Supernatural: Pilot

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

Dean gets Sam’s help when their Dad goes missing but instead of finding him they end up fighting a ghost who attacks cheating men.

Thoughts:

It’s been a long time since I’ve watched Supernatural. I think I stopped watching after season 5 because I thought it was a really good ending to the show. Now they’re on season 10 and I don’t think it’s been canceled yet so I thought I’d watch the whole show from the beginning.

The premise is fairly simple. There are demons, ghosts and other creatures of myth but only a few people called Hunters know about them and they keep everyone safe.

Sam and Dean’s Mother died at the hands of a demon when they were young and so their Dad raised them to be Hunters. Now he’s gone missing and they’re trying to find him while fighting evil.

This back story is a really common one for male characters to have. The woman in their lives is murdered (or kidnapped) so they have motive to go and get revenge.

There are so many shows that have this trope. The mentalist (mother and daughter), Dexter (biological mother dies then adopted mother dies but dead father hangs around in Dexter’s subconscious), Farscape (D’Argo’s wife Lo’laan), Hercules the legendary Journeys (wife and kids) and How I met your mother just gives up and has her be dead the entire time because she’s obviously not important. This can happen to male characters but not as much. TV Tropes calls it the Disposable Woman trope.

Here it’s no different. The father gets to hang around because he’s male but the mother dies so the male characters have motive and angst. This isn’t a trope I like. It’s way too prevalent. In this episode alone it happens twice.

First Sam and Dean’s mother then Sam’s girlfriend so he can get back into the demon hunting business. The mother gets a bit more fleshed out later but the girlfriend only has one trait and that’s hot. Jess is personality less. She’s just there to be pretty and die.

The whole concept of the episode is pretty sexist and the woman in white is a very sexist idea. A woman gets cheated on by her husband and in a fit of madness kills her children and then herself. The whole idea that the most important thing in her life is her relationship with her husband even over that of her children.

It’s also that idea of hysteria that in the past women were considered unstable due to being emotional and delicate. Anything can push them over the edge.

This is a bad attitude to have in the past and even worse to base your mythology around and make it true for this universe.

I can’t remember them subverting this in any other episodes but I hope they do. It’s been too long since I watched it.

I’ve never liked Sam. I don’t know if it’s the writing, the actor or the fact that I’ve got a little brother and he’s annoying.

Really I should like Sam better out of the brothers because Dean is sexist and Sam’s not. I tend to do lots of eye rolling at the things Dean says.

Maybe it’s because of the sexism everywhere else as well that I’ve just got to the stage where I roll my eyes and let it go. Otherwise I’d barely watch or read anything ever again.

It also helps that Sam acts as a counterpoint to Dean and doesn’t like his sexism either. Or at least that’s how I remember it. It makes me think better of the writers that they aren’t being unknowingly sexist (not with Dean anyway) like they’ve got a point to making the brothers opposite in this. To show that sexism is stupid.

I don’t think they recognise other sexism in their writing though. When something is so ingrained in your culture it’s hard to notice. I guess they wouldn’t have had the mother and girlfriend die and have the first episode be about a man hating homicidal woman if they had noticed.

So Dean’s my favourite of the brothers and I guess it’s personal thing of where you draw the line of what you’ll put up with. I can’t say why I put up with his sexism when there are other characters I can’t stand to watch and hate. It’s probably the actor because I liked him in Dark Angel as well.

I just wanted to say I like Dean because I’m going to criticise him a lot. Probably. I love Dean breaking into Sam’s house just to raid the fridge and then later on when he’s been arrested and he frustrates the cops.

I also like this episode despite how the female characters are used and that the antagonist is a scorned woman.

It’s a good first episode and sets everything up well introducing us to the basic rules of this world. Salt to keep Demon’s out, burn the body to get rid of a spirit and there’s no point shooting ghosts.

I remembered more of it than I thought I did. I love the fight in the dark. I don’t know why but that’s something I always think about when I think of the brothers. The exposition Sam gives after that fight though is bad. They do better at showing what the Winchesters are like later with the credit card scams and fake ids.

I may not like Sam but they work well together as brothers. The show has been going ten years so they did the casting right at least.

 

Next Supernatural: Wendigo

Helix

The story

The CDC go to help some scientists in the arctic and manage to make everything worse. And no one acts like a real scientist.

Thoughts

This show takes itself way too seriously. Everyone is dramatic and mysterious which is not a good combination especially if you’re trying to make a serious science fiction show.

The characters don’t really stand out to me. At about half way through I couldn’t name any of them except the brother Peter and that’s because they kept saying his name.

The only characters I liked was the blond lady who turned out to be Dr. Doreen Boyle and plumber guy who I still don’t know the name of (and can’t really be bothered to find out).

The blond lady seemed aware of what genre she was in. While sneaking around in the dark looking for monkeys they find cages that have been broken. She turns to plumber guy and says ” Something busted out… from the inside.”

Then when they find a live monkey and she acts like the guy from Prometheus who tried to make friends with the strange alien snake. It turns out about as well as that did.

The main guy though is very boring and the worst offender for being dramatic. His main characteristic is he likes to date progressively younger women as he gets older. Although he may not be dating the pretty lady yet (it’s not clear and oh so boring).

I can see the pretty woman’s arc a mile away. Everyone thinks she’s too young to be a CDC agent so she proves them wrong by being capable and intelligent.

It’s like the makers of the show thought we need a few really attractive women (as all shows seem to think this) but let’s try to justify at least one of them and have her keep telling everyone how smart she is and giving speeches about how capable she is but not actually show her being capable. Instead she’s going to get in trouble and be saved by main boring guy.

The other female character is the main guy’s ex wife who spent most of the episode running round trying to show him stuff. They also have no chemistry.

This is actually quite a good show for female characters I guess. There’s quite a lot of female characters who are scientists running around and the blond lady is neither young nor skinny.

As far as pilots go this isn’t too bad. I’ve seen a lot worse but as I said at the beginning of the post it takes itself way too seriously but without the writing to back it up.

I think I’ll only watch it when there’s nothing else to watch and I feel like laughing at all the scientists not acting like scientists. It’s a bit like the way I watch really awful horror movies so I can be exasperated with characters doing stupid stuff. I think it’s entertaining in a way they probably didn’t intend.