister), I seriously missed the music and I absolutely HATED Ruby’s actor replacement and I’m not a fan of Castiel.  Many are, and saying I’m not is probably a form of series’ blasphemy, but c’mon, people.  He was better in season 4 than the others that followed.  Now, he’s just a gag prop.  The same can’t be said of Crowley, but he’s only marginally better after his intro season.

So then there’s seasons 5+.  They all run together.  There’s no continuous plotline that makes sense.  Just new angles and curve balls that are intended to make sense but don’t (like that crap with Sam’s soul and plot-offense Grandpa Campbell).

The best bits are when Sam and Dean have their dysfunctional issues and emotional war games as they fight each other and themselves but the brotherly love and devotion always wins out in the end.  But that formula was messed with, turned against them, and then later, they’re brought back together again as if this would fix the fuck-up TPTB caused by splitting them up to begin with.  Yes, there’re episodes during these seasons which I like, but they’re nowhere near the favorites of seasons 1 and 2.

Over the years, I’d forgotten much of what I’d talked about above.  I’d always download an episode (shut up), and then had it on hand for marathons.  The Winchesters have also aged wonderfully and are extremely hot men–and sadly, that’s now the series’ saving grace.  I remember the first time we saw Sam shirtless and many people, including the guys I’d turned on to the series, were surprised by how damn muscular he was(is).  By season 3, he was sizzling.  Now, it’s all about the changing hair style and perpetual need of a shave.

Sadly, for seasons 10, 11, and 12, I’ve actually stopped eagerly anticipating the next episode and I’d stopped watching religiously.  Instead, I played catchup for about six episodes, then I’d start that all over again.  This last season, 12, I did the same except that from ep 14 on, I skipped the rest and played catchup about a month after the finale.  And even now, at this moment, I actually can’t recall WTF the season was about.

This is ghastly.

This last week, I’d decided to do a huge Supernatural marathon on Netflix, starting with episode 1.  By season 5, I started skipping episodes.  Now I’m at season 8 and I’m skipping more episodes and instead I’m reading synopses on TV.com in order to remind me what’s going on.  I’m now only interested in pivotal episodes–and they’re getting fewer and fewer.

I suspect that TPTB know they’re in trouble.  It’s why they brought back Mary Winchester.  But I’m sorry.  It’s too little, too late.  The only save for this series is if Eric and McG return and fire everyone else.

As I said, I love my boys.  And I’ll keep watching until they die (or the series does), but it’s no longer an anticipation.  It’s not even in the same universe of anticipation that I apply to Game of Thrones, and it’s not on par with my new love for Lucifer.  Secondarily for Gotham and the new MacGyver.

There’s one show I sincerely miss and wish it had been picked up by the CW: Constantine.  NBC killed it after 13 episodes (2015) and they did so because they were a) cowards, and b) they fucked it over by placing it on Friday nights so it was doomed from the get-go.  MacGyver/Hawaii Five-0 can handle that day slot.  A show about a demonologist/magician with a lovely bad attitude just couldn’t, never mind a 10 pm time slot.

If there’s ever a time for Supernatural to get exciting again, it would be if they met up with John Constantine for a full or half season then spun that off into a new Constantine series.  Matt Ryan, BTW, was *perfect*.  I can’t say that for Jared and Jensen anymore and it breaks my heart.

As for the post title, it refers to me watching something I no longer particularly love except for my love for the main characters (I suffered this for Stargate SG-1 too), and it also refers to Constantine but not the show–it’s toward NBC’s dysfunction toward anything supernatural.  (I will also apply that to CBS and their cancellation of Moonlight, which deserves a reboot somewhere, starring someone else as Mick St. John.  How about Karl Urban? Yum)

Corruption Was Not Built in a Day

You know that cliched saying, “Rome was not built in a day”?
 
Consider applying that to getting rid of the corruption in our political system and government.  We will NOT get rid of it in the next four years.  It will increase a thousand-fold. It will now be harder to get rid of, but it is incumbent upon us to do it regardless of the uphill battle.  It won’t take a new president and a new congress to get it done.  It will take several.  We have to understand and accept that.  Corruption is part and parcel in politics.  Has been from day one.
 
