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The Supernatural Long Count

Sep. 18th, 2008 | 09:00 pm
Musica: So Come Back, I Am Waiting by Okkervil River

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Aug. 19th, 2008 | 08:35 pm
Musica: The Last Christmas on Earth by Evangelicals

I don't know which is worse, hating this movie's existence, or hating that I'm probably going to rent it when ere it comes out.

No matter who was in it I would loathe this direct to dvd glorification of Thomas "Gramma Pilfering" Kinkade. Yet now, all my ill will is intensified as I know I'm to suffer a self inflicted diabetic coma from seeking out this piece of goddamn moving mall art.

Damn you Mr. Padalecki. Damn you.

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Accounting Is Not My Forte

Aug. 16th, 2008 | 11:45 pm
Musica: "Events Leading Up To The Collapse Of Detective Dullight" by Of Montreal

So I'm almost all caught up, and hopefully I can watch Simon Said tonight and have a banner ready for tomorrow. On another note, my computer has lost it's mind and refuses to play the first disc of SPN Season Two. Thus banners 38-35 were not created from my own screen caps but rather, what I could scrounge from Screencap Paradise. Thank you internet!

Also, I should say that the most recent banner (Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things) is directly based off of a fabulous wallpaper using this scene by imaginazyon. You can see it here. In fact, that wallpaper is probably the impetus for my love affair with the sequential Winchesters to be found in the Long Count banners.

Finally, I'll include a link for "The Supernatural Long Count" Master Post. You can see all of my successful and not so successful exercises in episodic design here. Click any image to see it full size and it's definitely *not* dial-up friendly.

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He May Be The Anti-Christ But It Sure Is Easy To Love Him

Aug. 14th, 2008 | 02:23 am
Musica: Vainly Clutching At Phantom Limbs by Elf Power

So I've fallen waaaay behind on The Supernatural Long Count. But do not fret. I had the day off today and gorgeous weather aside I marathoned the last of season one, so tomorrow I can get all caught up on Season Two and be back on schedule.

But that's not why I'm posting! Rather, there's an adorable thread going on over at supernatural_tv about "Things With Which I Would Trust Sam Winchester" including... Laundry, Watering the Plants, Tax Forms, and Returning Rented DVDs. Lots of people are posting plenty of charming answers and the list is turning into "Ways In Which Sam Winchester Is The Best Boyfriend Ever."

However, I have no real sense of the crowd over there so I thought I'd refrain from posting my most heartfelt answer there... that is, that I trust Sam Winchester to always return sexual favors. From what we've seen (all two sexy moments!) Sam Winchester is nothing if not a fierce but reliable lover.

Hmmm, now I think I'll head over to cunnilingusfic and call it a night.

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Estimated Time of Arrival

Jul. 26th, 2008 | 09:37 am

Things have suddenly exploded with busyness this weekend, so while The Long Count is still going on, expect much more sporadic or delayed updates over the next few days. There won't be anything for Hookman (54) until late late today.

On another note, an additional thought on Skin because I realized I'd been quiet about my more critical thoughts on the show... Rebecca overall, and everything in that episode after Not!Dean attacks Rebecca makes very little human sense. Rebecca's ease with forgiving Dean and Sam after they blow her brother's fucking case in a murder trial is just weird. And later Rebecca is attacked and apparently horribly tortured (she was covered in blood!) by a guy she thinks is Dean but shortly thereafter she's walking the streets alone at night? She has no sense of self perservation at the very least since the man who attacked her was never caught? It was Not!Dean who explained to her what was going on, so why would she possibly trust Dean when he shows up in the lair where he's apparently been keeping her?

I can only conclude Rebecca isn't very smart even if she went Stanford with Sam. She seems to be pretty wealthy, so that might help explain things. Also... what's the deal with all her tiny half sweaters??

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I just don't tell them... everything. — Yeah. That's called lying.

