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15 January 2009 @ 10:36 pm
Happiness Is A Warm Kitten...  
I'll probably get to do more than just trudge the cookie-selling route this weekend. Assuming we can get a babysitter, Emma Thompson (HalfshellHusband's weakness) has a new romantic comedy out, and we still haven't seen Benjamin Button. One of those, please!

Today, there was a little girl outside the Metro PCS store that is next to where my hairdresser now works. She was leaning over and I thought making goofy faces at someone inside, but then she straightened up and I saw that she had a sleek gray cat in her arms. She held it up and crowed at it, then showed it the inside of the store again. I stayed there for a while to watch, because she was cracking me up. The cat, probably a 7-8-month-old kitten, had a look on its face that was a cross between "Why?" and "Eh. Whatever..."

On today's unexpectedly smooth plane-landing in the Hudson River... way to be a hero, Mr. Pilot! Awesome! That guy did an amazing and clear-headed job of keeping everyone safe. Apparently, the FAA plans to crack open the black box tomorrow, even though they think a flock of birds was responsible for the crash. What can they honestly expect to get out of the flight recording? I can almost guess the exact contents:

Plane: whooshy-whoosh-whoosh-whoosh-*ploompf!*
Pilot: Wait, what? 'Ploompf'? WTF does that mean?
Plane: *leans* yowm-yowm-yowm-yowm—
Pilot: Crap, we've lost an engine!


Tonight's Supernatural: what, Dean's time in Hell wasn't bad enough already? Are we going to get new installments of the yet worse every few weeks, to further torture Dean (because the character obviously wasn't suffering enough already)? Also... where the F*** did that other underground guy come from? I kept waiting for an explanation, but I sure didn't hear one. When HSH asked me that same question, I knew it was a bad, bad sign.

Next week's Supernatural: Barry Bostwick chews scenery until the audience explodes in cracktasm! I should probably complain about wanting a 'deeper' episode, but I'm still stuck on cracktasm! \o/


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I'm beginning to dislike the man with the whipesorlehcar on January 16th, 2009 07:32 am (UTC)
Are we going to get new installments of the yet worse every few weeks, to further torture Dean (because the character obviously wasn't suffering enough already)?

I think the writers have decided an episode cannot end with a painful Dean confession on or near the Impala. Which is unfortunately, because the actors seem even more bored with it than I am, and that's saying something.
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Diner Deanhalfshellvenus on January 16th, 2009 07:53 am (UTC)
but could we just have dealt with this all at one time so it's not this... just...wtf.

I thought we HAD dealt with it all at once, and then this coda showed up, and what was the point of all that? It's being handled so clumsily that rather than expanding Dean's character (apparently, Sam no longer HAS a character), it makes me feel that the show is (unsuccessfully) trying to manipulate me. That's never good.

the way it's being handled is meh.
It's being done really, really poorly. When you reach the point where it would've been better not to say it at all, clearly you're doing it wrong. :\
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on January 16th, 2009 08:27 am (UTC)
Hee! Season One, the gift that keeps on giving!

It's still my favorite season, though Season Two gave me a lot to work with. But I haven't been doing much rewatching since Season Three started, mainly because the first 6-7 episodes of S3 were terrible, and once was all I could stand. And then I kind of got out of the habit. :(
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Diner Deanhalfshellvenus on January 16th, 2009 07:50 am (UTC)
I think the writers have decided an episode cannot end with a painful Dean confession on or near the Impala.

Which reminds me SO much of the "Fortress of Barnitude" epilogues on Smallville which featured Clark and Lana rehashing the same old "Don't you trust me, Clark? We can't have these secrets between us" conversation at the end of every episode.

I would actually leave at what I thought was the episode's conclusion, and walk back in on yet another installment of that same, pointless conversation week after week. It was lazy writing, boring television, and seemed to serve only to satisfy the perceived emotional-masturbation needs of the Clark/Lana contingent.

That's what this feels like-- as if the writers think an episode automatically becomes 'deep' and 'emotionally satisfying' if they toss in this tag of Dean-revealing-deeper-pain-to-Sam at the end of the episode.

I swear, Kripke et. al. have never understood that talking emotions to death is not the only way to convey them, and often it's just SO clunky. So many of John's awkward Season Oone speeches should have been nothing more than a hug-- with tears, with reluctance, with someone resisting, with whatever particular flavor of the complicated and flawed relationship John had with the boys the writer is trying to depict. Show it, within the episode. It's another layer in the story. Don't embarrass me with speeches that I can't believe the character would really give.

Similarly, here... if the show wants to deal with this "dead inside" aspect of Dean, let's see hints of it crop up in the larger story that show what he's feeling/thinking/remembering (flashbacks work just fine for that). Then we can see it affecting his daily life, and wonder how deep it goes and what it means. That's interesting for me. The show tellling me, "God, I'm so dead inside. So wrong and evil and dead" week after week... Meh.

