Monthly Archives of: May 2010

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Insubstantial (but delicious)!

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I’m in love. I know I say that about fifty times a week, over everything from Gingernuts to stray cats, but this time it’s for real. FO’ REAL. I’m in fo’ real love (which everybody knows is the truest kind of love), and yet somehow I walked away. It hurts in my chest like a bronchial infection. I can’t think. Can’t focus. I feel like I’ve ruined everything; like a piece of me is missing.

I just want us to be together. IS THAT SO WRONG, GOD? Or, more accurately: IS THAT SO WRONG, VISA?

Visa thinks I can get fucked.

Sucks to be us, Dream Shoes. Our epic love has been mowed down in the first flower of its youth by the callous, cruel gods of personal finance. At least until pay day, when I decide whether my car needs a warrant more than I need your sweet, sweet embrace. Fingers crossed!

You know, sometimes I say to Kelly, “KELLY! I worry about my public image! I have concerns that I may appear entirely vapid and incapable of composing a paragraph without capslock or cute boys!”… and then Kelly reassures me that she often wishes I would quit banging on about the environment or the glass ceiling or whatever bee is currently in my bonnet. “You could tell the internet about those things instead,” she says to me. To which I think:

NAH.

So, in the spirit of that, LOOK WHAT I DID DO GOT!:

From here. So pretty.

Also, in case anyone is keeping track (I hope no one is, because I got bored of it myself a while ago) I aced a 3.5k run last night, and I’m as proud as extra-proud punch. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s been a good three years since I was really on track with any distance (without periodic stopping to walk, I mean), and that 10k is GOING DOWN.

I still didn’t go to combat though. I think it’s become a point of pride.

Would anybody read a series of posts cataloguing my favourite pairs of shoes? Yeah, I totally don’t care how you answered. My blog, my rules. It’s SO on.

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State of the nation

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From a conversation we are having, vis-a-vis the weekend:

Me: I’m willing to let Drunk Katie make her own decisions, because she kinda needs some freedom to behave like an asshole. But I have to talk about her in the third person, because I am not responsible for her actions.

Kelly: Do I still need to be considerate and console Sober Katie when she realises what Drunk Katie did? Or should I be all, “Well, Drunk Katie made some decisions that you are just going to have to live with. Now let’s get KFC.”?

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<3 !!

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“People who don’t write usually assume that writing is a process of communication. They think I have something in my head, and I’m just transcribing it onto the page.

But that really isn’t the truth. Writing is a process of discovery. I think about things, but then when I start to write about them, I learn things while I write. I figure things out *because* I write.”

Also, I love the internet. A lot.

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Sparks postmortem + bad boys

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So, I wrote this book last year, and it has a story that starts somewhere and ends somewhere, and stuff happens in the middle. Pretty cool, right?

Yes and no. It didn’t FEEL RIGHT, no matter what I did to it. And it took me a long time to realise that I couldn’t fix the problems I had with the story because I had bigger problems with the characters. They were too young, too annoying, too selfish. I had this BOY — Nate — and he was dark and edgy and angry, and I was consistently annoyed at Scarlet for secretly liking that, because she didn’t have a good reason for it other than just because that’s what 17-year-old girls do. They like boys who treat them badly — and they treat those boys badly — because when you’re 17 love seems like something that SHOULD be dark and edgy and angry.

And it seems like that because we TELL them it should be like that. Hell, I did it the other day with my ridiculous love for a murderous vampire (see also: Eric Northman, Spike, etc). And I can tell you that he’s a FICTIONAL murderous vampire, and I make better choices in reality, but… I made pretty shitty choices as a teenager. I still do. The descriptors “nice” or “kind” have never made it onto a list of what I look for in a man, because I’m KIND OF AN IDIOT. A SINGLE idiot, no less.

