How Supernatural season 8 could be great
‘Supernatural’ season 8 premieres tonight — can Jeremy Carver dig the show out of its season 7 craphole? Focusing on the characters, the unique mood of the show and less on a convoluted season-long story arc is a good start.
I have this weird thing about season premieres. After waiting for months for a favorite show to finally begin airing new episodes again, I am inevitably disappointed with the premiere episode. I don’t know if this is because nothing could possibly live up to my expectations, but I always seem to have a ‘now that that’s out the way, we can get into the season’ sort of feel, rather than simply enjoying the episode for what it is.
That said, several of my favorite shows, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural, tend to approach their first episodes of the season like that, so maybe it’s exactly the way I’m supposed to feel. So this season, I’m heading into Supernatural expecting just that — an episode that sets the tone for the season, but doesn’t necessarily knock my socks off.
What will the tone be for Supernatural‘s season 8? If Jeremy Carver can work some magic as the new showrunner, I’m hoping for several of my favorite things about Supernatural to be ever-present this season:
Humor balancing out the darkness
I can’t think of a show that does this better. Supernatural can go to the darkest places, like Bobby’s death and Dean’s utter hopelessness and somehow infuse them with some of the funniest scenes and quotes on television. Let’s go to some dark places surrounding the boys’ separation, and their utter aloneness without Bobby, Castiel and their other sidekicks that have gone the way of death or otherwise. That’s OK with me as long as it is balanced and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Fellow CliqueClack writer Liz agrees, saying “I would love a return to stories and interactions which are lighter, and not always so melodramatically angst-and-doom laden. There are only so many Single Emo Tears I can take in a season.”
Organic character growth
One thing I’ve always relished about Supernatural is the way the characters grow organically based on what they experience. It’s not been done as well on any show I can think of, except maybe How I Met Your Mother. (Yes, that was the meanest joke ever on the show that has denigrated itself season after season more so than any other.) I want to see Sam change as a result of his aloneness, and I want to see Dean change based on his stay in purgatory. And I want it to make perfect sense. Liz has some things to say about the characters too: “I think Carver understands the characters well enough, and as long as he keeps his eyes on the characters (and off the fandom because that never goes well), he has a chance to get things back on track. … Now that almost all the Winchesters allies are dead, I would also like to see some attention to the development of new secondary characters to fill in the gaps and make the show less claustrophobic.”
My seven-year-old son’s favorite band is AC/DC. Judge me if you wish, but there is something about those hard-driving beats and simplistic chords that get this family’s heart racing. Last season, I think my favorite part of Supernatural were the recaps at the beginning of the episodes … because that’s one of the few places we got the old cruisin’ music from the first few seasons that was such a signature of this show. Bring it back, Mr. Carver.
Grandiose story arcs? Out.
I don’t need excitement, action sequences, a convoluted story arc with monsters trying to out-do the apocalypse. I want the character banter, the thoughtful plotlines based on the authentic actions of the characters, a slow burn of satisfaction. Liz even suggests some mini-story arcs: “I would like to see more self-contained episodes or perhaps mini-arcs, since Supernatural only has indifferent success with being able to sustain a season-long arc. If they do have a season long arc, I hope it’s better plotted out than the season 7 mashup.”
Favorite characters back
Bobby, Castiel, Crowley — yes please. Or that idea of Liz’s, with the new secondary characters, that could work too.
My faith in Sera Gamble did not pay off, but I can foolishly say I’m doing it again. I’m placing trust and faith in Jeremy Carver to runt his show with the quality and dignity it deserves.