Clearly, this touches a nerve, because I'm going on and on about it.

Even at the simplest level, if you love your show and take it seriously (Kripke), you should not allow the episodes to develop sub-formulas. On a writing level, that's phoning it in. Next thing you know, your actors will do the same, and then finally the audience will be phoning in whether they care to keep watching the show. :(
I'm beginning to dislike the man with the whipesorlehcar on January 16th, 2009 08:15 am (UTC)
*facepalm* This is why I should not comment and talk to someone in RL at the same time. That should have been without and unfortunate, obviously.

That's what this feels like-- as if the writers think an episode automatically becomes 'deep' and 'emotionally satisfying' if they toss in this tag of Dean-revealing-deeper-pain-to-Sam at the end of the episode.

Yeah, that's it exactly. They've done it to death, at this point, but I could almost forgive it if they at least kept it interesting. Instead we get a "reveal" that reveals absolutely nothing, with painfully clumsy dialogue and bad acting (which is particularly annoying when we know how much better the actors can be). It didn't tell us anything, it didn't really tell Sam anything, it was just shameless emo porn for the sake of emo porn, and it was BORING. And to make Dean suffering boring, you have to do a lot of things very, very wrong.

I'm glad you're going on and on about it! I was really afraid everyone was going to adore this episode and I would have to be unhappy in a corner all by myself.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on January 16th, 2009 08:25 am (UTC)
Funny, I didn't notice your typos at all because I'd normalized them into the words you meant to use. :D

was really afraid everyone was going to adore this episode and I would have to be unhappy in a corner all by myself.
I was actually okay with this episode, despite the major WTF-ery at the end of the extra psycho-underground-hillbilly showing up, right up until the end. It was a straightforward MotW episode, some scary moments, not stellar but not bad.

And then that godawful codette got tagged onto the end, and I was mad at the episode. Better to do nothing with that part of the story than to handle it so badly and to use it as emo-porn (BAD emo-porn).

I think several of us are of the same mind that all of these things should have been revealed in that single moment on the dock when Dean told Sam his deep dark secret... and that should have been it. If the show wants to hint at more, or dwell on Dean angsting over what has already been, that's different. But there was such a feeling here instead of, "Oh, let's yank that emo-porn chain again. Because that worked so well last time. Not that we really have anything new to offer here, but let's yank the chain anyway."

I wonder, is this kind of thing worse for fanfic writers than other fans? All of the things we try so carefully to make sure we never do in our own stories become all the more infuriating when the show does them. Not only are those moments bad and OOC, but I find myself thinking "You get PAID to do this well, and people on the Internet are doing better work for free."
cindy: the dean show - sam sez tsuki_no_bara on January 16th, 2009 03:14 pm (UTC)
>>I wonder, is this kind of thing worse for fanfic writers than other fans<<

nope. i can't stand it either. it's incredibly lazy (and occasionally just plain bad) writing. and it's boring and predictable and now sam is getting short shrift in the character development department and come on, the show's about both of them.

...not that i want a bunch of episodes with five-minute codettes (i love that word :D ) of sam revealing his deepest darkest secrets to dean, but still. show us this stuff during the episode so you can, you know, make the motw stuff last a little longer and not keep having to tack this shit onto the end on the off-chance we didn't catch it the first twelve times.
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on January 16th, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean slashhalfshellvenus on January 16th, 2009 07:55 am (UTC)
I swear to god, this episode coda is either going to spawn a ton of BDSM dark!Dean fic, or a ton of utter and unrepentant crack.

And it deserves both. ;)
Princess Robot Bubblegum!astrothsknot on January 16th, 2009 08:06 am (UTC)
Black Box: Ah! Shit! Birds!

Birds: We're hijacking this flight. Take us to California. It's bloody freezing here.

Black box: Can't you just fly?

Birds: Don't be stupid. We're holding guns here. We'd drop them if we flew

Black Box: You're all a bunch of turkeys.

Birds: No, we're pigeons.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: heh-hehhalfshellvenus on January 16th, 2009 08:10 am (UTC)
Birds: We're hijacking this flight. Take us to California. It's bloody freezing here.
Hahahaha!

The news people keep going on about the danger of "bird strikes," as if the birds are attacking the planes on purpose. Machine-gun fire! Strafing missions!

