Fandom Thoughts [Supernatural/The Vampire Diaries/Sherlock]

Posted: October 22, 2012 in TV Shows
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve been a good little writer recently (and a good procrastinator). I’ve been watching tons of movies and TV shows on Netflix. I never realized how much they can teach you about novel writing until I really started widening my horizons. For a taste of what I mean, check out my writing category and look at my “How to…” posts. I take a character and a trait from a TV show or movie and break it down to see why it works and how it can help us out as writers.

So, naturally, I’ve become invested in more television shows than I have time for. I’ve recently gotten caught up with Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, and Sherlock. This is a post about my thoughts on each show because I don’t really have anywhere else where I can ramble on and on about them. And, yes, that’s your warning. This is a ramble.

(Also, I tried not to give anything major away, but this post does contain some light spoilers.)

The Road So Far on Supernatural

I saw the first few episodes of Supernatural when they aired about eight years ago (whoa). I’m not sure why I didn’t keep watching, but I can only guess that it was because I was too scared to continue.

Yeah, I know. I have a low tolerance for scary stuff. A very, very low tolerance.

But I took it up again recently and watched all seven seasons within a few weeks, trying to catch up on the series before the eighth season began. I really enjoyed it. Without knowing much about the series to begin with, I got a full experience of the twists and turns and I was really taken in by everything that happened.

One of my favorite things about this show is that the story weaves its way through all of the seasons. What happened in the very first episode has ramifications that carry on to the most recent episodes. Some shows tend to have a single “big bad” each season and when you look at the first season compared to the last, the show feels completely different.

Not Supernatural. It honestly feels like you’ve been in the Impala for eight years, driving around with the Winchester brothers. Sure, they’ve grown up and things have changed. People have come and gone. Big bads have been defeated and new ones have popped up. But it essentially feels like the same show to me, and I love that. It makes it feel a lot more realistic.

The humor in this show is just out of the park. Dean’s sarcastic “sasshole” (<– new favorite word, thanks to my friend Caitlin) attitude just makes you shake your head and laugh. His one liners are so wrong sometimes, but I’d like to meet a person who can honestly not laugh at them. (“A Hand of Glory? I think I got one of those at the end of my Thai massage last week.”) And not only that, but there are some episodes (like any of the ones with the Ghostfacers crew in them) that you literally just can’t stop laughing at. One of my favorites was when Sam and Dean were trying to tell Bobby a story about a case and they were telling their version of the story (2×15 “Tall Tales”), which put each brother in quite an interesting light.

There are some things that I don’t like about the show. I find the constant fighting between Dean and Sam a little tiring sometimes. Not that it’s not realistic, but I’m so invested in them as a team that whenever one decides to leave, it really hurts. The human heart can only take so much.

My one other big quibble? We need more Cas. Like, seriously. Please? I find myself just waiting for him to pop up because I love him so much. His dead-pan face, his unintentional humor, and his deep caring for Dean just make me want to hug him. (Or “glomp” him, which is another new word I learned recently.) Can he just be in every episode already? My heart hurts when he is away too long.

Previously on The Vampire Diaries

I was pleasantly surprised by The Vampire Diaries when I first started watching it. I thought it was going to be a little too Twilight-esque (not that I have a huge problem with Twilight, but it’s been done so there’s no need to repeat it). What I found was a show that incorporated love, but also made sure there were tons of interesting characters, scary bad guys, and some awesome vampire fight scenes. Can’t argue with that.

My favorite thing about this show is Damon. Which, I mean…come on. (Debra, if you’re out there, you know what I’m talking about. We have pretty much the same opinion on this subject matter.) Not only is he incredibly easy on the eyes, but his character is also really fun and interesting. The other characters also all bring something to the table, whether they’re good, bad, or just enjoy making some trouble. Caroline is another favorite. (Expect a post on her soon.)

This show also genuinely surprises me. Very few shows actually do this anymore. Very few shows actually make me gasp out loud. I love twists and turns, and I love last-minute reveals right before the end credits come up. (Although, I say that having watched the first three seasons on Netflix. Now that I have to watch this show on a weekly basis, I’m sure this is going to be a major complaint for me.)

The first few episodes were a little hard to get through because “love” occurs so quickly between the main characters. But, you know, whatever. That’s a problem with a lot of television and movies, so I’ve learned to just accept it as unrealistic and ignore it. I’m also kind of over the love triangle thing – especially since I don’t agree with Elena’s choice (go figure). Also, is it just me, or does anyone else find Stefan incredibly boring? He got a little more interesting as of late, but I still don’t really care too much for his character.

What the heck just happened on Sherlock?

I’m going to preface this with the bad, and then get into the good because that’s how I have sort of made my way through this show.

I had heard of Sherlock through Hypable and through the people that already watched Doctor Who. Steven Moffat writes for both shows and since I already enjoyed his work with Doctor Who, I decided to take up Sherlock as well. And, as it was already on Netflix, what was there to lose?

The first episode was incredible. I was totally impressed by Benedict Cumberbatch (who plays Sherlock) and the way the character was portrayed. If you’re unfamiliar, he’s a “high functioning sociopath” as the character himself claims, and goes about solving mysteries and making people very, very angry. It’s a good old time.