I started Sparks shortly after reading Twilight. But, unlike most of the people who started a novel after a dose of Sparkle Fever, I did it because I was HORRIFIED by Bella’s passive only-my-man-gives-my-life-meaning attitude, and Edward’s I LOVE BECAUSE I STALK-iness. It scares me so much that girls might see Bella Swan as a role model. The tough, awesome ladies I’ve grown up with — Buffy and Willow and Veronica and Starbuck and Stephanie Plum — seem to be vanishing under a slew of damsels in need of a DARK, ANGSTY BOY to rescue them.

I wanted to write something that had a sassy, kick-ass heroine who could take care of herself, and who didn’t rely on a dude for anything. Scarlet turned out to be all those things, but there was still a BOY, and he was still DARK and ANGSTY and not very nice. She was dark and angsty and not very nice, too, but while I was editing, I realised their relationship made me nothing but uncomfortable anyway. They don’t have a single healthy interaction in the entire story. Add to which, Scarlet spends the whole book dumping on the one fundamentally decent person in her life, but I couldn’t even point out to her how messed up that was because I wrote in first person, and SHE COULDN’T SEE IT.

It took me months to realise that all I’d done was switch the roles: I’d basically made a girl-version of the DARK ANGSTY BOY. Scarlet is cruel and manipulative and bullies weaker characters into getting what she wants — and they let her do it because she’s charismatic and quippy and has a Tragic Past. I feel as creepy about her getting the guy(s) as I did about Edward getting the girl, because the balance of power is lopsided.

Scarlet uses sex as a bargaining chip and a weapon with more than one minor character, and I wanted her to figure out why that was wrong — but without apologising for daring to write a female character who divorces sex from love like — just as for example — every bad boy ever. But it didn’t really happen that way, because she never understood what she was doing. And through it all, she’s STILL pining for the dark guy with ALL THE ANGST, even though all they do is fight. She can’t control him or bully him, which makes their relationship more balanced than anyone else’s, but it still doesn’t make it good.

I don’t feel like I’m making myself terribly clear, but I wanted to try and make this distinction up front:

I LOVE bad boys. I find their pain delicious. Hell, TIG is my favourite Son of Anarchy. Dude does corpses (and possibly horses?) and murdered an innocent mother of two, and man, I like it when he cries. I’m interested in that — in what people will do and how they cope with having done it. I like fuck-ups. I’ll probably always write fuck-ups, because I’m an anti-hero kind of girl. I’m interested in the dark bits and the grey bits and the sticky in-between bits.

 He calls it “cold-packing”. HOW GREAT IS HE?

I didn’t want to write a story with a NICE BOY, because I’m much less interested in them (sorry, nice boys! In reality, you would win!), and I wanted Nate’s snark to counterbalance Scarlet’s. I had this idea that this tough, hard-headed chick would run headlong into this tough, hard-headed guy, and lots of delicious, sparkly fireworks would result. But both of them were TOO tough and hard-headed, and I never quite worked out how they really felt about each other (it’s not like I can READ THEIR MINDS, you know!).

Scarlet says that she doesn’t believe in love, and she sets out to prove that it’s self-serving and harmful and she’d be better off without it… and the problem, I think, is that she kind of DOES. Sparks doesn’t have a happy ending (this is a whole different issue!), but treating people like shit mostly gets Scarlet what she wants. She has no real friends and goes no way towards making any, and although that backfires on her in the end, I don’t feel like she learns anything from it.

I love the bad guy, but I love the bit where they REALISE they’re the bad guy, and they’ll never have what they want because of it. I’m interested in the TRAGEDY of the bad boy story. You have to break a bad boy down to get at the creamy caramel centre — otherwise he’s just a jerk.

And Scarlet? She’s kind of a jerk.

I started this post thinking it was going somewhere feministy — around how Scarlet never really has a reason to like Nate other than that he’s hot and mean to her, and that isn’t cool, no matter how tough she is in her own right — but I’ve ended up somewhere different. Part of me is annoyed that on a girl, a bunch of fairly typical bad-boy behaviour looks much, much worse, and that’s not cool either — and part of me is interested in that mirror, because it makes it easier to see why her story doesn’t work. There’s no emotional resolution, no cathartic pus-draining moment. Her candy coating cracks, but it doesn’t shatter. I understand why she feels how she feels, and acts how she acts, but she doesn’t; and since that moment never comes, she can’t change.

