tartysuz: (Winchester Guns White)
Remember at early Supernatural conventions when Jared Padalecki's spoiler filter adorably/annoyingly kept failing? It's happened again.

Look away if you don't want spoilers for Supernatural Season 13. Like, seriously. )

I like convention panels, but I do miss the seemingly endless, excruciating wait between seasons to see what will happen. Those months were filled with fan-theories being written in LiveJournals and developed in the comments, or through fanfic set in possible futures for the series.

Then again, those were the days when Supernatural retained some textual intergrity. Things (some, not all) written in one season were often remembered and elaborated upon a couple seasons later. Now, the show is more like bingo, where a randomized writing-room machine generates a number that the writers mark, sometimes sloppily, on a pre-printed card. Some seasons string together enough of a storyline to call BINGO! Others, not so much.

A spoiler drop so soon after the season finale hedges the most fun fandom has had for a while. The Season 12 finale set up some exciting possibilities for Season 13 -- but we are reminded of the chances of inconclusive bingo.
tartysuz: (Supernatural)
At Escapade this morning, [personal profile] devilc and I combined the panels we proposed for Supernatural into one. One half the panel was about the show; the other was about J2 fic. Here are my notes:

Season 10
  • The boys are back to dealing with their own shit, and they are dealing with it together.
  • Back to saving people, hunting things.
  • Not at odds with external forces.
  • The conflict are not manufactured (as in Season 8 and 9). They work through things.
  • Like the idea of the angels, but the theological plot overtook the show and does not seem to be planned out.
  • The writers have simplified the overall plot and can handle the smaller scale stories this year.
  • The emotional trust between the boys is back, but they still have disagreements over the methods and means.
  • The show is getting back to other supernatural beings, which is interesting for people who are interested in mythology and folklore in general.
  • A good angel story was Hannah's, though it wasn't perfect.
  • There should have been more episodes with Demon Dean.

The 200th Episode: Olive Branch or Pacifier?
  • It was a love letter to fandom, with reservations.
  • Line drawn, as if the show was saying, you do your thing, this is our thing.
  • It was not like the previous fandom-focused episodes that alienated fans.
  • Message: there is power in fanfiction.
  • Message: it is what you make it.
  • The show is still willing to push the envelope.
  • The casting was perfect, especially the stage manager.
  • Appreciated that the musical an all-female cast.
  • Great songs.

  • One participant says she reads Wincest for unhappy endings, J2 for happy endings.
  • Why is there a renaissance? #boathouse
  • Like fics that are about a life they might have had or might dream for themselves.
  • Like fics where the J2 characters are similar to their real life personalities.
  • Has there been a change in how J2 are characterized? From being like Sam and Dean to being like their public personas?
  • Character bleed stories were popular in the early years.
  • Wife bashers seem to be out of the fandom by now: they've moved on.
  • Fic draws a distinction between having fun with J2 as characters and objectifying the actual actors.
  • Early on, the most popular fics were Gen and Wincest. Now, on A03, it's J2, Destiel and Wincest, in that order.
  • It seems like the first five years of vids are all gone from the Internet.
  • One participant contributed to [personal profile] poisontaster's A Kept Boy universe.

General Stuff
  • A good spin-off would be hunter school, perhaps with Jody and Charlie as instructors.
  • Men of Letters needs more exploration, including Judah Initiative and famous historical figures who might have been hunters.
  • The bunker allows them to have access to resources previously provided by Bobby. The show had relied too much on Bobby to solve things.
  • They need to go back to Vegas, where they are supposedly visit every year. They should go to the Neon Boneyard to find a case.

There was a call for J2 recommendations. If you have some links, please add them to the comments!
tartysuz: (Supernatural)
I just finished reading what’s described by Daily Script as the final network draft of Supernatural’s pilot episode (http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/Supernatural-1.pdf).

Chunks of it made it to the screen: Mary's discovery of the man in the nursery, dialogue between Sam and Dean when they reunite, when they hit the road and when they wrap the case.

But there are major differences, too. The ones that stood out for me:

1) In the opening flashback, blood drips on a Sesame Street blanket, not on baby Sam directly. The aired version amplifies the irony and the horror of a murdered mother's blood dripping on her smiling, happy baby. Having the blood touch Sammy directly opens up the reading that Sam was infected by that blood. It is also an extention of the blood = infection = AIDS metaphor that dominated horror in the 1980s and 1990s.

2) Sam takes more of the positive action (finding things on the Internet, persuading people to cooperate, deducing things about the case, scamming his way to see a prisoner in a scene that did not make it to the aired pilot). So all the "action" is of the intellectual kind. Yet, he doesn't actually solve the case. Constance's entire backstory is told to him.

