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Supernatural DVDs, Books and Other Merchandise

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Do you guys own SPN-themed T-shirts, mugs and keychains? This is the place where you can admit it freely :) Do you own all the DVD sets? If so, which ones do you think have the best and worst extras?

 

This is also the place to chat about the novelizations and SPN-themed books. Which ones have you read? Which ones would you recommend we either buy or stay away from?

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I'm up-to-date on the DVD's, mainly because my husband has an obsessive need to make sure everything is "complete", and I had already owned the first few seasons from before we were married.  TBH, I've never even seen the extras on any of them.

 

I don't have mugs or t-shirts or anything, but I have three SPN novels - Nevermore, Bone Key and Witch's Canyon.  I got the three of them together at a yard sale a couple of years ago.  I'll admit to a special fondness for Nevermore, because it's set in familiar territory for me (Bronx) and has some Edgar Allen Poe tie-ins.  But Bone Key (set in the FL Keys) and Witch's Canyon (set in AZ) aren't bad either.  I think of them as case-fic fanfic.  All three of them came out around 2007-8 and feature the early saving-people-hunting-things road-tripping Winchesters that I love. I don't think they do an especially good job of capturing the voices of Sam or Dean, but they don't sound blatantly OOC, either.  Would I recommend them?  Maybe, yeah, if you can find used copies and like the mood of the early episodes. They're an easy read to take along camping trips.

Edited by ElleryAnne
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Because I also like things to be complete, I actually do own all the DVDs--the gag reel is usually priceless. I'm always interested in how things work, so I like commentaries and such. Supernatural doesn't do very many per season and they're okay, but some of seasons 5 and 6 commentaries are pretty funny because Ben Edlund is a nut. Season one's extras were mostly interviews with TPTB about the show and such--somewhat interesting. Season two has a bunch of little tidbits about most of the episodes (many were very interesting) and there's an interesting bit about all the problems they had shooting All Hell Breaks Loose II--like I said, I like to know how things work. Season three didn't have many extras (writer's strike season), but there are some interesting little webisodes. I can't remember what extras were on S4 and S5--maybe a bunch of bits about the unseen angel/demon wars and some random hunter-y factoids?--but they didn't really interest me much. I recently re-watched the little featurette on Jensen's first directing gig, on the S6 DVD, and I found it more interesting than the first time I watched it for some reason. S7 has another featurette about directing that was okay. I don't really remember much about the S8 ones, really haven't paid much attention to those at all--S8 is not a favorite, at all.

 

Never really been interested in any other merchandise or reading the books though.

Edited by DittyDotDot

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I've got Season 1-8 on bluray and will probably pick up S9 when it's out even though I'm less than happy with the season. I don't have any of the novels nor do I have any interest in them. I have the coffeetable sized book that they released a year or two ago. I have a couple of Castiel themed mugs and a sweatshirt with his handprint on the shoulder. Other than picking up S9 when out that'll be it for me as far as picking up anything else.

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1-8 BluRay

S9 BluRay on pre-order

1-9 iTunes

buying each of the special edition t-shirts as they come out this week

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Bwah, ha, ha...Cliff is his own sovereign entity; Jared's mirrors following him everywhere; Jensen doing T'ai Chi and being scared of Jared; Misha doing his own stunt...SueB, that was the best thing ever...Misha is such a goofball!. It reminds me of a bit that a couple actors did for the Stargate Universe DVD extras where they decided they were going to write their own episode of the show and went around getting feedback from all the other actors and writers.

 

Am I to understand that this will be on the S9 DVDs?

Edited by DittyDotDot

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I was just coming here to post that.   Jared was such a dick. Jensen being all insecure about getting mud facials, and wanting steak, or rather pretending to want steak and the music. Freaking killed me.  Jensen, the Diva. Just the funniest thing

 

Jared's hair being a wig and then breaking the People's Choice award made me laugh til I cried. And talking about how Canada is so different, and 'You can't even tell that Sam is in Canada".  /tears

 

Although I do have one little nitpick. Jensen really needed to not be wearing that robe so much...just sayin'.  

 

I loved that

Edited by catrox14

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Yes on the DVD/BluRay Tues. Someone's store put it out early. Things I couldn't believe:

- they let Jared do that fire stunt

- they let Jensen be on top of his trailer

- what the hell was both Richard S and Timothy O doing on the set at the same time?

That was the funniest mockumentary I've ever seen. And I've seen some goodies.