Jul. 26th, 2008 | 12:18 am
Musica: "Plastic Man" by The Kinks

First, I made a master post for the episode headers because I think it'll look kinda cool to scroll down.

Second, Skin! I watched it. But I'm also sort of exhausted from running around all day. Some spare and rambling food for thought...

Not!Dean's confessions and resentments in Skin are often compared to Exaggerated!Sam's confessions and resentments in Asylum. What's more, the brother's differing reactions (or rather Sam's lack of reaction versus Dean's hurt feelings) might be discussed as yet another way to understand the dynamic between the brothers and how they understand their relationship to one another and to their father.

All the same, I see a close relationship between Skin and Born Under A Bad Sign. In both instances there's a form of impersonation by the baddie and a psychic intimacy with the impersonated, and unlike Asylum, in both Skin and Born Under A Bad Sign, feelings aren't amplified, thier simply interpreted and manipulated for the agenda of an evil go between.

What's more, Skin is the first instance of hearing from the point of view of the Monster of the Week. There is more to say on this, but I'm tired.

In addition, what's the relationship between Skin and Heart? While Heart is the episode actually about werewolves, Skin is the episode that features (an awesome) homage to an American Werewolf in London with the shapeshifter transformation scene. What's more, it's with the shapeshifter in Skin, rather than with actual werewolves, that the idea of silver bullets is first introduced. I know there's more to say, and Heart is especially important in the second season with the angst about killing loves ones and unconscious evil, but all the stuff they stuffed into Skin makes it seem like werewolves were never supposed to be a part of the Supernatural 'verse.

Hopefully when I get to Heart, I'll be able to compose a comparison with this episode, and try to work through the different types of shapeshifters. Maybe it'll be called: "Rationalizing the Lameness of the Actual Werewolves in the Supernatural 'Verse."

And yesterday's neato banner:

Tangent: I watched the movie "The TV Set" tonight, and that film has raised more concerns about my already troubling fondness for Padalecki. Does Padalecki = Zach??? I can see it too vividly for comfort.

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Lollipops and Candy Canes

Jul. 24th, 2008 | 10:01 pm
Musica: "Blood of the Lamb" by Billy Bragg & Wilco

Shockingly, for my verbose and rambling self, I don't have much to say about Bloody Mary, although given my Sam affection, it remains a good go to episode if I'm looking for Season One Angst. Mostly this is a nice episode for fancy cinematography (lots of moving cameras and crane shots), and cool effects as we see Bloody Mary jump through reflective surfaces. Although, I still think the surprise Spirit In The Mirror worked even better in What Is And What Should Never Be.

The Lady in Peril this week was as deadly curiously as ever, although I remain intrigued by the first victim's oldest daughter, Donna Shoemaker. She's much curvier than other women who show up on the show, yet it's not like her unconventional (for Supernatural) look is explained by transcendent acting. In fact, she's probably the weakest actor in the episode. By which I mean, for a middle budget genre show on low rated cable channel, she's a really lousy actor. Donna Shoemaker what is your deal?

Seeing how Sam handles his mysterious angst in this episode is awesome with consideration of everything I've seen Sam and Dean go through up to Season Three. While Padalecki's acting is vastly improved by Season Three, there is a focus and intensity integral to Sam (and his manmotions) that's obviously been present since the beginning. While Dean's voice will crack or his eye will twitch when he's denying or trying to handle *important feelings* ... Sam straight up builds a wall of refusal (reinforced with dry dry sarcasm and harsh remarks), or earnestly lets the flood gates open (accompanied by lots of sloppy crying). I love the scene of Dean prying in the car about Sam's secret, while Sam just stares straight forward (does he even blink?) and rebuffs everything his brother says.

While Dean can be about self denial and lack of analysis until emotions or hurts he didn't even know he had start showing up and he doesn't know how to deal with them, Sam can be all about self analysis and internalization, not only recognizing his wounds but then allowing them to fester as he moves so deeply within his own head that trying to explain himself to others feels impossible.