3) While Sam's intellectual skills are shown, Dean's physical prowess is only hinted at. This is the reverse of what most shows do: it's easier to show badass punching than badass research. At one point, he only acts when Sam tells him what to do, but Sam only knows what Dean should do because someone told Sam. Passivity begat passivity! Also less dynamic was the scene where Dean reunites with Sam. There is no fight. The fight showed both boys' prowess and introduced Dean as a man of action.

4) Sam and Jessica are just dating, not living together. Their negotiation about how to take the next step (meeting her parents) overburdened the script. The decision to show Sam and Jessica together in the apartment they shared created a parallel to John and Mary's home. Sam is shown to be making a family of his own. So the episode began with the loving, protective Winchester family, then the loving soon-to-be Winchester-Moore family, then questioned John's decisions as a father, then introduced Constance as an example of a protective parent who went overboard. As a result of her somewhat justified obsession, she physicall killed her children. As a result of his somewhat justified obsession, John was stifling his children.

5) Constance's interactions with the first victim in the episode and with Sam in the car later on are very close to what aired. However, her entire backstory is different. It is not tied to any specific myth or urban legend, although at one point Sam says there are a lot of legends about ghost hitchhikers. Because her actions aren't tied to any particular myth, she is like a character from Criminal Minds, a psychopath whose story doesn't have a lot to say about anything else. (Her story could have been tied to LIzzie Borden, though.) Giving Constance a backstory rooted in myth reinforces the show's premise. It also reinforces the underlying theme of what parents will do, however twisted, to protect their children.

Obviously, I'm biased because I've seen the pilot many times, and I've seen the stories that were developed from details in it. But I do think all the changes made the script better. They made the characters more active. They introduced additional layers of story. They drew direct connections between the Winchester family melodrama and mythic stories. This allowed Supernatural to use the procedural format, but to transcend procedural stories. It was the beginning of the epic story of Sam and Dean Winchester.
tartysuz: (Supernatural)

My interview with Julian Richings, star of Canadian film and stage, multiple Death player.
tartysuz: (Supernatural)
My notes on the official Supernatural convention in Vancouver:


And some tweets about the non-official Supernatural visual effects event (organized by [personal profile] missyjack after the con:


Much fun all around!


Jul. 30th, 2013 08:00 pm
tartysuz: (Supernatural)
I suspect the Supernatural spin-off series will be very different in tone and narrative.

I'm thinking of all those Norman Lear sitcoms of the 1970s that spun off each other and turned out so different, you had to be reminded they were related: they were, in a way of speaking, all in the family.
tartysuz: (Default)
The cast of Orphan Black was at Nerd HQ this afternoon. Not only are they adorable, they're whip smart!

Tatiana Maslany (who plays the clones) basically gave an acting class, and Jordan Garvaris (Felix) had a manifesto about portraying LGBTQ characters. Dylan Bruce...well, he was there for eye candy (he was actually also quite fun).

The whole panel is up on YouTube (starts at 10:00 with Alan Tudyk (!) moderating):

Plus, the audience is just as smart and clever. Tatiana spotted someone playing Helena playing Beth, and I spotted an Abaddon cosplay:

tartysuz: (Default)
As usual, I'm having a blast covering Calgary Expo. This year, the expo rented an entire other building, so there was much more room, so fans and vendors were happy: fans were more comfortable and vendors were accessible.

Last night, I collected my Calgary Expo tweets so far.


MIDDLE EARTH (Richard Taylor, Dave Tremont, Mark Ferguson, Craig Parker)


SUPERNATURAL (Misha Collins, Mark Sheppard, Mitch Pileggi)


The media panels were all very entertaining, but the panel that made my jaw drop was David Finch's. He is so humble about his work and honest about the comic book industry. I almost cried when he said he hasn't painted in two years because DC is discouraging it: he could be turning out more pages in the time it takes to do a painting.

If you're not familiar with Finch's work, check out this step-by-step feature and take a look at this:

Batman, painted by David Finch
tartysuz: (Default)


I can't believe it's been a week since Escapade ended! This time last week, I was at breakfast, sitting next to a wise individual whose plate bore a scoop of scrambled eggs and a mountain of bacon. "Clearly, I'm here for the bacon," she said. As a bacon connoisseur, I do have to say the bacon at the hotel was unfailingly fantastic. One day, when I'm less of a newb, I'll have the confidence to skip all the other respectable items (like fruit and stuff) and just load up with what I *really* went to breakfast for!

I also can't believe I forgot to include the Supernatural panel that I co-led in my con report, which I'm now ret-conning as 23.01. This was the 23rd "season" of Escapade, and this is episode 2 of my report :)

Spoilers for SPN up to 8.13 )

tartysuz: (Default)
Hola! If you're at [community profile] escapade_con today, please join [profile] kadymae and and me for a discussion about the Winchester brothers and friends at the Supernatural Café at 6 pm in the Santa Cruz room.