But I also really enjoy how the show is set up. Text appears on the screen in order to show us what Sherlock is seeing when he views a dead body, or what kind of text messages the characters get. You’d think this would take you immediately out of the show, but it truly doesn’t. It helps to prove how incredible Sherlock is without an overabundance of explanatory dialogue.

The second episode fell through for me, as did the third. They didn’t seem to have the same punch and I wasn’t as interested in the mysteries. Maybe it was just me, as I’ve heard tons of people rave about the show for months and months. Perhaps I’ll do a rewatch to figure out if I still feel that way. All I know is that I watched the first episode and fell in love, then watched the second one and fell out of love.

Not that I’d drop the series all together. I knew it would get better and, well, I have a problem putting things down once I pick them up.

The second series just recently hit Netflix, so I sat down to watch the first episode, hoping that it would give me the same feelings that it gave me when I watched that series premiere.

It didn’t. It gave me MORE.

I was blown away by the first episode. I sat down to watch it and ended up doing a marathon until I finished the second series. (It’s only three episodes long, but they’re 1 ½ hours each.) The new characters were incredible and dynamic and interesting. Moriarty was everything that I ever wanted in a bad guy and so much more. He was completely insane and I loved every second of it. A truly, nearly undefeatable bad guy is so hard to find nowadays. No pre-killing monologues. No stupid revenge schemes. He really just wanted to ruin Sherlock in every way possible. He knew exactly where to hit him, and he hit him so hard that it knocked the wind out of the greatest detective of all time.

And Sherlock. Oh, Sherlock.

We got to see such a different side of him this series. He’s not completely emotionless. He does understand love. He does feel. His relationship with Watson is lovely, and the connection between him and Irene Adler was confusing, tragic, and yet somehow beautiful. I love this show because it’s so complex, but it’s non-apologetic about it. It gives you what it wants to give you and forces you to draw your own conclusions.

I’m pretty sure this show makes me smarter, too. After I finish watching it, I find I’m a lot more sarcastic and witty (to the chagrin of my friends, I’m sure). I also feel like a pseudo-detective, drawing conclusions from crinkled gum wrappers and empty glasses. I may not be as good as Sherlock, but that won’t stop me from trying.

And that episode 3 ending? Oh, that ending. Just wait for it because it’s beautiful and haunting and absolutely perfect.

[/End Rambling]

So what conclusions can we draw from this?

  1. I have too much time on my hands.
  2. I need more of a social life.
  3. I spend a lot of time watching TV, and I will forever claim that it’s to become a better writer.
  4. These shows are amazing.
  5. I want you to give them all a chance. Get a Netflix subscription and start watching!!

What do you guys like or dislike about these three shows? Seeing as I’ve written an essay, long and rambling comments are totally allowed!

  1. EM Castellan says:

    Love this post! I’m a huge fan of Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries too, for some of the reasons you mention. Also watching TV makes me want to be a better writer too 🙂 Watching Revolution these past few weeks, I’ve been making a mental list of what NOT to do with a story and characters, lol. Have you tried watching it yet?

    • Karen Rought says:

      I have! I really like Revolution, but something keeps nagging at the back of my brain and I can’t figure out what’s bothering me about the show. What don’t you like about it? Maybe that’ll help me figure out what’s bugging me.

  2. EM Castellan says:

    My main issue with Revolution is that it has action for the sake of action, and it means that characters often act without real motivation (especially the secondary characters). My second issue is that everyhting is that there is a lot of “telling” going on: the villain does something bad then goes on to explain how bad he is. *eye roll* My third issue with the show is with the character of the brother (can’t remember his name): he gets beaten up IN EVERY SINGLE SCENE since episode 1, surely the writers can find something else to do with him to include him in the story? SO yeah, I’m annoyed. Not sure if I’m watching tonight’s episode or not 😉

    • Karen Rought says:

      Yeah, there are some issues I noticed like that too. I’m hoping they resolve themselves as the show moves out of its initial stage. I think I just love the potential so much that I’m willing to overlook the other stuff haha.

  3. ‘Sherlock’ was on TV here in New Zealand, but I never watched it… partly not getting my act together, but mainly because I am a great fan of the original in its pure form. Ahem. Or possibly because it’s just weird to have Bilbo Baggins playing Watson… 😉 Feeble, I know, I guess I should check the show out properly.

    • Karen Rought says:

      I think the show is different enough from the original that it feels like something else entirely. But it also pays homage to the source material quite often, which is nice. Ah, is that Bilbo? I knew I recognized him, but I couldn’t figure out from where!

      • Yes, he’s got a house somewhere here in Wellington – brought his family out and everything. We’re hanging out for the world premier of The Hobbit Pt 1, being held here in about 6 weeks. I suspect I know what Jackson did to extend a 200pp book into 3 x 3 hour movies, will be interesting to see if it works out that way.

  4. I love Netflixs just for this reason, you get to watch a complete series you’ve never have heard of, season after season WITH NO COMMERCIALS! I haven’t watched any of these shows yet, but i do have sherlock in the queue – now that season two is available, i may just start that show next. Love Stephen Moffatt and Dr Who so, the same as you, can’t wait to see what he’s done there.

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