Thursday, November 3, 2016
This is the show that never ends, yes it goes on and on
by Amanda Arista
I had the honor of hearing Billie Piper (of Doctor Who and Penny Dreadful fame) speak about the end of Penny Dreadful, which ended rather abruptly after its third season. She said that she would rather have a show end and the character's live on in fans' heads than to have their stories drag out until they were unrecognizable from the characters they started out as.
The notion really stuck with me, as both a writer and a lover of TV. We all know book series and TV shows that should have ended ages ago, but publishers and producers just kept coming back for more. The drama gets more and more ridiculous because they are just at a loss as to what to do with these characters who they forced to change over the course of the show/series.
Even I have been asked when there are more Diaries books coming out and I have to answer, I'm not sure there will ever be. Are there more Wanderer books? YES (more to come on that). But I'm not sure I have much more to explore with Violet.
The one show that has literally stood the test of time is SUPERNATURAL. Going into its 12th season, the two main characters, Dean and Sam Winchester, are still fundamentally the same characters that they were in the first season. Dean hides behind sarcasm and really loves of his car. Sam is smart and really, really tall. They still make the right choice and they will always save their brother's life over their own.
Did it have some rough patches in the writing and story lines: Yes.
Have the characters both sacrifice themselves for each other multiple times: Yes
Have they learned that they really shouldn't lie to the other: Finally.
Has the show taken over most social media due to its catchy phrases and completely insane range of topics covered: OMG Yes.
Does it hurt that the two main characters are portrayed by the hottest boys from Texas ever: Not at all.
And yet, I still watch. I am still engaged with their fighting the forces of darkness that has escalated from a demon to the Devil, and their allies have included an angel and God himself. They have faced down banshees and leprechauns and Norse gods. They've seemingly done it all, and yet I still watch because their world is my world and there is still so much out there.
Perhaps it is their never-changing natures. The heroes are completely steadfast in their ways. Even through multiple apocalypses, deaths, resurrection, and possessions, the stories have just carved out a more defined version of the characters that we saw in episode one. They grew up, but they didn't become different people. Maybe I grew up with them. Maybe this show is part of me because I want to know that the world throws demons as you every day and with a partner and some rock salt, you can pretty much take on anything.
Perhaps it is the familiarity that keeps me coming back. Perhaps it is a formula. Perhaps it digs in deep to my monomythic brain and strokes that story structure week after week in a wonderfully predictable and yet satisfying ways.
Or its just that Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki just keep getting better with age. Seriously. Its supernatural.
Some season I imagine the show will end. But this is not that season. Some episode will be their last and it better have them riding out in a blaze of glory.
Thank you for providing me with twelve years of monster stories that let me know I'm not the only person out there who likes things that go bump in the night.
Thank you for giving Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki steady face time on TV because they really are pretty and can actually act the hell out of a bro-ment.