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Review recs 
24th-Apr-2014 09:08 am
Jody Smiles
A great review of last night's episode. Supernatural: Mothers and Daughters

It starts like this:

Did the planet just backflip off its axis? Are pigs doing cartwheels across the sky? Did Michael Jackson moonwalk out of his grave and buy a ticket to Shrek 5? Because something impossible just happened: Supernatural based a whole episode around female characters. Three-dimensional ones, even! None of them love interests.

I think this might be an outsider review (not entirely sure if it's fan written), which I enjoy reading in order to get a different perspective. I think fan reviews are great because they come with the history and provide a personal response as a fan, but outsider reviews make me think more about how the wider audience might see the show. How it might appeal to viewers who aren't watching for the brother angst or potential shipping opportunities. In fact, I suspect the lack of brother angst might be more appealing to the general public (my torrent DL last week was titled "I would rather run my balls along a cheese grater than watch this show" - made me laugh out loud, but it also gave me insight to how some people (like my hubby!) see this show).

The ratings were up significantly as well - 2.2M compared to 1.6M last week. I'm so happy about that because it proves (maybe?) that "classic", MoTW, female strong episodes are popular with the general public (and fans too I would think).

It makes me wonder if fans got a bad rep early on for not liking females. SPN fans were almost "famous" for hating on females in the show. Looking back I think this was more to do with the women that were written (and how they were introduced) and not just a general dislike of seeing females on the show. I'm not sure. It seems to have taken them a while to work out that well-round (other) characters, whether male or female, are the most satisfying and interesting to watch.

ETA: Great post celebrating the women on SPN by milly_gal. There's been some great female characters over the years.
Comments 
24th-Apr-2014 01:52 am (UTC)
I wonder about the fans' anti-female rep, too. I came to the show late and to fandom later, and I never had an issue with any of the recurring female characters (except for one, whose name begins with an A and rhymes with Amelia). It was explained to me that some fans felt women got between the boys, but it never bothered me -- of course no one could get between them for long.
24th-Apr-2014 11:54 am (UTC)
Early on there was often an uproar if a female was seen to come between the boys. When they announced Ellen and Jo they mentioned that Jo was to be a love interest for Dean and wow - fandom went ballistic. Jo ended up being a really interesting character but they introduced her in a way that had fandom up in arms. The same with Ruby and Bela. TPTB said women were "needed" in the show and Ruby and Bela were introduced. There was a lot of fuss about that also.

(and yeah...man, such a shame they didn't stop and think about Amelia. She could have been SO SO interesting...but alas).
24th-Apr-2014 05:59 am (UTC)
I'm afraid that TPTB still believe that the fans hate all female characters who have a potential to get between the boys / are possible love interests.
That's why it's "ok" to like Jodi or Charlie because they arenot a threat in the area. While in reality we like them because of the way they are written and couldn't care less if they would also hook up with thr boys. But I doubt they will ever understand that. Hell, the only reason why I don't ship Jodi/Sam is because it would mean TPTB would kill her for sure.
24th-Apr-2014 12:03 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid that TPTB still believe that the fans hate all female characters who have a potential to get between the boys / are possible love interests.


Oh do they? I am aware that they've made certain choices when writing Charlie and Jody - so they are not seen to be either love interests or "potential" ones, which actually might be why they've taken time to develop them. I like that women can be on the show who aren't love interests (very much so actually) but it's puzzled me why the ones who are haven't been as well developed (other than Ruby) or as interesting (well, to me).

Hell, the only reason why I don't ship Jodi/Sam is because it would mean TPTB would kill her for sure.

Good call. Guh, if they kill Jody Show and I are going to have some serious words.
24th-Apr-2014 07:08 am (UTC)
I think last week "Agents of Shield" aired in the same timeslot as Show; usually AoS airs an hour earlier so it doesn't clash with Show, and the drop in Show's rating was so sudden that I'd just chalk it up to AoS.

I wasn't in the fandom pre-S2/early S2 when Jo happened, but I do remember people going a bit nuts when the early info on Bela and Ruby hit the fandom. I think the way people found out that two females were about to be added to the show as series regulars but how they had absolutely no info on what the women would be doing in Show brought out a lot of fear and worst case scenarios (mostly about the women being love interests for the boys). And as Yoda teaches: fear -> anger -> hate. I'm not sure if the hate in the potential love interest case was due to the dynamic of the show possibly changing or to someone coming between the boys or possibly seeing less of the boys or something else, but the net result was that this colored the way the characters were received and gave the fandom a certain kind of reputation. There hasn't been a similar response since then (at least that I'm aware of), possibly because the fans learned to trust Kripke and the TPTPs learned that how you present information to fans is important. And that traditional WAHWAHDRAMA love interests just don't fit the show because they're really boring and do absolutely nothing for the story (e.g. the certain flashbacks in S8). The rep the fandom got back then has just stuck.
24th-Apr-2014 12:15 pm (UTC)
usually AoS airs an hour earlier so it doesn't clash with Show, and the drop in Show's rating was so sudden that I'd just chalk it up to AoS.