@catrox, look for the gag reel vids on tumblr. Jensen in jorts and tank top holding a lapdog. Get your arm and leg fix there. I have no idea why except these guys must get board between takes and come up with weird shit just for fun.

Edited by SueB
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In my head that is the French Mistake version of Jensen and Jared and their life on set. 

 

I swear that itself needs to be nominated for an Emmy for comedy. Seriously. That was just brilliant. Dmitri Krushnic as Misha Collins.  Bless.

 

Misha is just a gift.

 

I've watched it twice now and I picked up on stuff I missed the first time and it's even MORE funny.  /standing ovation to the lot of That Band of Merry Goobers

Edited by catrox14
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Yes on the DVD/BluRay Tues. Someone's store put it out early. Things I couldn't believe:

- they let Jared do that fire stunt

- they let Jensen be on top of his trailer

- what the hell was both Richard S and Timothy O doing on the set at the same time?

 

Thanks SueB, I haven't been paying attention because I wasn't sure I wanted to purchase S9, but this one little extra might be worth the price and the annoyance I get from watching S9.

 

Can't answer any of the other questions--yes, I realize they were probably rhetorical--but I would assume that Timothy O and Richard Spleight were on set at the same time doing pick-ups for their different episodes...also Guy Bee was there so it would suggest it was done during or just before the shooting of Stairway To Heaven. I loved Richard's little gag, so great.

 

These are the times when I feel rewarded for sticking with the show and these lunatics!

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This may the first one I've bought since Season 5.  I wish I could have as much fun as they do at work.  Love how they make it look like no one loves Misha and poor guy can't even get his name spelled correctly. 

 

I enjoyed watching the fan and the bloopers back to back.  Now wondering who won't catch the joke and spread that Jared really wears a wig.  lol

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I've said it before and I'll say it over 9000 times more, I don't know how they ever actually complete an episode.  LOL

And after watching that mockumentary, I'm convinced someone from their Insurance company is going to call. 

 

Still, it's rare that you get people who actually LIKE each other this well after working for 10 years together. Almost every guest actor says the same thing, it's due to the #1 & #2 on the call sheet (Jared and Jensen). But that they've kept the joy going? Amazing.  I have to think Misha and his way-out personality really helps them too.  I think it feeds the inner 12 year olds of J2. 

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Oh Misha is a wiley one. IMO he is just as much a 12 year old as they are but a really odd 12 year old.

 

And sweet, humble Jensen is a dirty dirty bird. I cannot believe he went with the 'shocker' gag. O_O but LOL.

 

One thing I really noticed about Jensen's Ackting is that I can totally tell the difference between Dean smiling and Jensen smiling. One would think that the same face would smile the same way even if he's in character but NOPE it's totally different.  Damn that boy is something else.

Edited by catrox14
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Just watched the Decision and Consequences featurette from S9.  I'm sure someone will post the link soon.  But I'm just kinda ..IDK..needing to express thinky thoughts.

 

First, Jeremy Carver is ...not exactly a lying liar who lies...because he says the SAME thing at the end of S9 that he did at the end of S8.... but it's a totally different interpretation.  So I think Jeremy views not only DVD features but all engagement with fandom as an exercise in shaping the viewing experience.  I think (JMO, of course), that we STILL do not have the full unvarnished Jeremy Carver perspective on S8 and S9. Even though he's talking a great deal.  I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop (or in this case, a third shoe).

 

Enough babble: What he said is a repeat of the Boys Choose Each Other speech. But this time, it's not a good thing. It's an understandable but selfish thing.  His viewpoint is very much with Sam (which I kinda like BTW).  Sam is the voice of reason in S9. But of course it's not that clear. Sam is also struggling to figure out what to do.  But Sam (per Carver) is rightly questioning whether or not they did the right thing at the end of S8 by stopping the trials (especially stopping them in mid-point). 

 

But I'm just not sure we've heard the end of the discussion on that moment yet -- from Carver.  Dude is definitely playing a long game.

 

There's a LOT to take in with this featurette.  I really need to watch it again. I'll keep the rest of the comments short:

- I think they have some awesome ideas-- I'm not sure we got 100% carry thru from concept to script.  But I do find the perspective's of the writers/Carver/Singer fascinating.

- The impression I'm left with is that Dean is paying for the consequence of stopping the trial and his bouncing from one rash act to another is why he's a demon. Yes, I think they are putting the blame of Demon!Dean at least partially on Dean's shoulders. Crowley is manipulating him, no doubt, but Dean got into this with rashness.