How did it work out that way? I don’t know, man. I was there, after all. It seems obvious now, looking back, why all this stuff felt wrong, and why the story as a whole doesn’t work, but you’d be surprised what you can’t see when you’re looking from the inside out.

I failed objective one in the satisfying emotional journey handbook: figure out what your character is most afraid of, and crush them with it. I broke Scarlet down physically and socially, but I let her keep her security blanket: the first line of the book is “I don’t believe in love” — from page one, it should be obvious that that statement is going down. The story begins there, and ends when proven wrong — the stuff in the middle about solving a murder is just a vehicle for that journey. THE BOY, if he really is The Boy, needs to be the LYNCHPIN of that operation. And mine isn’t. He’s another kind of security blanket — what Scarlet really needed was her own Bella Swan.

WHOA.

HOW DID WE GET THERE, ANYONE WHO IS STILL READING?

I don’t mean he needs to use way too many adjectives and try and throw himself off cliffs, and I really don’t mean he needs to think that Scarlet is the only thing that makes him worthwhile — but she needs to run into him like a wall; a big, solid buttress of everything she’s avoiding, and he has to force her to deal with it. He kinda needs to be a NICE BOY. He needs to be what she isn’t, and show her what she’s missing.

Huh.

I’ve been writing this for three days now, and it’s been morphing in my grip the whole time. I’m no longer making the point I meant to make, but — for myself, anyway — I think I’ve done something better. I feel better about Sparks than I have in months — and better about trunking it, too. Maybe it should scare or horrify me that I missed all this stuff inside my own story, but, actually, it’s one of those good-tingle moments — something I created surprised me, and, at the most basic level, that’s as good as it gets. That’s why I’m here.

—–

PS: For the record, I’ve only read the first book of Twilight. But I have read this. You should too.

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The Pacific

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I’m so freaking into The Pacific, internet-friends. Initially I was kind of bothered by the fact that I couldn’t pick anyone out of a line-up except Gutterson-from-Justified and Kim-Bauer’s one-handed boyfriend, but I’ve decided to just roll with that and let it dial up the chaos. It almost adds to a story like this — to the mess and confusion and utter, overwhelming horror — that I’m never quite sure who’s getting blown up or cut down until after the dust clears.

We’re up to Part Seven — Scott and I are watching it together on the big screen, which isn’t helping — and last night I was watching Sledge and company get cut to pieces and the whole TRUE — well, you know, HBO-true — STORY angle almost kicked me in the chest. I watched that battle rage across the airfield and thought about my dad’s dad, who I never met, and how he was fighting his way across Italy at the same time. He lost a leg to a mine — I’ve known that my whole life, but knowing it and seeing those guys on the ground wondering where their limbs went are in two different ball parks. He was a runner, before that. A good one, I think.

My mum’s dad was actually IN the Pacific, somewhere in the Solomons I think, fixing planes for the Americans I’m watching fight across the screen. I don’t think he saw any combat, but it’s bizarre and intense and overwhelming to realise he was THERE, just out of frame, helping keep those air-strikes coming.

I never saw Band of Brothers; this is a new level of intense for me. A new look at the REALITY of what men are capable of, and what they can do when they have to. It’s awful and affecting, but also FASCINATING and terribly beautiful, to watch these kids and that landscape and the world ripping itself into something so ugly, and realise it’s still all about humanity. It all comes down to people; to a scared, thirsty teenager clutching a gun in the dark.

I love the storytelling in this, how visual it is, the way they’re getting maximum emotion out of minimum words, and although there’s been a few heavy-handed THIS CONVERSATION ABOUT A SAUSAGE REPRESENTS MY EXISTENCE moments, mostly they’re deftly and gorgeously painted, like this one, when Sledge asks his buddy Sid what war is like, and Sid says:

I slept with a woman in Melbourne. I’m not bragging. That’s at one end, right? And then way down there, as far as you can go, that’s what it’s like. And that… that you can never imagine.