But consider the second cliched, and more apt, saying(and I’m paraphrasing):
 
“The only way for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.”
 
That goes for every subject under the sun, and most especially, for our country’s future.  We cannot slide into apathy, depression, and a feeling of helplessness.  We have to get angry and stay angry and do whatever it takes to kill the corruption that rules over us.  We have to do this or we will die.  This is not hyperbole.  After our current crop of criminals get done with removing our health insurance, thousands WILL die.
Perhaps that will be enough to get those stay-at-home apathetic voters to get off their ass.  Or perhaps they’ll need another financial crisis (that WILL happen) or another war (that WILL happen).
When we see our civil liberties taken away by a dictator and his unqualified cabinet, will we stand up and scream “Fuck You”?  We had better, and we had better tell all the corrupt cops to fuck off too when they try to keep us from getting out the vote in 2020.  Am I wrong?  I don’t think so.  I also think that half the country, or maybe most of it, doesn’t understand the desperate condition we’re in and will be in for four years.  They’re going to find out.  And half of them will only find out if the corrupt broadcast news networks wake up and act like journalists, not defacto ratings whores.

The Major Players in GoT

When you read or watch Game of Thrones for the first time, the one thing that stands out starkly in nearly every scene, plot, game, and relationship is the fact that this world is violently, virulently, and catastrophically misogynistic.  Women are property.  They’re either someone’s wife, daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter, priestess, … and whore or slave.  Queens are at the whim of the Kings.  It is rare that a woman is in charge or has stepped into a role starkly (no pun) reserved for men.

But over time, by the end of the sixth season and in that wonderful climax, the male leadership has severely diminished and women have taken command.

I have yet to see anyone in any “overall” review (and I admit I haven’t read nearly as much as is out there) of Game of Thrones where anyone has even noticed this change, this switch.

I find it extremely gratifying.  I nearly turned the damn thing off after the first six episodes, but I kept hearing things so I gave it chance.  I’m glad I did.

There are, of course, a lot of changes that have occurred during the book-to-screen transition, as is par for the course.  If Stephen King’s “The Stand” or “IT” were to be filmed again, and properly, they would a) be rated severe-R, and b) take nearly as long to tell as Game of Thrones.  And even that said, there’s a bit of stuff HBO’s GoT has left out.

ASIDE:  There is one excessively severe screen “adaptation” that I am extremely thankful for:  Tyrion Lannister.  In the books, he’s a caricature, a stereotypically bad joke relegated to a circus performer when he’s captured and sold as a slave, forced to perform like those sad bastards at Joffrey’s wedding feast.  By the end of the 5th book, he’s nowhere near Daenerys or even in any shape to escape.  There’s no Varys, no Jorah.  Thank you, producers, for making that change.

There are, IMO, five major players at the end of season 6.

  1. Daenerys
  2. Sansa
  3. Arya
  4. Cersei
  5. Ellaria

While it’s arguable that Ellaria is one of them, she’s in a leadership role.  Arya isn’t, except that she’s captain of her own destiny who’s become a revenge assassin–which I adore–but I think she’s a major player because she’s changing the political landscape of everyone else.  I think it would be *awesome* if she does indeed murder Cersei.  While Elena Tyrell is the leader of her family–by the fact that she’s now the only surviving member of the top tier Tyrells–she’s not really in a position to jockey for the Queen of Westeros.  The rest of the women are–even if it’s really only a contest between Daenerys and Cersei.

I left out Brienne of Tarth because she’s still in a subordinate role, despite being a badass.  Some would argue that Sansa is still in a subordinate role under her half-brother (which he isn’t) Jon because he’s now King of the North, she’s also the Lady of Winterfell and a pure blood.  It isn’t likely that Jon will get the Stark name and it isn’t likely that Bran will take over because he’s now, permanently, the Three-Eyed Raven.