- I loved the way they described Kevin's death as the key (or at least that is my interpretation). Because Kevin was totally innocent. This is why his death affects Dean so much.  He knows it was bad, not just sad (my words, not theirs).

- Cas' journey is one that I feel got shortchanged.  I want to see what they see but I feel like we missed a lot.

- Crowley OTOH, is still as ambiguous as ever. Mark Sheppard does more talking than I usually see him do.. and I think I'm coming to the opinion even CROWLEY doesn't know if he's a good guy or bad guy.  He's Crowley. He's in it for Crowley. But what Crowley wants... well that's complicated. (more than shower sex Dean, IMO).

 

Again... I'm left with the impression that this featurette is another part of the total S9 viewing experience. It's not "the answers". It's more perspective and questions. 

 

...off to watch again.

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SueB,I must give you some kudos...you have far more patience and tolerance for Jeremy Carver than I can seem to muster these days. The dude seems to contradict himself at almost every turn and listening to one of the commentaries on the S8 DVDs had me convinced that he had no idea what show it was he was working for--in fact, if I didn't know better, I'd have thought he was a brand new writer to the show rather than the showrunner. I've started trying to tune him out altogether lately and see if I don't enjoy the show better without his "insights" rattling around in my brain.

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The dude seems to contradict himself at almost every turn

I think it's intentional.  I think we're in another kindof-experimental form or story-engagement.  Don't laugh, I'm serious.  Supernatural has been doing this for a while, and I think Carver's random commentary is not just commentary -- it's part of the story "experience".

 

I'm REALLY not explaining this well.  I'll give more obvious examples:

- Actors, directors, & crew live tweeting is like live DVD commentary.  It changes the viewing experience.

- DVD commentary changes your perspective (story experience) on an episode.

- The documentaries on Supernatural have been mixed. Some are par-for-the-course topics: like everything about the Impala.  OTOH, some (like two from S8 and one..thus far..from S9) are more story perspective.  And since Carver has stated he's running a 3 year arc, I think these mid-story perspectives are not definitive views but story-driven intentional viewpoints.  He's adding to the story, not just explaining it.

 

So... in S8 you had a big buildup to the trials and a "WTF?" ending.  Carver tells you the brothers choose each other.  And it's portrayed as a life-affirming, family is more important move.  Now in S9 we find out that the consequences of that event was all down-side. Kevin is dead, Cas is dying, Sam's a mess, Dean's a demon , and Han is encased in Carbonite (whoops, wrong story).  Crowley...IDK..jury is still out if he's a good guy or bad guy or "benevolent malevolence" as Sheppard put it. 

 

So I tolerate Carver's flip-flopping because he's actually a part of the larger story "plot".  He's not intending to tell us "absolute truth". He's giving perspective at a moment in time.  There is no absolute truth because the story isn't finished.  Worse yet, there may never BE absolute truth. We may eventually get what Carver MEANT to provide as truth but too much of story experience these days includes audience viewpoint to have one "absolute truth" be the end all be all.

 

Wow, it sure sounds like I've been drinking. But I haven't.  We'll, not alcohol at least.

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I think it's intentional.  I think we're in another kindof-experimental form or story-engagement.  Don't laugh, I'm serious.  Supernatural has been doing this for a while, and I think Carver's random commentary is not just commentary -- it's part of the story "experience".

 

...

 

Wow, it sure sounds like I've been drinking. But I haven't.  We'll, not alcohol at least.

 

I'm not talking about big story arcs or anything like that--this show has always said they had a plan when it was obvious they made it up as they went along--but within the same interviews sometimes he contradicts himself. I never look at anything TPTB say as absolute truth, it's all buzz and spin, IMO, so I always take it with a grain of salt. With Kripke, I understood he thought he was far more clever and cute than he really was and was probably trying to mislead the audience, but I did feel like he had some sense of what the show was for the most part. With Carver, it seems to me, he doesn't seem to really know what show it is he's working for most of the time, so he's just pulling stuff out of his ass to get through an interview. The commentaries just seal that deal for me. I in no way feel like he's trying to be cheeky or anything, I really feel like he has no idea what he's doing. Maybe he really is just the master of misdirection, but I don't think so. I do think he's a fairly good writer, but showrunning is a completely different skill, IMO.

