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the state of the Snick and SPN

I think I might be done with this show, in terms of canon. This season was one long exercise in awfulness occasionally punctuated, be it ever so briefly, by a) Charlie, b) Kevin, or c) excellent ladies who died.

I'm tired of watching a show that's more holes than narrative. I'm tired of needing to spin fix-it fics my head every second or third episode to explain how such-and-such female character didn't actually die. I'm tired of having so many things that need fixing.

8.15 Man's Best Friends with Benefits was the single most racist piece of television I have ever seen. 8.17 killed off the longest-surviving non-Winchester character without a second thought, another mention, or even a decent death scene. 8.19, in a stupendously efficient act of self-destruction, killed of four seasons of worldbuilding in a single stroke. 8.22 and 8.23, combined, killed four female characters, left a fifth one dying on the floor, destroyed a sixth one's corporeal form by fire, and also featured male characters repeatedly using misogynist slurs like 'slut' and 'whore' on female characters they didn't like.

I'm tired of using my fannish powers to try to fix this, subvert it, or make it mean something for good. I'm tired of this show hurting my heart over and over again. It denies that female characters I love have value as anything other than narrative objects; it tells me time and time again that people like me, girl people, can never hope for more than a brief reprieve from the violence of a male-oriented universe. Ghosts and vampires abound, angels whose mere voice is deafening and demons who can kill with a turn of the wrist, and even so the fragile human male is still less breakable than a woman.

After eight seasons, I've reached my saturation point. I said a few weeks back that I was in this until the bitter, bitter end, but I'm not sure that's true now. I think I might be done.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 26th, 2013 12:47 am (UTC)
Not anything there to argue with at all, and heck, I've already given in to a rant about women on the show today. Personally, I think I *am* in it to the bitter end, because I can't be in a fannish environment and not know, but that may not mean being happy with it.

I'm sitting here thinking that an advantage of RPF is not needing any SPN canon whatsoever to play with it, so my hopes are strong that there will still be Jensen/Danneel, Jared/Gen etc coming from you... and even SPN-based fic, perhaps, since there's a lot of material to draw from for past seasons, and Jo being dead hasn't stopped you writing fic about her, soooo...
May. 26th, 2013 02:39 am (UTC)
Yeah, I saw your rant. I thought about responding, but then I realized that even the act of addressing the writers would require more optimism than I have right now. :P

And I totally get you about not knowing. I suspect I'll probably spoil myself thoroughly - read meme's reactions, say - and then maybe go through and watch a bunch in a chunk or something. Or maybe not. I have zero desire to catch up on what I've missed since ragequitting Downton Abbey last fall.

This is absolutely not me flouncing from fandom. Fandom remains my happy place, and I have a ton of things I want to write and fests I want to be in. I don't see myself writing any S8-era fic anytime soon other than that Meg/Cas thing I've been poking at and maybe something about Kate the Werewolf, though.
May. 26th, 2013 02:52 am (UTC)
Well, it was that or "Dear writers, FUCK YOU."

Yay for not flouncing! I did not expect it was a flounce, but there was a sudden pang at the possibility.

Ooh, Kate, yes. There's another of those characters whose story I expected to come back somehow.

Also Linda. I refuse to believe she's dead until I've seen the body. Kevin had better have a story in S9. He could get pretty bitter and disillusioned and stuff, right?

And then when he's just about to go totally off the rails, they find out from has-conscience-now Crowley that she's not actually dead, and he lied about killing her (okay, I've just now hit on the one thing that would make me pleased that Crowley survived that episode), and yay Linda, and she saves the day.

BRB, going to put that into the "things I want in S9" tumblr via askbox since I cannot prettily format it on this computer.

(I am getting peeved with the number of "Charlie totes sees the Destiel" comments there, though, like the lesbian will somehow activate her Gaydar of Takes One To Know One. PEEVED, I say.)
May. 26th, 2013 03:36 am (UTC)
Well, it was that or "Dear writers, FUCK YOU."

Well, yes. :\

Kevin was honestly the recurring character whose characterization I found both comprehensible and enjoyable. I am tickled pink that he's lasted as long as he has; may he continue to be a key member of the team. (Also because Osric Chau more adorable than any minor celebrity has a right to be.)