Seriously, they're just flying around and then,

Plane: *schloop* *koff* *koff* *KOFF-KOFF-KOFF-KOFF-KOFF*
Birds: x_x *are dead*

Edited at 2009-01-16 08:10 am (UTC)
Princess Robot Bubblegum!: WTF? (Bones)astrothsknot on January 16th, 2009 08:41 am (UTC)
But do they man the gun batteries or do they bird them?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: TBag-Zilla OTPhalfshellvenus on January 16th, 2009 08:46 am (UTC)
They are their own weapons! Kamikaze geese, out to destroy international flight commerce everywhere!

Honestly, newspeople pick up phrases from each other without even thinking about what they're saying. Or whether the first person might have created a meaningless phrase that they're now parroting. :0

"It's a near-miss!"

So, it's a collision then? Or did you mean "near-collision?"
mercurybard on January 16th, 2009 01:25 pm (UTC)
ahahaha
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: heh-hehhalfshellvenus on January 16th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
Sometimes irreverent humor is the best!

*waits for PETA and bird-lovers to burn my house down* :0
heartagram_lalaheartagram_lala on January 16th, 2009 11:25 am (UTC)
Banjamin Button is so amazingly good, but i recommend taking a box of tissues lol, its deff a tear jerker =P

And if you are a brad fan, take a drool bucket too =D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 16th, 2009 05:59 pm (UTC)
And if you are a brad fan, take a drool bucket too =D

For the later part of the movie, I'm guessing, where he doesn't look like a warty turnip? *is so evil*

I hope we'll get to see that, though if we manage a date I can already hear HSH lobbying for Emma Thompson instead. ;)
happy is as happy does: Sam and Dean - SPNhappywriter06 on January 16th, 2009 12:56 pm (UTC)
I think that's what's brothering me about the episode. After sleeping on it, it almost feels like that episode was just kind of a set up for the end. Kinda pointless even though I did enjoy it for what it was. Plus, I'm like, 'We get it. Dean's not perfect. Dean is human. Hell is bad. Surprise he did what he had to do." I dunno.

Glad it wasn't just me confused about the creepy girl's bro. *keeps fingers cross it was a fluke*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on January 16th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
After sleeping on it, it almost feels like that episode was just kind of a set up for the end.
To me it almost seemed like the opposite-- they started off with this seriousness of Dean running as fast as he can (and making Sam nuts with the denial and all), and then detoured away from the seriousness, and finally... Oh, yeah. We were making a point before. Or something.

SO clumsy that it makes me want to kick the writer. :(

Plus, I'm like, 'We get it. Dean's not perfect. Dean is human. Hell is bad. Surprise he did what he had to do."
Yes-- stop whining about it already. Honestly, that's what it feels like because it's set up so badly. TELL US THE FIRST TIME. Then be done with the telling and move on to the "showing" by how it affects what he does in the episode. *kicks writer again* *and Kripke, for letting it happen*

Glad it wasn't just me confused about the creepy girl's bro.
All I needed was one mention, like "Jesus Christ, we were wrong. She wasn't the only baby!" and I'm good. But instead, the extra character appears in the dark and it seems like there's all this man-growling and you catch half-glimpses of him in the meager light, and just go WTF? instead. Why so ridiculously vague?
happy is as happy does: Dean Winchester is fictional. - SPNhappywriter06 on January 20th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
they started off with this seriousness of Dean running as fast as he can (and making Sam nuts with the denial and all), and then detoured away from the seriousness, and finally...
Yeah, they should've left it at that because we are smart enough to put his actions in the rest of the episode to Sam's worry and his confession at the end of 4x10.

Why so ridiculously vague?
No idea. It seemed to me that that older bro makes more sense as far as the timeline with how old the daughter would've been and so forth.

The next episode better be better since I disliked most of 4x10 and this was only a little bit better.
brigid_tannerbrigid_tanner on January 16th, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed the episode up until that little tag on the end. That there was a brother almost made sense to me, cause I couldn't figure out how one girl got into the Impala's trunk, took all the weapons, and took car of the tires on all the vehicles there in the short time it seemed the boys were inside.

But the ending..I don't know about that. I used to look forward to the Impala talks, but now they're seeming forced and a way to take up time if the episode runs short.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on January 16th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
That there was a brother almost made sense to me, cause I couldn't figure out how one girl got into the Impala's trunk, took all the weapons, and took car of the tires on all the vehicles there in the short time it seemed the boys were inside.
I can believe that there was another one, but the show didn't seem to acknowledge that there was another one. The extra character arrived in darkness, and you could hear rather than see that it seemed to be male (surprise!) and yet no-one comments on it and eventually he's dead. That's just lousy writing.

I used to look forward to the Impala talks, but now they're seeming forced and a way to take up time if the episode runs short.
They're becoming formulaic, which is never good, and this one felt slapped onto the end AND was basically a repeat of information we already knew. And ended yet again with Sam just sitting/standing there like a dope and doing nothing to comfort Dean, which is frustrating and makes Sam look like an idiot. Like his character isn't being done enough disservice already these days. :(
mercurybard on January 16th, 2009 01:27 pm (UTC)
My response to this episode: cackle madly and confound my dad.