The series began with a five-way battle for King of Westeros.  It’s ended in a two-way battle for *Queen* between Daenerys and Cersei.  Two women who are miles apart in character and temperament.  It’s ironic that though the Targaryens have this insanity trait in the family, it’s conceivable that Cersei, a Lannister, has gone mad.  Her power-hungry personality makes her hated, and she’s the complete opposite of her Targaryen counterpart.

No matter how the remaining two seasons play out, equality is well on its way to the world of Game of Thrones.  Providing the men don’t screw it up and the other women don’t find their backbones.

Climate Change, “Before the Flood”, and Hillary Clinton’s Carbon Tax Intention

Alternet’s interview with Fisher Stevens, the director of the new docu, “Before the Flood”:  The New “Inconvenient Truth”: Leonardo DiCaprio’s New Documentary Wants to Challenge Climate Change Skeptics

Excellent article.  The film will also air, fittingly, on the National Geographic Channel on October 30th at 8 pm.

One thing the film is promoting, in internet links at the end of the film, is a carbon tax.  You can go to carbontax.org and voluntarily pay a carbon tax yourself.

The most illuminating bit, as far as politics and this election is concerned, is the last paragraph where the director of the film says:

“Ironically, in the Wikileaks just released, it turns out that Hillary Clinton is actually for a carbon tax, but didn’t want it to come out. I have to say, I was really psyched. It made me love Hillary even more.”

Do you understand what that means?  Just because HRC doesn’t want something to get out into the mainstream, doesn’t mean it reveals something corrupt.  Follow the logic.  She doesn’t want to lose the bastards who are giving her campaign millions.  Some of the exposed “secrets” by Wikileaks aren’t bad news for us regular folk.  They’re bad news for the gluttonous corporations.

Just because she’s in bed with Wall Street doesn’t mean she isn’t playing them, isn’t planning to eviscerate them.  She’s one canny politician.  And for the record, she’s an advocate for universal healthcare.  She has been for her entire life.  Or did you forget history?  She was condemned and maligned for it, by the Senate(Dems included), during her senate years and lost her bid to get it done.  I think she’s going to try for something like it.  I hope she does and I hope it is aimed to effectively slash apart the problematic “Obamacare” and clean it up so it actually covers everyone.  Medicare for all.

Me, Pie-eyed?  No.  Just look at her good record as well as the bad (gigantic paid speeches, Foundation problems, Wall Street connections, for example).  And hold her feet to the fire after she’s elected President.

Clowns Just Aren’t Funny Anymore

Clown Sightings:  The Day it All Began

It’s Bizarre.  It’s apropos in a way, given the orange idiot running for Prez.

Ever since “Killer Klowns From Outer Space”, Stephen King’s “IT”, and John Wayne Gacy, clowns have been seen as horrifying, not cute.  Circus clowns and Ronald McDonald are “passe”.  In Wash State, we had a “clown” entertainer named JP Patches who starred in a daily morning children’s show, and he’s been off the air for a few decades.

Pedophiles love dressing up as clowns.  Hell, an episode of the hit show on CW, Supernatural, had an episode about a killer clown.  There are plenty of horror movies involved (not just Killer Klowns).  That’s not by accident.

I’ve always found them rather creepy, plus a bit odd with the “sad clown face” expression painted on some.  I never understood what was supposed to be so awesome about a clown.

Clowns just aren’t funny anymore.

Finally: A cheat sheet report on Trump

The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet

It’s in The Atlantic, but still.  First Newsweek, then The Atlantic.  Will TIME and The Wall Street Journal please step up?  Everyone seems to be ignoring the “lesser” read outlets, never mind ignoring anything in freakin’ *print*.  Seems all the “regular” folk don’t give a crap unless it’s on CNN or Fox News.  WTF, people?  Start reading.

Mind you, all his die-hard fans won’t believe a word of this.  But then, misogynists, racists, bigots(no, racists and bigots aren’t the same thing; the former is based on race, the latter is based on religion/sexual orientation/non-religion[atheists]), and most conspiracy theorists (like Alex Jones)  are enormously stupid people.  Stupid, as in “of sub-par intelligence”.  Those who have changed their opinion on hating others were stupid, but they somehow regained their intelligence.  Which means (IMO) that their stupidity was taught, not inherited, and their intelligence “woke up”.