On one hand, there is nothing about "Charlie totes sees the Destiel" that I like, but OTOH it seems like a natural meeting of character and shipping tendencies. I mean, Charlie's already shown evidence of being pretty good at reading people, and also yay gay person to validate ship. So it doesn't surprise me that that would a thing. :\
May. 26th, 2013 04:39 am (UTC)
I guess at least you will hear all about Kevin's adventures, should he be around and have any (it would be ridiculous for him to be cut out of the story now, but it's not like that kind of thing seems to stop them), and there will be gifs a-plenty :).

Osric Chau is RIDICULOUSLY ENDEARING. I mean. Macaroni Mother's Day card for Lauren Tom?!

Hm, that is a point about Charlie being perceptive anyway. But yeah, it bugs.
May. 26th, 2013 04:44 am (UTC)
I do feel like Osric Chau is capitalizing a little bit on his unexpected fame. I mean, if he didn't have a Tumblr following I doubt he would have made a macaroni mother's day card; I have to assume at least some his hijinks are calculated to endear himself to fans and keep their attention, a la Richard Speight Jr and Matt Cohen's con antics. But OTOH Osric's doing an excellent job of being endearing, so I certainly don't mind. :)

I will keep an eye out for Kevin gifs. Maybe I will even write him some fic at some point; that is something that seems severely lacking, despite how much fandom seems to adore him.
May. 26th, 2013 05:01 am (UTC)
Heh, probably :). I am down with a little capitalising as long as it's entertaining!
May. 26th, 2013 01:32 am (UTC)
This is why S5 is my happy place. 6 was shaky, 7 was blah, and I loathed pretty much the entirety of 8. It makes me glad Castiel's vessel wasn't female, because if it had been she'd be (permanently) dead by now too. I hope we never see Charlie again, because if we do she'll die.

I'm probably going to watch at least the first few eps of 9, but...I don't know. A lot depends on how much comedy!human!Cas they try to put in--and what does it say about the state of this show that the character I identify with the most is not human?
May. 26th, 2013 03:06 am (UTC)
Well, S5 doesn't make me a lot happier in the lady department; we lose Ellen and Jo, we don't pick up anyone except Jody, we have the whole "killing a whore" bit, and there is no woman with a significant role in the last four eps or so.

But also I just really dislike the plot and the pacing, so my S5 feelings also just have a lot to do with personal preference. :)

But yes. If Castiel's vessel were female there's no way we'd have had him this long.

As far as your favorite character not being human, by fandom before this was Buffy, and by far my favorite characters there were Spike and Dawn (who's only arguably human, I'd say). So I guess that aspect is not new to me. :)
May. 26th, 2013 02:32 am (UTC)
Interestingly that might be why I feel such fondness for S8 even though I'm not sure I objectively enjoyed watching a decent portion of it. My mind just thinks, Okay, now my turn! And that is, ultimately, why I'm here. Not that I don't understand your position, of course--it makes a lot more sense, for one thing--but reading this has helped me understand why I feel the way I do. I'm sorry that you feel that way, though, because coming to terms with that kind of disappointment and frustration is never fun. :( <333
May. 26th, 2013 03:08 am (UTC)
Er, why is it that you have such fondness for S8? Because all the women die? I'm confused.

I'm sorry that you feel that way, though, because coming to terms with that kind of disappointment and frustration is never fun.

Aw. *hugs* Yeah, it's been a sad couple of weeks around here. Honestly, I'm mostly just grateful that we're on hiatus now and I don't have to think about any of it for a while.
May. 26th, 2013 03:53 am (UTC)
Haha, no.

But for everything canon does not do, to me it feels more and more within fandom's ballpark to do whatever the hell we want. Not that we can't do whatever the hell we want with good things canon DOES happen to do, er. For everything canon doesn't do, I want to do more and more with it to close those gaps. Which would be frustrating if the relationship I had with Show wasn't what it is--but as it stands I enjoy those chasms, because when I see them it makes me want to bridge them and I'm just like, HAHA, BRING IT ON. DO YOUR WORST. GO ON, TRY ME. /cagefight
May. 26th, 2013 04:47 am (UTC)
Ha ha, these days I feel the show is more chasm than bridge, which I could deal with okay if I still found lots to enjoy. It's the lack of enjoyment that's killing my will to watch, more than anything. But I'm glad other people are still getting things out of it! And writing fic! I look forward to more fic from you. :)
May. 26th, 2013 02:57 am (UTC)

I wish I could force Carver and co. to read your summary of those episodes.