Overall it seems to reflect the old arrangement of Dean not valuing himself, and thus not thinking anything that happens to him, no matter how terrible, is worth reflecting upon versus Sam not liking himself and thinking that anything that happens to him is probably his fault or responsibility and thus must be reflected upon because only he can fix it. Seeing these patterns were established so early (episode five!) is exciting.

Also, as often as the shot of Jessica standing on the sidewalk in her white night gown is featured in vids, I think I can only find it not cheesy in it's original context with the accompaniment of "Laugh, I Nearly Died" by the Rolling Stones. Seriously, I forgot how much I love this ending.

Finally, I'm really pleased with the banner I made for this episode, the text seems almost 70'sish with the interlocked circles, no? Creepily, after I did the third copy command on the "bloody mary" text, my lights flickered! Spirits (and yesterday's banner) are afoot by clicking below.

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What...Twenty Thousand To One? — Wow, That's Oddly Reassuring.

Jul. 23rd, 2008 | 11:34 pm
Musica: Aeroplane Blues by The Black Keys

Time for baby metaphors!

Watching early episodes is full of firsts, it's about getting to know someone completely new, so whatever they do or say has to be accepted and integrated into whatever else you know about them, while thrilling over all the surprises. Now what's neat about Supernatural, is that since hunting with just Sam and Dean is as new to the boys as it is to us, there's a little exciting game of playing along with the viewers between all the casually tossed off urban legend mumbo jumbo.

One first in Phantom Traveler... Boys in Suits! While by season three other disguises have been left by the wayside *the suits abide* (as I think Barney Stinson would approve). Of course these first suits are black and white, but soon enough, to varying degrees of success, the Winchesters will be mixing fabrics, textures, and patterns like sophisticated or color blind business men.

And the other biiiiig first... Demons. And what's more, like wearing those suits, this is the first time the boys have had to deal with anything like this. Considering all the demonic business that eventually to dominates the series, I think this first portrayal of the Winchesters' Big Bad is fascinating. Whereas later demons are shown with their own motivations and agendas, the boys' initial understanding of demons is less as thoughtful creatures so much as forces of nature. This episode's unnamed demon is all about causing plane crashes, a type of accident that can be alternately blamed on human folly or an "act of god".  Thus, from the very beginning demons are positioned as in a grey area between human will or action versus destiny or nature.

This could go into a whole crazy theme about predestination and Sam's relationship to Azazel, but that would take too much time and involve sticking my foot in my mouth more often than I already do.

What I will say about Sam and Demons, is that after rewatching this episode it could very easily be interpreted as a confirmation of Kripke's claims as to having a 5 year plan for the show since it's inception. Considering Sam's later demonic entanglements it seems like more than a coincidence that this episode features two false scares, and in both the instances the potential boogie man is revealed to be ol' Sammy boy.

Scare Uno is the odd introduction of the boys after we see the disaster of Flight 2485. Dean is asleep in bed, and while the camera tracks over his body we hear foreboding music and see a mysterious shadow on the other side of the paneled glass room divider. Dean startles awake, his hand under his pillow (where he keeps a knife), only for the camera to reveal the figure looming at the foot of Dean's bed is in fact Sam smiling and holding cups of coffee.

Scare Dos is as Dean uses his homemade EMP Meter on the flight. He walks slowly down the aisle since anyone could be possessed. As he grows more intense and focused in his search, again the music grows foreboding until it seems Dean is about to come upon something. Somebody touches El Deano on the shoulder, he jumps and turns to find Sam standing behind him.

As Show might say... dun dun dun!

Ahem, and the header from yesterday by clicking below.