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https://twitter.com/superwiki/status/508735787408424961

Found the link.

DDD. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this. I don't think Carver is as brilliant as he thinks he is but I don't think he's just winging it. I do think he should take a more firm hand on some of the story telling. I think Adam Glass works fine both as a writer and lead writer but I feel like Jeremy should be paying more attention to details. I think he and Singer have a common vision.

BTW, another indicator of the 'experience' thing I'm babbling about is Robbie Thompson talking about Dean's traumatic childhood. I think Kripke was more like 'suck it up Dean' and Robbie resonates with the AUDIENCE vibe that Dean's parentification was traumatizing.

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Rant warning. 

 

What if I am one of the viewers that doesn't watch commentary or read interviews with cast and crew? I shouldn't have to do that to understand the story or characterizations that make no sense on screen with anything that has gone before. If they are trying to enhance my viewing experience via featurettes, well then they can fuck off with that.  I was actually really annoyed by that entire featurette. Carver talks out of both sides of his mouth.  I have no idea what fucking story he's trying to tell at this point because it's all over the place and no amount of off screen interviews, and live tweeting is going to change the product I see in the end.

 

I about fell over to hear Jared say that Sam could understand what Dean was going through because of Sam's demon blood addiction in s4 and that Sam was speaking truth to Dean like Dean did Sam.  I was like, 'ruhhhhrrrr,  when did that actually happen in s9, Jared" other than the finale?  Sideyeing and annoyed/worried face on Sam =/= Sam speaking truth and trying to save Dean from himself in s9 unlike Dean doing any and everything to stop Sam in s4 including locking him up in demon blood detox and being shamed by Bobby when he finally gave up because Sam had distanced himself.

 

Sam did fuck all to understand what was happening with Dean after he got the MoC. There was one time we saw Cain/Abel on Sam's computer and nothing EVER came of that moment on screen.  Sam went on his way because he was rightfully angry with Dean, but then once he learned about the MoC he didn't even act concerned and proceeded to read Dean the riot act in the Purge. It was only as only in Blade Runners that Sam really freaked out. And even after that it was more side-eyeing and worried/annoyed face and telling Dean " I think the Blade is doing something to you ".  He never got up in Dean's grill, saying 'Dude, this is really really bad. You are in serious trouble here. You need to step back and lets' figure this out together".  Nope, it was "Dean, you don't need to bring that with us do you?" and 'You seem to be enjoying killing".  Hi Sam, have you met your brother before?  Dean likes to kill monsters. That is nothing new. He's taken pleasure in that since years back.

 

All I could think was Soulless Sam was Dean's case in s6 and Dean should have been Sam's case from the moment Dean took on the Mar

 

I call shenanigans on Dean "sidelining" Sam. Sam distanced himself from Dean right up until Blade Runner and that was considered good healthy behavior because of Dean's selfish/selfless (how can it be both?)act to let an angel possess Sam.  Yet when Dean distanced himself from Sam to protect Sam in King of the Damned that is Dean 'sidelining' Sam when it was really Dean protecting Sam and keeping Sam out of the fight. Just like Dean did in 9x23 when he told Sammy, rightfully so, that Metatron was his fight and his fight alone. Sure he shouldn't have punched Sam, but that was not sidelining Sam because "mean Dean" reasons. Geez . /head desk head desk 

 

/head....desk

 

In s8, Sam spends exactly 0 seconds looking for Dean or Kevin at all, and that was made out to be a healthy thing because Sam moved on and honored a stupid non-agreement but then it was bad because Sam realized he needed to do something about Kevin. Then they find out they can close the gates of Hell and Dean volunteers to do it because he has always seen himself dying with a gun in his hand and that he wants Sam to have a long, viagra filled life. Sam seemed to accept that UNTIL Sam sees a hellhound on the verge of ripping Dean to shreds. Maybe Sam should have let the hellhound kill Dean, but he couldn't because it's is brother and it was instinct by Sam to save him. He just took action.

