Saturday, September 25, 2010

Supernatural 6x01: Exile on Main Street - good acting, awful writing

Well, I took my time to digest what happened in Supernatural season 6 premiere. A few thoughts:

The opening montage was probably the best part from the whole thing. I didn’t care much for the music, but the alternated videos were well done.

I liked the new title card, but it feels somehow out of context given the rest of the show. It’s like they wanted something cool and they just tossed it in there without any consideration for how it fit in the rest of the footage.

The first half of the episode was too slow and felt like an alternate universe. I get it, they’ve done it on purpose, but I couldn’t help thinking that they should have chosen a more experience and less prone to experimentation director.

After the first thirty minutes I finally started to warm up to the idea that this is actually a new beginning, and I’m watching a drama and not a fantasy/supernatural/action show. Hey, that would have been actually cool and interesting to see! I’ve never cared for the monster-of-the-week type of thing, I want a real story with an intelligent plot. Not feeling that yet.

And after all that snail crawling, blind man sleepwalking the plot went all over the place. The YED might be a great character, but they ended that story in season 2 and they should have put a lid on it for good. The djinns’ attack was pretty lame. Cool tattoo effects on their arms, but they were neither scary nor creepy. The djinn from “What It Is And What Should Never Be” was gold compared to this. Never repeat a story unless you can make it better. These djinns were just… there.

There was no real hunt. The boys didn’t have much to do to begin with. Dean was taken out instantly and Sam got to swing some golf clubs, meh. One would think that a trip to Hell taught him some new combat tricks, like it did Dean, but I guess not.

Which brings us to the Campbells next. I don’t know where they have come from, but I want them gone. They were terribly annoying, a total waste of film, Papa Samuel included. They obviously have their own agenda and no respect for the Winchester brothers who are one of the most famous hunters out there, for God’s sake! Given that they are so many, one killed per episode will do just fine, thank you very much.

Ah, Dean… the poor guy never gets it easy. If he’s not beaten to a pulp then he’s turned into an emotional wreck. I don’t blame him. I kept expecting him to take at least one swing at Sammy for not letting him know he had been back for a whole year, but I guess he was still in shock.

I blame the writers for other things:

1) After an entire life of hunting and 40 years in hell, one year living in suburbia would have not made him less of a hunter, no way. The Campbells looking down at him, while knowing who he was, was down right insulting.

2) Dean screaming that he’s living with Lisa and the kid only because Sam wanted him to was painful to hear. It implies that he doesn’t really loves Lisa, and it’s very out of character for Dean. He always does the right thing so he wouldn’t have gotten so fully involved into a relationship if he hadn’t felt like part of it. There’s something fishy in Denmark, and that would be the writers’ quarters.

3) It comes in contradiction with Lisa claiming it was the best year of her life, which also felt off since it couldn’t have been, not with Dean grieving after his brother all this time. How could she be so happy when the man she supposedly loved – and she had to love him since she took him in considering the state his was in after the apocalypse – was suffering? On a second thought, I noticed they have moved in a bigger nicer house so maybe they won the lottery and she was referring to that. Yeah, right!

I didn’t care one way or the other about Lisa up until now – we’ve only seen her just what? twice? – but I like the way her character was developed during this episode so this flawed writing when it comes to their relationship bothers me. I know Dean will have to leave and go back to hunting eventually, but I like the idea of him having someone to return to. Hey, Sammy can sleep on the couch if he wants.

Another character written OOC was Bobby. Sam I understand not wanting to tell Dean he was back, he was too messed up in the head by the hell experience and he couldn’t think clearly, but Bobby? Really, the man had witnessed both brothers’ torment while the other was dead and he still chose not to do anything about it when it was this easy to pick up the phone? I’m sorry but I don’t buy it.

I’ve left Sam last because, of course, I have a big problem with him too. I don’t know how he got out of hell or why, but I don’t like this cold, unsympathetic Sam. If it’s a plot device I hope it doesn’t last long. I want sweet, caring Sam back. Even when he was doing horrible things like teaming up with a demon, drinking blood and betraying Dean, I could understand his reasons and felt for him. The way he is now all I want is for him to go get his head examined and get the hell away from Dean. And that isn’t right because I like it best when the brothers are working together.

So in conclusion it was a rather weak episode, with flawed writing and a badly structured plot. Jensen’s acting sold it for me, but this doesn’t work for everyone, and it’s the only reason I’ll give it a C. Not an episode I’ll be tempted to watch again anytime soon. Hope it gets better from now on.

Later edit: Funny how most official reviews sound enthusiastic, while die hard fans complain all over the Internet about how lame this season's premiere was.

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