It makes me want to write.

—–

Also, Hoosier better not be dead, because Jacob Pitts is one of those guys I’ll watch do anything at all and enjoy it. Something about his face is just so RIDICULOUSLY LIKEABLE that every time he turns up in anything I’m like HEY, IT’S YOU! WE SHOULD HANG OUT MORE.

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I’m glad they ditched the fog thing after the pilot.

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So, I feel like I should talk about the finale of Supernatural, but I was drunk at the time, so I can’t. I think my emotional journey went roughly like this:

YAY! OOOH? WHAT! WAIT? AHH!!!!!!! REALLY? OH NO YOU… ack.

At some stage, when I have gathered the fortitude (and interest) to watch it again sober, I’ll confirm that.

In the meantime, here’s my emotional journey for my new favourite show, Vampire Diaries:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Man, I love that show. By which I mean I love Damon. I love him SO FREAKING MUCH, internet, that it hurts me on the inside. He is so campy and VAMPY and evil and delightful. And he has EYEBROWS and CHEEKBONES, and those are my FAVOURITE.

Unf. YES PLEASE.

As I have previously discussed, I was pretty much duty-bound to watch this show, and to enjoy it no matter how terrible it turned out to be. The original novels were not only my introduction to vampires, but to the supernatural in general and the love of angsty boys in particular, and if you think I didn’t read those suckers until the covers fell off, you’d be having some inaccurate mother-trucking thoughts.

Back in the early 90s — pre Buffy, pre real boys — Stefan was my boyfriend. I was young and stupid, and had not yet realised that my time should always be wasted on the bad boy with all the problems. Foolish, I know! Now all of Stefan and Elena’s interactions are spent with me hollering at my TV (well, my laptop, which is my TV) like so:

ELENA, WHAT ARE YOU DOING! HIS EYEBROWS ARE NOT EVEN EVIL! HE IS PROBABLY NOT EVER GOING TO KILL YOU ONCE HE HAS USED YOU UP AND DISCARED YOU LIKE YESTERDAY’S NEWS! WHAT IS EVEN THE POINT?? GIVE UP AND MAKE OUT WITH DAMON. MAKE. OUT. WITH. DAMON. MAKEOUTWITHDAMON!!!!

This is how they got me on Friday.

THIS SHOW IS JUST SUCH A GOOD TIME, Y’ALL. Everyone involved seems to be totally aware of exactly what they’re making, balancing camp and committed so perfectly that the whole crazy train wreck holds together in a way Glee could learn from.

Also, Jeremy Gilbert is the missing link between Wee!Sam and Padalecki, and that delights me in more ways than I can adequately justify.

Anyway, my point — should I decide to actually have one — is that yesterday I saw that LJ Smith has actually written another novel in the series. I came SO CLOSE to buying it, too, but then I found The Forest of Hands and Teeth for six bucks. SIX BUCKS! I’m glad today that I held out on that, because I don’t think my love for the books is going to stand the test of time the way my love for the characters has. I seem to recall them being all cool lips and silky sweet breath and a distinct lack of boning. Oh, teen novels of the early nineties! When blood-play was acceptable as long as nobody touched above the waist! Oh wait, this is still the case! And if young people should be so foolish as to actually have sex, even if they are married, they should immediately be destroyed by a magical demon-spawn pregnancy that ends in a DIY spine-crackin’, teeth-munching caesarean. TAKE THAT, TEENS.

So, okay, no. I don’t have a point. MAKE OUT WITH DAMON.

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This season on Supernatural: how to fuck up a story.