 

But because Sam couldn't let Dean be mauled by the Hellhound, Sam kills it compelling him to do the trials. So Sam is on the verge of completing the trials and will die because Metatron is a lying liar that lied . Dean rushes to stop Sam and say we can find another way but if Sam continues he will die. Sam is convinced stopping will be okay, so he stops and collapses anyway. And all of that was supposed to be heroic and loving brothers saving each other by the end of s8 

 

Only now in s9, that's retconned into being a totally selfish act because Dean chose Sam over closing the gates of Hell. Yet Sam killing the hellhound to save Dean from doing the trials was not a selfish act when Dean had been volunteering to do them all along. Maybe if Sam had looked for Kevin a lot earlier he would have known about closing the gates of Hell and could have been working on that already!  FFFFF

 

Never mind all the continuity and canon destroying things.  ARGGGH

 

That's why I have trouble believing that Carver has this grand plan.  Or if he does I don't have much faith in what he'll do. I mean he turned Dean into a fucking demon because....they never did that before?  Well, of course, they never did that before because fuck that.  LOL

 

I'm not bitter.

Edited by catrox14

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BTW, another indicator of the 'experience' thing I'm babbling about is Robbie Thompson talking about Dean's traumatic childhood. I think Kripke was more like 'suck it up Dean' and Robbie resonates with the AUDIENCE vibe that Dean's parentification was traumatizing.

 

I don't know that I'd say Kripke's view was just "suck it up" and didn't consider that their childhoods were traumatizing; I think he very well knew that, but I also think he didn't want these guys to be the type of people that would let their childhoods define them as adults. And I don't think I would generalize that the audience has a specific vibe, especially this particular audience. For me, I do think that their childhoods were traumatizing, but they are now grown ass men and at what point do you stop using your childhood as an excuse to make poor decisions as an adult. Dean is almost 40-years-old now, might be time he move past that. In some ways, both Sam and Dean were far more adult and men when the biggest child of them all was running the show than I see currently. So, yeah, I personally preferred Kripke's approach of knowing where they came from, but also growing up and moving beyond that.

 

 

I will agree to disagree with you about Carver knowing what he's doing...seriously, the commentaries on S8 episodes are what sealed the deal for me though.

Edited by DittyDotDot
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I am only less annoyed about this DVD extra because I was so pissed off by all the Season 8 commentary that expectations were super low. This whole thing comes across as the kind of PR that tries to manipulate audience response. Season 9 was not a very well written arc, Sam's actions were not well explained and a large chunk of the audience ended up super pissed off at him - so they are using this opportunity to say, nono, Sam was right to be an ass, it's because Dean was so selfish! It's manipulative as fuck, and this kind of thing is NEVER going to have the response they want. This is not how you get the audience to like a character, there needs to be something onscreen, the creators SAYING you should like them after the fact is not going to change any minds. They cannot retroactively tell us how to interpret what we watched.

 

Now I'm really annoyed and no longer sure I want to buy the DVD. Soooooo not a fan of Carver. Ugh. 

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- The impression I'm left with is that Dean is paying for the consequence of stopping the trial and his bouncing from one rash act to another is why he's a demon. Yes, I think they are putting the blame of Demon!Dean at least partially on Dean's shoulders.

 

I`d say fully because Carver was all about the blame-game at Comic Con. And, to be honest, I`ve never once heard him say a complimentary thing about Dean`s character. You listen to Carver, Dean is wrong for breathing - when he isn`t an irrelevant loser, that is.

 

Meanwhile Sam is the epic trial hero who should be worshipped by everyone. Even Death fangirls him. And no matter what, Sam is right. He was wonderfully mature at the beginning of Season 8, his totally vile speech in The Purge is probably considered gospel truth and so on and so forth.

 

Hey, Carver, I just love being told to live in the buttcrack of a specific character. It`s not like I can or even want to make up my mind about how a character acts (and how he is acted) on my own. Nope, just point me in the right direction and I`ll lemming myself along. And in no way was the Purge speech a complete, unforgiveable deal-breaker to me. P.S:: I hope you know what sarcasm is, Mr.Carver.

 

The mockumentary was cute and funny but this featurette sucked ass. I never even bothered with the Season 8 DVD commentaries because "news from Sam`s ass" is not exactly my favourite channel.

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I've been saying for some time now that I never thought Carver liked Dean.  And for me turning Dean into a demon was complete character assassination. I mean that is pretty much the literal worst thing you could do to one of the two lead characters  in the SPN universe that has been heroic and saved people and hunted things. 

 

I don't know. Maybe the stuff that makes it all add up is left on the cutting room floor or something.