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Into The Drink and You Never See Him Again

Jul. 22nd, 2008 | 05:57 pm
Musica: "The Drowners" by Suede

Pleasant Suprises and Revelations to be found in Dead In The Water. Suddenly, it  feels like millennia of Dean Winchester fannish adoration and angst have been explained. This is a great little episode not only for all the manmotions (root: man + emotion) flowing but the episode's mystery is interesting, moderately mysterious, and genuinely disturbing.  While Show can be about as subtle as a bag of rocks (similar to some early Padalecki acting) when it comes to the parallels between the Monster of the Week, or the Victim of the Week, and Sam or Dean's inner turmoil, I really appreciated the level of vulnerability it generated in this episode. It felt "too close to home" rather than "here is a metaphor or allegory."

In a way I really regret seeing this episode so late because I think it could have really informed the development of my reading of Dean, and the relationship between San and Dean. While I've seen other Deannish vulnerability (to the point of a weekly blow by blow on his horrible psychic suffering in Season Three), this episode clearly establishes Dean's defense mechanisms and his traumas in a way that can color all readings of his later jokes and frustrations.

To go on a tangent, it's sort of like why I watched all of the BBC's Robin Hood. In the very first episode there is a quiet scene where a character who'd previously only been presented as comic relief, starts to break down and cry, only for him to stop as soon as someone walks into the room. While in Robin Hood we never get a moment of vulnerability like this again, I was so intrigued by that moment that I watched the rest of the (mediocre to simply boring) series, convinced that there was profound emotion underlying all the ridiculousness. While I don't think the depth I wanted was actually present in Robin Hood, that emotional life is very much alive in the goings on of Supernatural and the brother's Winchester. It's just very cool to realize that it was presented so early in the series that it could, as with my viewing of Robin Hood, thoroughly color all future understandings of an entire show or character.

Finally, even if this is a Deancentric episode, to see Sam's lack of connection or hardcore emotional involvement, emphasizes the radical difference in the boys' relationships to Mary Winchester, and hunting in general, in a really fabulous way. I'm an unabashed Samophile, so I choose to make the header from when Dean talks to Lucas in the boy's bedroom, because not only do we have the great shot of Dean squatting down to reveal his vulnerabilities to a little boy, but Sam standing silently in the doorway as his own brother discusses a mother, and a type of loss, that Sam can never know.

Overall, really great stuff. And the kid in the lake was creepy as all get out.

On yesterday's episode, I'll admit it was valuable to see Wendigo to finally see the oft vidded moment of Sam moping all over a tree stump in context. And to hear Dean deliver the speech: "I think he [Dad] wants us to pick up where he left off, you know saving people, hunting things. The family business." As well hear Sam's less quoted but fantastic reply: "That makes no sense."

The old header by clicking the pick below!

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Logistics! And Wendeeeeego

Jul. 21st, 2008 | 09:48 pm
Musica: "In Step" by Girl Talk

Watched Wendigo. Apparently there was no funeral for Jess. However, there were teddy bears, mixed flower bouquets, and boyfriend tears. I have to say I'm really glad that most of this show takes place in re-purposed Vancouver towns. Seeing the boys in the Canadian Woods with Urgent Soundtrack Booming gave me tons of flashbacks to The Sentinel. Also, I love Sam and Dean's shocking lack of woodsiness for kids apparently taught to hunt anything and everything (as opposed to Jim and Blair's cheesy 90s enthusiasms for fishing, hiking, animal spirits, and more fishing).  In some fannish parallel dimension Jim and Blair might build a hut and wear face paint and live off the fat of the jungle. Yet Sam and Dean can only thrive in a high maintenance cars and on gas station coffee and sandwiches.
Oooooh Contrasts!

In addition, I've sort of figured out my schedule. Ideally I'll post a new header every morning, which actually means I'll be watching the episode the day before, which means I still have to watch Dead In The Water and make a header for that tonight, if I want to post it tomorrow. And then  I'll be all caught up to my ideal schedule. I want the premiere to be day zero (and hopefully use some forthcoming episode photos), and according to my calculations, this should all work out!

Gahhh, now to face the beast from my Chest of Demons. It seems Vincent Van Ghoul's haunting voice is ingrained on my brain.

Oh! And the header for the Pilot can be seen by clicking the pic below.

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