And this list of faults doesn't even include the fact that their three characters are now (1) downright unlikable, (2) so physically/emotionally damaged it's painful to watch, and (3) so brainwashed he can't really be held accountable for anything he does, which is extremely boring characterization.
May. 26th, 2013 03:10 am (UTC)
Well, yes. As an anonymous person said recently, This used to be a fairly offensive show that told interesting stories about characters I was invested in; now it's a fairly offensive show that tells frustrating, aimless stories about characters I want to beat with a shovel, preferably to death.

I think it's blatantly clear that Carver and co. don't care that a significant portion of their audience is unhappy with their treatment of female characters, or other marginalized groups, either, for that matter. No creative team with an ounce of cultural sensitivity could have produced Man's Best Friend with Benefits.
May. 26th, 2013 04:40 am (UTC)
NOOOOOOOOO. *sniffle*

But I respect your right to feel this way. Totes. *is one of those long-haul die-harders*
May. 26th, 2013 04:45 am (UTC)
Yeah. :( I mean, I still plan to be around, doing all the usual fannish things. I just don't know that I have the heart to watch anymore.
May. 26th, 2013 07:03 am (UTC)
Don't blame you tbh. Not sure I can even be bothered to check out next season. Truthfully I haven't felt enthusiastic about the show for seasons now. Maybe it's just been dragged out for way too long.
May. 26th, 2013 11:35 pm (UTC)
It's not like they haven't introduced lots of interesting new elements. It's just that they've killed most of them. Also this show does not and presumably never will know how to pace a season arc.
May. 27th, 2013 04:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, bb, I feel you on this one. I feel like they did *just enough* with the end that I'm going to tune in for the beginning of next season at least, though who knows how long I'll last. Abbadon may have lost her awesomely fierce patchwork body, but I have a feeling she'll be back, and she's someone I can root for as Queen of Hell.

And I'm sticking with the idea that they did get to Crowley in time to save Jody (though I'm pissed off that they put her in that situation to begin with: she's better than that, damnit!). All we really have is Crowley's word that Linda Tran is dead, I won't believe it till I see it. Same with Naomi - there was a lot of blood, yes, but no wing-marks: she could come back. Again, though, it pissed me off that we didn't see what happened there: she had Metatron bound and at her mercy, and suddenly he's free and has killed her - how? Grr.

It's tiresome that we keep having to jump through these hoops all the time to imagine better fates for these characters than they are given on the show. And SPN has always been a little iffy about this stuff, but I feel like S9 was worse. Killing Meg, killing Sarah, not giving any of the female characters much agency or things to do, while devoting huge amounts of story-arc to Benny's manpain. Ugh.

(Man's Best Friend was bad, though I don't think they did it on purpose. I think they're just that clueless. Sigh. )

Anyway, I'm not done yet, though like you I'm not very gruntled right now as a viewer.
May. 27th, 2013 07:39 pm (UTC)
I am unconvinced that they'll cast another actress for Abaddon that I love nearly as much as I love Alaina Huffman, though. She was a gem; IMO the single best female antagonist we've cast since child!Lilith in 3.16, and that feels more a fluke than anything anyway.

It's tiresome that we keep having to jump through these hoops all the time to imagine better fates for these characters than they are given on the show.

This. I shouldn't need to do this all the time. I shouldn't need to say before every single episode featuring a female recurring character, "Oh, they wouldn't kill another one," only to be disappointed almost every time.

And tbh, I think the reason we didn't see Linda Tran or Naomi die isn't because the writers wanted to leave themselves a possible out, but because those deaths matter just that little to them. I have no hope of ever seeing those characters again; unlike male characters, who get resurrected at the drop of a hat, female characters never get "the hail mary save," as someone one Tumblr called it. We never get unlikely female character returns. If we did, we could've had Bela (demon!) or Anna (no wings, remember) back years ago.

I do think S9 was worse, though. I had just about weathered Meg's death - helped along in part by rumors I'd heard that the actress was in poor health and needed a send-off - but then these last two episodes just about killed it for me (especially coupled with the unrelated disaster of 8.19). And of course that's not even mentioning, say, Channing or Andrea, our early-season sacrifices on the manpain altar.

I think you are right about Man's Best Friend. Our writing/casting team really is just that clueless.

Edited at 2013-05-27 07:43 pm (UTC)
May. 28th, 2013 03:29 am (UTC)
May. 28th, 2013 03:30 am (UTC)
May. 28th, 2013 03:32 am (UTC)
I actually have a devastating meta vid planned out in my head but I'm probably too disenchanted to make it.
May. 28th, 2013 03:34 am (UTC)
I know what you mean. (I'd totally watch your vid, though.)
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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