 

 

ETA: I do think it's interesting with Jared too that he talks about how much he enjoys playing different Sams but now he just wants Sam to get back to being the Sam that saves his brother. I wonder how he felt about Sam not looking for Dean. I've never heard him talk about that much

Edited by catrox14

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Next season Sam is also going to go dark to save Dean. I will be patiently waiting for the Season 10 DVD extras, where every writer and cast member calls Sam selfish too. Oh wait. /bitter

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I really don't think they will call Sam selfish though. I think they will say, Sam was desperate and loved his brother so much he would do even bad things to save him much like Dean acted selfishly to save Sam. 

 

Taking more thoughts to the showrunners thread.

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Nah, it will be Dean`s responsibility in the aftermath. Sam only makes good decisions. Bad decisions made my Sam miraculously are decisions made by Dean. 

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I don't watch the commentaries.  I don't watch the featurettes.  I don't watch deleted scenes.  I don't want anyone telling me how I should feel about the show -- that includes the people who make it.

 

I also don't want to be told, "Well, we made some decisions in the writers' room that we just didn't have time for in the episode.  So when so-and-so says/does this, what he really means is...."

 

I don't want to have to read between the lines.  I don't want to have to search for context clues or bonus material.  I don't mind reading interviews, but I shouldn't have to scour the internet to figure out what's going on in any given season.  If you want us, the audience, to have certain information, give it to us in the episodes.

 

If you expect us to go out of our ways to understand what's going on, you really shouldn't be surprised that sections of the audience don't view the story lines the way you do.  JMO.

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Preach it sister D!

 

I listen to the commentaries because I have a weird desire to know how things work, like hearing how they shoot certain scenes and stunts and stuff. But, I've also been known to be really annoyed at commentaries that use their time to explain what didn't get explained in the episode proper. I think it's a massive fail if you didn't get your point across without the commentary explanation.

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I watch the commentaries because I love BTS stuff so for me I'll still do that.

 

I like to think I'm a reasonably savvy viewer.  I admit I'm not always strong with subtext at least not that I can explain it. But I have always been more focused on characters than plots. Certain things drive me crazy with plots being dropped or have giant holes but I fanwank that shit. It's when the characterizations change for no clear or discernible or viable reasons that I get twitchy.Like with Sam in s8 and Dean in s5 and the beginning of s6 and then you throw in really stupid plot reasons for big character changes that did not come about organically. I fully expect characters to change and evolve over time but not when it's whiplashy and nonsensical without a really compelling story reason for that to happen. It's annoying and aggravating for me. And it becomes more annoying when a showrunner is trying to explain what that was when it is pretty much the opposite of what I saw on screen. 

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I completely agree a show should stand on it's own without DVD commentaries, extras or external media whatsoever.  And if it doesn't that's the showrunner's fault.

 

OTOH, I watched all 11 hours of the Lord Of the Rings Edition X 4 separate commentaries plus EVERY single extra feature, including the gallery.  I bet I have over 80 hrs invested in that trilogy.  It's my thing.  I love the total immersion experience and knowing all the nooks and crannies. I didn't have to watch it to enjoy the movies but I really enjoyed what I learned in the extras. So...it enhanced my experience.

 

I see no different with the Supernatural DVD's extras. If you want the extra material and it enhances your enjoyment, then yay.  If you don't want it, then that's your call. 

 

Can the commentaries/interviews/documentaries change "canon"? Isn't that the real question?  My interpretation of anything that got left on the cutting room floor (i.e. deleted scenes) is that it's not in the show and the show-runners won't reference it. So, for example, in S8... when Crowley and Sam have that excellent conversation about Sam killing Crowley right after the trials.  Well, it didn't make the episode so ...it didn't actually happen in the series.  Did it influence how I look at Crolwey?  Potentially.  I'm not smart enough to usually keep all that in my head (what made the cut, what did not).  So there is probably lingering effect.  OTOH, I don't think I've ever intentionally included a deleted scene as rationale for a POV.  Could be wrong.  But I think it's not right to do that because it didn't make the as-broadcasts.  What about commentary?  Well it informs me to be sure.  I'm not sure I'd let my impression of something hinge on extra material. At least not on purpose. Finally, as I said above, I think Carver & company are actively trying to shape viewer experience with their documentaries.  But that doesn't mean they are telling the truth.  So... I take it for what it is....another data source.

 

Which leads me to:

- It sure LOOKS like they are going to pin this mostly on Dean.  We'll see.

- catroz14, loved your rant about Sam's soft-pedelling on Dean's bloodlust. So TRUE.

- Aryen, I don't feel like I'm being told to live in Sam's buttcrack. So... I'll agree to disagree with you on that one.