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Okay, so everyone alive in the world today knows that Supernatural is my A-1 tippy-top most best television love, right? I laugh, I cry, I feel their Winchestery pain. I have thoughts and manifestos and stories about the times in Vancouver when I crept my way onto the set by being foreign and chatty and did things like watch Castiel eat a sandwich and have a snowball fight with the crew and let Sam and Dean mock my accent. That’s just how I roll. My friends and I have a thing we like to call Supernatural Friday, where we all gather to drink wine and watch the episode on the big screen, and I knife anyone who dares to speak or breathe during it.

This is the way of things.

So, why, then, world of today, is my primary feeling about this season boredom? There’s a side of anger, sure, but it’s sort of blunted by the crushing weight of meh, whatever.

WHAT, you gasp, BUT LAST WEEK WAS AWESOME. AND SAUCE. AND AWESOMESAUCE, ALL MIXED UP.

Yeah, but.

Hey, so remember that cool dude with the pestilence and the disease? You might have forgotten because he got dispatched in about half a scene. Also, HOW COOL WAS DEATH? For one scene. And wait, did they just BLOW UP the Croatoan virus, that little sneaky zombification tool of awesome that has been floating around since SEASON 2? And, seriously folks, did they just do it OFF-SCREEN? And what’s up with Castiel? WHO KNOWS, because he only got his allocated 15 seconds of screen-time to tell us! And wait, did someone say Adam is Michael’s vessel now? I lost that, in the SIXTY BAJILLION THINGS GOING ON.

All of which were GREAT, don’t get me wrong! Death was SO FREAKING COOL, IT HURT IN MY CHEST.

And Sam has had VERY pretty hair lately, right?

But I just can’t seem to work past the fact that Krip & Co. wasted the ENTIRE REST OF THIS SEASON ON UTTER BULLSHIT. I’m just going to say it. Biggest premise ever. The WORLD ENDED. And I know they have a restrictive budget, but I wasn’t aware that it was so bad that it prohibited them from writing Sam and Dean a new conversation, because we’ve been listening to the one about how they’re SAD and TIRED and DON’T TRUST EACH OTHER for six months now.

Guys, I like it when they cry, that’s not in question. Their pain gives me joy. But dudes, it’s time to FIND A NEW TUNE OR SHUT THE FUCK UP.

This season doesn’t feel right to anyone I know, even if they can’t put their finger on why. So let’s break it down:

—–

THE COMPONENTS OF STORY, AS DEMONSTRATED BY HOT BOYS WITH GUNS

(Subtitle: How Serving the Fans Hasn’t Served the Show.)

Except for this. You guys, I am SERVED by this.

—–

Storytelling basics #1: So, conflict drives plot.

Supernatural fans think they want Sam and Dean to be happy and hug and love each other, but they don’t. No really, they don’t. All drama is driven by conflict. Without it, Sam and Dean are as boring to watch as your friends who are in love and always agree and hold hands and shit. I’m happy for those dudes, but nobody wants to spend 40 minutes watching them, either. Their story isn’t a story, because you can’t build to a resolution if there’s nothing to resolve.

Sam and Dean making up for being mean to each other last season just doesn’t have 22 episodes of mileage in it — at least not the circular, non-confrontational way the staff have been writing it. They both agree they were mean and awful and they don’t know how to trust each other, but that conversation hasn’t gone anywhere because it’s not building to anything. They made up three episodes in, and they’ve been re-hashing it ever since. Their basic positions haven’t really moved all season.

DEAN: You were mean to me last year.
SAM: Trufax. But you hurt my feelings!
DEAN: WELL YOU DID TOO >:O
SAM: Let’s pick this up again next week.

—–

 #2: And character drives conflict. AKA: If you’re not invested in the people, the story doesn’t mean shit.

This season, Supernatural has methodically killed off every recurring player on the show except for the pieces they need in place for the finale. No really, EVERYONE. Bonus points for shock value, and it does ram home the idea that no one is safe: this world is big and bad, and anyone could be next.

But that’s the problem: anyone COULD be next, so there’s no one to get attached to. Plot might be driven by conflict, but that conflict has to be driven by character, and Supernatural isn’t serving theirs.