SPN fandom, your show is mocking you!

*rewrites episode to remove Hammer of Exposition*

Sam says how Dean has been pushing them non-stop for a month and is ready to drop from exhaustion. Dean grunts.

And at the end, all Sam had to say was "I think we can count this one as a win", and Dean just wraps his burger back up.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Diner Deanhalfshellvenus on January 16th, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
SPN fandom, your show is mocking you!
Sadly, now the fandom is mocking the show as well!

Sam says how Dean has been pushing them non-stop for a month and is ready to drop from exhaustion. Dean grunts.
That was pretty much the opener, yes. Dropped for the entire episode until the codette got slapped onto the end.

You know, at the end I might have been okay with Dean (perhaps while driving, so the story's momentum didn't grind to a total halt) simply mentioning that no matter how many people he saves, it's never going to be enough to make up for what he did in Hell. With no extra-special ManPain#275 details added before that.

That the show felt the need to dig Dean in deeper before dropping that anvil at the end just made it all worse, and it wasn't good to begin with!
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on January 17th, 2009 08:12 am (UTC)
There weren't too many duds in S1 or S2 for me, TONS in S3, and S4 has been better in that regard.

The more I think about last night's episode, the more I dislike it. The MotW part seems so heavily similar to Benders that it seems as if the writers should be working harder. And that episode coda REALLY cemented that opinion even last night. Absolutely awful job, first for even going there (be done with the 'revealing' already and move on to showing the effects instead) and second for making it the bazillionth Impala-based-deep-moment-of-revelation at the end of an episode. That's starting to feel like the Smallville formula (the one that helped that show to jump the shark).

Rapped on the hand w/a ruler for reading (win)cest?
I don't know... Wincest isn't always about the sex, but I would guess that Kripke doesn't understand why his character dynamic and setting leads to that as a plausibility (heck, almost as a goal in order for the boys to be happy). He'd rather torture them instead.

Not to mention playing into my personal tight, narrow spaces squick. LOL
I don't have that, but the creepy/dark/confined/trapped-animal/DEAD-animal combo worked just as well for me. :0

You crack me up!
Heh. By today, I found more info that showed he was only 57 (the white hair was misleading), so I had to edit that out! I assumed he was at least nearly 10 years older. Either way, what an incredible and level-headed job he did. :D

cindy: the dean show - sam sez tsuki_no_bara on January 16th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
the plane went "ploompf"! hee! and then it went *splash*.... and the birds went "oh crap, maybe we need to adjust our flight path...." i wouldn't have thought bird strikes would be a problem in the middle of winter in new york, but clearly they breed 'em dumb (or weather resistant) out there.

re: spn - i loved the fact that it was a genuinely scary episode but was TOTALLY confused by the appearance of the feral brother, but i also really liked that the motw was a person and not a beastie or another demon. i like the "humans are crazy" episodes. we really didn't need the tacked-on scene at the end, tho. a. it's stuff we already knew or could easily guess, and b. sticking it on the end instead of working it into the episode is lazy, lazy writing.

and apparently i get all critiquey and judgey in other people's lj's and not so much in my own.... but i really do hate their "fifty-five minutes of show and five minutes of deepdark revelation and angst" formula. i mean, i always knew the writing wasn't particularly subtle or always good, but you'd think after three and a half seasons they'd have learned SOMETHING.

edit! barry bostwick! i knew he looked familiar. that should be fun. don't worry about getting a deep episode - i'm sure they'll shoehorn something deep in at the very end. *cough*

Edited at 2009-01-16 03:27 pm (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on January 17th, 2009 08:16 am (UTC)
and the birds went "oh crap, maybe we need to adjust our flight path...."
Probably too late for them to think anything after that! I'm assuming they got sucked into the engines, which is why one of the engines exploded and the other died. :0

a. it's stuff we already knew or could easily guess, and b. sticking it on the end instead of working it into the episode is lazy, lazy writing.
On the "a" part, it should have been mentioned the first time, OR (since that scene was pretty much perfect) shown to us via Dean rather than told. On the "b" part... yes, in all respects. Terrible writing, the kind that the show's creators should have sent back for rework. "Fold that into the episode, don't patch it onto the end."

but i really do hate their "fifty-five minutes of show and five minutes of deepdark revelation and angst" formula. i mean, i always knew the writing wasn't particularly subtle or always good, but you'd think after three and a half seasons they'd have learned SOMETHING.
Yes! Or you'd at least think that the parts that don't work might have registered by now, and would be avoided. :(