Entertainment

Review: Supernatural

Two things you should know about me: one, I’m a bad feminist so heavily indoctrinated into the patriarchal world that I check my feminism as much as I do my white privilege, obviously not in the same way; and two, just because I criticize a thing, does not mean I don’t like it. If I don’t like something, I’ll come right out and say it or just keep my mouth shut unless I’m asked directly. As I’ve noted, I grew up around highly critical people so I’ve worked hard to foster that environment into a positive educational experience instead of the debilitating toxic one it was and is.

Yeah, I’m still working on it.

I do did love Supernatural and have watched it umpteen times even though the first five years are filled with some of the most blatant misogyny on television. I dunno how many times I heard male characters call women characters whore and bitch while brutally stabbing them to death. Only within the last few years after being confronted have the showrunners made steps towards reducing and eliminating. That the fanbase is largely female only baffles me till I think of those 53 percenters from the last election and how white women are so complicit in our own oppression.

When I heard they were creating an all-female offshoot of Supernatural, I was excited. It quickly turned to disappointment when I found out the showrunner was male, as was most of the writing crew. CW head Mark Pedowitz nixed it because blah creatively blah. Hello, Mark: HIRE WOMEN SHOWRUNNERS AND WRITERS. You would think the same network that introduced The 100 and Riverdale—barring some issues—would be more progressive. Apparently not.

Let’s start with the premise of Supernatural: two brothers hunting monsters—supernatural monsters; it’s the family business. Kripke—the showrunner—incorporated any and all myths into the narrative along with a big dose of familial love and devotion. It helps that Jared and Jensen are so very pretty. Their relationship is one of the main draws. Add the angel Castiel and the king of hell Crowley, the show—even filled with so much maleness—is lots of fun. That Kripke based the story on Sal and Dean from Kerouac’s On the Road should tell you all you need to know about that heightened level of maleness.

Before Mark Shepard left Supernatural, I said the best love triangle on tv was Cass/Dean/Crowley and it was. The chemistry between Cass and Dean—and that the showrunners consistently portrayed this chemistry in almost every facet—is one aspect of the show that’s kept me tuned in so many years regardless of the misogyny. This show had a romcom adventure feel to it and Cass and Dean were the romantic leads.

This is where I started researching the show and came away even more frustrated and disappointed and determined from this point forward that I was done with it, especially after reading this and this. I’m apparently way late to the party. I always assumed that Dean was a closeted bisexual and that with the amount of romance between him and Cass, TPTB would eventually make them canon. I mean, this is the CW network—the same network that brought us Clarke and Lexa, albeit with problems, but the story was pursued nonetheless and that’s progress. In this predominately male heteronormative world, I should’ve known better. Add homophobia to the long list of Supernatural’s many problems. Next to Homeland, it’s quickly become the most bigoted show on tv.

The romantic undertones between Cass and Dean were reduced these last couple of seasons. This past season when they brought Cass back to life, the reunion was a bit lackluster. They haven’t had the same fire between them that they had in the past and now I know why. What a colossal disappointment. Supernatural built their fanbase on the hopes of the LGBTQ+ crew then flatly dismissed us when confronted with their failure to deliver and queerbaiting. Broken trust is the least of their problems. As tedious as fanbases may be, they’re still the fanbase; to reject them is to reject what they are and represent. Their representation is important and germane and to engage in flagrant dodges while deriding the essential is just downright disingenuous. Again, I sense more to this decision because of what’s been quoted previously by the leads and the showrunners. We recognize this long familiar dance for what it is: sophistry and obfuscation.

So, Supernatural has made their choice and I’ve made mine; I’m turning it off, deleting it from my queue and moving on to something not set in the MAGA universe.

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