The noisy portion of the internet has told the creative team over and over again that they want more Sam and Dean. Sam and Dean have to be together. Sam and Dean shouldn’t have girlfriends, or friends, or partners, or anyone else that might let them rely on someone other than Sam or Dean. But Sam and Dean aren’t going anywhere fast, because aside from the off-screen apocalypse that will be dealt with by other people anyway (more on that later!), they’re stuck re-hashing the same conversation every episode because they’re not allowed to explore the issues that underpin it, and they don’t have anyone else to talk to.

And when they do, they die.

—–

#3: Story is not only driven by character, it has to serve them to have any resonance.

Two characters escape this grisly fate: the sexually unthreatening father figure, and the friendly angel with the homoerotic overtones. But just to make sure that the fans don’t worry that these dudes will put a wedge in Sam and Dean’s undying love, they don’t appear very often. They get a scene or two, and then the writing staff carefully don’t mention them for the next couple of episodes so everyone is good and certain that Sam and Dean don’t love them as much as they love each other.

This serves two purposes:

  1. Their stories never get any traction, so it always feels vaguely like everyone forgot about them (hey, remember three weeks ago when they thought Castiel had DIED, but no one mentioned it until he turned up again last episode?), and
  2. Because they’ve both been vastly more interesting than Sam and Dean this season, their constant disappearances leave a big black hole of drama as they take everything worth watching with them.

 His feelings are kind of hurt by this. I can tell.

Also, moving them around the board like chess pieces means they aren’t allowed to feel like PEOPLE. (See above, re: character should drive the story, not be driven by it.) (See also, further above: Sam and Dean and their fan-serving non-conflict.)

—–

#3: Active protagonists: your main characters have to be the ones moving the plot. If they’re not, they’re not the main characters.

A huge issue for this season is the fact that Sam and Dean are essentially sidelined in any of the real action. The big showdown will happen with other characters wearing their meat, and too many episodes have climaxed (I can write that without sniggering, I can write that without sniggering…) with Sam and Dean standing on the sidelines as someone else swoops in to save the day.

It feels unsatisfying because it is.  The bulk of the action is happening around them rather than to them. Aside from being the vessels for the final fight, Sam and Dean lack either a stake in the apocalypse, or the means to fight it. Which brings me to…

—–

#4: Show don’t tell. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before!

Sam and Dean’s big conundrum this year is that they have to say yes to Lucifer and Michael in order for Lucifer and Michael to possess them, so they can have a big rumble and one of them will defeat the other and blah blah, lots of people will die. You’ve heard it.

And heard it.

And heard it.

But we haven’t seen it.

Part of the problem is obviously budget: the show can’t afford to show us all the chaos and devastation Lucifer is causing. Hell, apparently they can’t even afford Lucifer, since Mark Pellegrino never shows up (more on that later!). So various characters have to tell us: Chicago is about to be destroyed! Zombies afoot! People are bleeding in the streets! Doom, DOOOM!

Sounds bad, you think. Shouldn’t Sam and Dean just let these dudes hop on board to end all this awful-sounding trouble? (Or at least go do something about the bleeding and the doom, rather than faffing around at fan conventions?)

To which, Sam and Dean say no. A LOT. But they don’t really say WHY.

Sure, it’s been mentioned that lots of people will die, but lots of people are ALREADY dying. We know because someone tells us so at least once an episode. How do we know that the dying then is worse than the dying now, besides the fact that even Sam and Dean know that a decision on that has to wait for sweeps?

Maybe I’m just missing something, but I need to feel the stakes of either answer. The weight of that decision needs to drive the season, and I don’t feel like it has in any visceral way. But it probably can’t: there’s the rub with hinging the central conflict on a yes/no call. The results to that decision are hypothetical and in the future, and when you can’t afford to show the fallout in the present, you’re left with a consequence vaccuum. The moral grey area is DELICIOUS, and like 90% of why I watch the show in the first place (since you asked!: 6% Jensen Ackles’ freckles, 3% men crying, 1% JPad’s expression when he’s thinking really hard), but they haven’t really invested in it beyond some putzing around by Zachariah, and since there’s only two options and they’re both bad, there’s not enough mileage in them to sustain extended discussion on their own.