Ah, that could explain it. It did seem like a drastic drop. I wondered if it was because it opened with Metatron addressing the viewers - that might have unnerved a few. But AoS would explain it (I assume it's doing well in the US...)

and *nods* to the second para. Jo was introduced as a potential love interest to Dean and wow - the backlash was massive. I don't think it was so much that she was a female on the show, but more that she seemed like such an ill-match for Dean. I'm not sure if the comments surrounding her changed the Show's approach to the relationship or if what we saw was their original plan. As it turned out, it worked really well (I thought). It was mostly the way it was announced that created such a stir. Just like Ruby and Bela's announcement did.

I think now they just bring in characters without saying too much about them (I think?). Though I know Amelia was announced as Sam's love interest. She's a good example of fans probably wanting to accept her but they wrote her so badly that it was extremely difficult to (I'd still love to know what their thinking was with her. Maybe it all sounded better on paper...).
24th-Apr-2014 08:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting!

I have a lot of trouble with the women on SPN, from a writing perspective, though things have gotten *so* much better in the past two seasons, IMO.

One of my go-to rants about the show is about the creators blaming fans for not liking the women and girls on the show. I don't like most of them, and for very good reason, IMO. I love characters that have a whole lot of meat to them, characters with complex, touching, interesting personalities. I like characters are well written as Dean and Sam. No woman on the show, ever, was as well written as those two. Perhaps no woman on the show was even as well written as Crowley or Cas, or even Bobby. Blaming the fans for what I consider careless writing (if not just misogynist writing), and going as far as saying it's just the fans being jealous, like stereotypical women, annoys me a lot. And that's without even getting into how they're generally the most hegemonic of women, and so far from telling stories I feel I need told.

In fandom, people created some wonderful stories about women, and developed some of the bland characters we got from the show into good ones. That still doesn't make the show OK.
25th-Apr-2014 06:36 am (UTC)
I think the show has really struggled in the past to work out how to write women into this world without them either being a damsel in distress, a villain or a love interest. All those "types" of characters can be interesting but because they are usually there to enhance Sam and Dean's story they are often not fleshed out very much. They started to do it with Ellen and Jo and gave Ruby a bit of meat before all of them were killed off. I prefer it when they are characters like Jody -who are allowed to be women (not just a kick ass stereotype) and given layered characteristics that celebrate that. Maybe they'll start to see that fans can most definitely enjoy females on the show (I think Becky set them back quite a bit).
26th-Apr-2014 09:36 pm (UTC)
Until season 8, my strong opinion was that they simply don't know how to write female characters, and that it was just bad for everyone and needed not to happen. But I do love a lot of the women on the show since - Meg (she is probably my favorite, but only as written by Robby), Linda, Charlie, some of the others. But seriously, until they give me a woman as fleshed out as Dean or Sam, I'm not gonna be satisfied. And since they don't even write Dean and Sam as fleshed out as Dean and Sam anymore... well, that is not going to happen - maybe unless there is a different show runner, IMO.

Then again, I also said Dean was never gonna have a heart to heart with a women he didn't intend to sleep with or at all, and then he did.

I agree they were trying, with all the women on early seasons, I believe. And I also prefer a character who has character to a stereotype, though being kickass or being "feminine" can both be written either way, IMO.

Anyhow, I do agree that in the last episode Jody was the most fleshed out and real probably on the show ever, that was cool.
24th-Apr-2014 09:43 pm (UTC)
"Looking back I think this was more to do with the women that were written (and how they were introduced) and not just a general dislike of seeing females on the show."

I think I agree with you here. Thinking back the only female characters I have connected to are Ellen and Charlie, I guess because they are strong and confident without being there as eye candy/ love interests. I'm not interested in flat one-dimensional eye candy regardless of gender.

25th-Apr-2014 06:40 am (UTC)
*nods* Ellen and Jody are the two I have connected with - I think because they are mothers and their kick-assery has been borne out of necessity and not just because it makes them look strong. I've really enjoyed Charlie too - and I love that they have given her a backstory and been allowed to develop each time she's appeared.
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