What do you think of the new characters and storylines? Which new ships have sailed for you? Which old pairings endure? Share your obsessions and recs!

There is one tiny bit of homework. Please bring one of the glass tumblers from your hotel room or any other divine drinking vessel.
tartysuz: (Default)
Woot! I'm co-leading a panel about Supernatural at [community profile] escapade_con! Here are the details:

  • Time: Saturday 6 PM
  • Topic: Supernatural Café
  • Description: New mythology, new characters, new ships! Share your Supernatural obsessions and recommendations.
  • Leaders: tartysuz, kadymae-devilc

    If you're going to the con, please drop in!
tartysuz: (Supernatural)
I had a chance to speak with Kyra Zagorsky, who played Randa in Supernatural episode 8.03 "Heartache", the episode directed by Jensen Ackles.

She has a fascinating set of projects on the go, including a short film she wrote that brings Greek mythological characters to the modern day!

tartysuz: (Default)
I got to interview Misha Collins at Edmonton Expo!


I only had about five minutes, but he was gracious and unrushed, despite facing a loooooong queue of fans for his autograph. He was a last-minute addition to the expo (his appearance was announced three days before), but sold the most number of photo ops and had, by far, the longest queues for autographs. It was funny because many attendees had no idea who he was, but were so impressed by the strength of his fan base that I heard more than one person say they should check out the show.
tartysuz: (Comics)
I finally reached the end of the Brian Wood / Philip Bond Supernatural comic book series, and, sadly, I cannot recommend it.

A non-recommendation and an actual recommendation )

Smaller Winchesters by Dustin Nguyen
tartysuz: (Sam Winchester and Me)
Last night, I went to a screening of the Robert Siodmak film, Criss Cross, part of a film noir series hosted by the Metro Cinema Society.

Each film is given a live introduction by film scholar William (Bill) Beard. In describing the nature of the film noir narrative, he said something that applies to Supernatural. Here's a part-paraphrase, part-quote of Beard's remark:

Usually in a Hollywood film, the hero overcomes obstacles to achieve his goal, "but film noir troubles that. Sometimes the hero is not admirable, or he has a weakness and is unable to dominate the narrative to put things in order."

Both Sam and Dean are flawed, even deeply flawed. Neither of them are the authors of their own fates: in fact, the angels confirmed that their very existences were created to fulfill divine prophecy: they were puppets and were never equipped to put things in order. Every battle they win is another step in losing the bigger-picture war.

Yes, this does mean I will be resuming my series, Supernatural Noir. I started with Part 1: Notes on Noir and left off at Part 3a: Deconstructing Morality (the Femme Fatale).

By the way, Criss Cross isn't nearly as good as The Killers, which I discussed in relation to Supernatural in Part 2: Deconstructing Identity.
tartysuz: (Default)
Whoa, it's been a long time since I posted about my writing! Let's start with the most recent interviews, then the Supernatural Talks.

Today, I posted a column of 13 Questions that I asked ANDY GRABIA, curator of an exhibit of my late roommate's comics. Andy is an interesting fellow, but do take a look if you have an interest in how comics can work in a library setting:

Earlier this month, I posted an email interview with JO WALTON, author of the Small Change books, Tooth and Claw and the new book Among Others. I met Jo at the Pure Spec science fiction convention and Edmonton and she is a pure delight. We went into depth with Among Others in this interview: the book is her fastest-selling and in many ways her most personal book. What SF (or any other genre) book nerd can't relate to being a teenaged book nerd?

Last week, I posted a transcript of an hour-long phone interview I had with OLIVIA CHENG, known to Supernatural fans as Susan the Leviathan in episode 7.09 "How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters." Dick Roman creeps me out, but if Olivia were a motivational speaker, I'd follow her in a second. She has a couple of great stories about working with Jim Beaver, but I was most impressed how she describes her evolution from reporter to actor to … whatever might come next:

In December, I posted an email interview with REBECCA GUAY in two parts. The artist/project manager (seriously, how does she do it?!) had two books out this year, one at the beginning of the fall season, one closer to Christmas. Both are absolutely gorgeous and I encourage you to seek them out if you are a fan of fantasy and folklore.
Rebecca Guay on The Last Dragon
Rebecca Guay on A Flight of Angels

Finally, here is the latest batch of Supernatural Talks:
7.07 "The Mentalists"

7.08 "Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!"

7.09 "How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters"

7.10 "Death's Door"

Hope you find time to check into one or more of the above!
tartysuz: (Supernatural)
The first week of the Supernatural winter Hellatus is upon us! To help bide the time, here is what Sequential Tart thought of the middle episodes of the season so far.

7.04: Defending Your Life
The use of Osiris was… interesting.

7.05: Shut Up, Dr. Phil
The trouble with witches.

7.06: Slash Fiction
We loved this one, including its focus on Bobby. Little did we know!


tartysuz: (Default)

May 2017



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