—–

#5: An antagonist, by definition, needs to antagonise.

Lucifer, when he shows up — which is not often — generally seems like a pretty nice dude. He just wants to have a quiet word with Sam, shoot the shit for a bit, and then disappear, never to be mentioned again. There’s no sense of tension or menace around him because he can’t take Sam over until Sam says yes, and Sam can’t say yes because, well, why would he? Nobody wants Lucifer using them as a muppet, but it’s not really an issue since Lucifer is both super duper polite about it, and can’t find Sam anyway. Problem solved! Cheeseburgers all around!

Sam realises that the cheeseburgers aren’t solving anything. Zachariah remains hopeful.

I had thought maybe Zach would end up the main antagonist for the season, since he was actually, y’know, ANTAGONISTIC — but then they killed him. Like they killed Anna and Jo and Ellen and everyone else who was either moderately interesting and/or possessed a vagina. (Speaking of, WHERE DID MEG GO? LAST FEMALE CHARACTER, PLEASE BREAK UP THIS SAUSAGE-FEST.)

—–

#6: Rats don’t push the food button if they don’t get food, aka don’t save all the good stuff for the end.

There’s an art to teasing out information across a story. I know this because I suck at it. I tend to want to wait and dump all the cool stuff on the audience at the end, where it has maximum thrills and chills. It’s been pointed out to me that this is generally a stupid idea, mostly by people who gave up before they got there.

You have to feed your story like a goldfish. No, wait, that’s a shit analogy. Like a puppy. You have to reward for good behaviour as it happens, or you’ll never make it to the dog show. That’s still shit. WHATEVER. If you can’t drop some bombs through the boring middle, people won’t hang around for the mind-blowing end. Loyalty deserves to be rewarded, and an audience’s patience only extends so far. MY patience only extends so far.

Supernatural has spent so much time hammering home the point that EVERYTHING IS HOPELESS AND AWFUL AND EVERYONE IS GOING TO DIE AND SAM AND DEAN CAN’T DO ANYTHING AND IT’S ALL A WASTE OF TIIIIIME AND…

…and you lost me. I get it, it’s awful and pointless and they can’t win. You’ve succeeded, and I will now turn off my TV, resign myself to their fate, and go do something else.

But then they did come up with a plan! Like, an episode ago. And it left them with three episodes to save the WHOLE WORLD, since they didn’t bother to take care of ANY OF IT in the preceding 19 episodes. And we’re back to now, where everything’s going gangbusters and it’s all super duper, and my primary feeling about it is REALLY, I HAD TO SIT THROUGH ALL THAT POINTLESS SHIT WHEN YOU HAD THIS UP YOUR SLEEVES?

If they’d thrown me a frickin’ bone at any point in the last six months, I’d be less inclined to be peeved about them pissing away awesome storylines in a single act now. But instead, I sat through that god-awful thing about the teenage man-witch, and Pestilence got taken down before we’d made the popcorn.

In the interest of fairness, there were a couple of great episodes, too. The End would be in my top ten of all time (and look! It showed rather than told!) and My Bloody Valentine was just DELIGHTFUL, but overall, no matter what happens this week, I don’t think this season can salvage itself in a single episode.

To quote a source:

Technically, they’ve been building up to this for FIVE SEASONS. And now they are all “You’ve invested a bazillion hours in this, and we are going to make the climax all happen in 40 minutes”. I TELL YOU WHAT, if a man tried that with sex he’d never get any again.

Preach it, Source.

Entering a story is a contract: you’re agreeing to commit to the life of the project for return on investment at the end. The journey to get there can be as amazing as you like, but if the climax doesn’t have emotional growth and satisfying story resolution, the whole thing feels hollow. Which, incidentally, was the main problem with Sparks. BOOM.