Update:  I found an article in Time on his undocumented worker case, put out on Aug 25, so that’s something.

TV News is deliberately avoiding Fact-Checking Trump’s Lies and Shady Business Behavior

READ THIS ARTICLE IN NEWSWEEK

How the Trump Organization’s Foreign Business Ties Could Upend U.S. National Security

Trump has ripped off people.  Currently, it’s happening in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, where he hired “temporary” Mexican and Polish immigrants (the latter is currently demolishing a highrise in Lower Manhattan without proper construction protections and improper pay) to work at his hotels, paying lower than minimum wage.  If they complained, they were sent back to Mexico and Poland and someone else took their place.  Above board, he’s refused to pay vendors, “American” workers.

The Making of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston tells you a lot more.  Trump threatened to sue him if he didn’t write nice things and Johnson told him to forget it.  Read it.  It tells about a long history of racism and con jobs.

Trump bullies people, including those who work at TV news organizations, to not confront him on his lies.  His philosophy is revenge, to abuse people, to walk all over them.

Why isn’t he being told to fuck off?

When he went to Flint, he was invited by a black pastor to attend a traditional black church there.  The pastor wanted Trump to listen to the problems of the citizens there.  But instead, Trump goes off about Hillary Clinton.  When he wouldn’t shut up and listen, he had to told to leave.  He can’t do things for other people.  He has to do things only for himself.  It’s been reported in the press, The Hill, and on CNN.  Neither news site told what was really happening.  They only aired a small clip showing the pastor interrupting Trump and acted as if the pastor was being rude.  Instead, they focused on Trump having the goddamn nerve to tell her and the congregation that the people in charge (Governor and reps) didn’t know what was going on.  I mean, c’mon.  Everyone knows that isn’t true, but did CNN or The Hill talk about that?  No.

What the fuck, people?  Do your jobs, media!  Most of the people on CNN and MSNBC (we won’t discuss Trump Media, aka Fox News) are purposely avoiding all of the bad shit this dude does.  They won’t correct his propaganda spin doctors (aka, campaign managers) and the shit Matt Lauer pulled makes me think he’s in love with the bastard.  Or he owes him money.  Or he’s being blackmailed.  It’s how Trump operates.  He’s sue-happy, so people without power cower before him.

KTLA, the TV station in L.A., did a blurb online about it, telling people a little more, but they stupidly called the man a mogul.  He’s not a fucking mogul.  He’s a con artist who pals around with criminals, dictators, and despots.

Sad thing was, the pastor didn’t tell Trump that he was wrong.  If she had told him, do you know what he would have said?  “Oh no, no, they didn’t know, they didn’t know.  I know these people.  They’re very good friends of mine.”  Instead, the pastor defended Trump, as a guest invited to the church, against those who were heckling him.  She should have known better than to invite the bastard.

He bald-face lies to people in front of the cameras and the goddamn people covering it–those in cable news and large corporate-owned newspapers–won’t call him out when he lies.  They won’t call him out on his illegal campaign behavior(soliciting foreign donors), illegal Foundation behavior (paying bribe not to investigate his university scam), illegal business practices (low wages, unpaid bills, and filing bankruptcy to get out of having to pay the people he hired, protecting a drug trafficker who does him favors (supplying helicopters for his Trump Tower and other high-rise buildings).  The modeling agency was just a cover for prostitution.  I’m not kidding.  That’s not a whacky conspiracy nut job idea.

Where are the news people in Atlantic City and Las Vegas?  Lower Manhattan?  Did they suddenly develop McCarthyitis and are afraid of some sort of blacklisting?  Yes.  It’s thanks to corporate ownership of those media outlets.

People need to be told who this sonofabitch is.  If Hillary had any sense she’d spend every campaign stop and presidential debate hounding him on all of his bullshit.

But alas, she’s spineless.  And doesn’t take the bastard seriously, just like the DNC/DCCC.

And who the hell reads articles online anymore.  We’re fucked and it’ll be our own goddamn fault if he wins.