 

Bottom line: grain of salt.  I think there's data there that I will factor in as I watch. I will scour every minute of the DVD when I get it.  But I don't think using that as the basis of a position is warranted as I'm not sure there's actual truth in every part of it and telling what is/isn't true is a shooting match. 

Edited by SueB

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Which leads me to:

- It sure LOOKS like they are going to pin this mostly on Dean.  We'll see.

 

Like I said, I think the authorial intent will be all "bad, wrong, evil, loser, no good character trait whatosever, all his fault" and gleefully done on top of it. However, I also believe they are incompetent enough - and Jensen is good enough - to cushion the blow as much as possible. So yes, we`ll see. 

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I tend to stay away from commentaries in any form as much as I can. That means, no twitters, promos, DVD commentaries, interviews, you name it, I avoid it.

Only what's on the show is what I consider "canon". Not what the writers think or say they intended, not what actors might or might not like, no deleted scenes....

 

Once a show is over, that's when I dig in and when I feel I can adequately evaluate whether they've been successful with their vision if they had one and even manage to explain it.

 

The material needs to stand on its own for me.

 

The only thing I do watch are gag reels. But they really have nothing to do with the material per se.

 

Especially in TV, there is a long way from script to finished product, and there is so much that can go wrong. I don't want to think about all that. Not while I'm watching.

 

That way, I've never been annoyed or influenced by all this background stuff while the show is on. It's hard these days but not impossible.

 

Of course, there is the little voice in my head that can't wait until Supernatural is over so I can finally have a look at all this stuff.

 

Maybe that's why I prefer watching shows after they are over. ;-)

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Warning: My opinion only coming up. If in any part I don't stress that enough, please know that it applies to my whole post. Also potential rant ahead...

 

{excerpts}: I completely agree a show should stand on it's own without DVD commentaries, extras or external media whatsoever.  And if it doesn't that's the showrunner's fault.

 

 Finally, as I said above, I think Carver & company are actively trying to shape viewer experience with their documentaries.  But that doesn't mean they are telling the truth.  So... I take it for what it is....another data source.

 

Bottom line: grain of salt.  I think there's data there that I will factor in as I watch. I will scour every minute of the DVD when I get it.  But I don't think using that as the basis of a position is warranted as I'm not sure there's actual truth in every part of it and telling what is/isn't true is a shooting match. 

 

For me, it's even more complicated than that, because what the showrunners say may actually be true, but it could be beside the point. What I mean by that is that for me more recently, the narrative and the showrunner explanations seem to be damning with faint praise. I'll explain: It's like in an episode of "American Idol" or one of those other singing reality shows where a singer is performing on stage (and usually it is a woman, because it's for some reason more common to do with a woman and/or the judge feels they should more strongly) and I know that something has gone wrong in the performance, and there's no fixing it. The music ends, the applause cools, and the judge says "First, I want to say that you look beautiful tonight," and I cringe a little bit, because while likely true, it's mostly beside the point. The main point was to sing well, not to just look good, so the compliment is mainly lip service.

 

And I feel this is sort of what they have been doing with Sam's character lately - it's all so much lip service. The commenters can imply all they want that not looking for Dean was somehow finally letting go and the "mature" thing to do - and that may even be partially true - but it is beside the point, because in actuality this is not what the show is about. The show is about family and saving people and hunting things, and in that - especially when it comes to Kevin but also Dean and to a leser extent the population at large, since Sam stopped hunting in general - Sam failed and the show took sadistic glee in pointing that out: through Kevin's "eeeeat me"s, through Dean's pain in not being looked for, in the fact that Amelia was also ultimately a failure, through Sam's over the top defensiveness/deflecting, through their insistence in not giving Sam any sympathetic reason for doing what he did - at all, through Charlie's "if anyone can do it you can" (which isn't directly saying "you can do it." It's again, lip service.), through Garth's "Bless his soul" comment.

 

So damning with faint praise, in my opinion, because in the areas/themes that matter on the show, the showrunners are pointing rather strongly in my opinion, that Sam has generally been a failure (unless he comes around to Dean's thinking) even as they are "praising" him for something minor that in the grand scheme of things isn't considered important on this show and never has been. (i.e. Sam's "education" and (sometimes) want for a "normal" life has never been respected by the show, nor shown to be anything that should be pursued, and when it is, it only leads to badness for everyone around Sam and for Sam himself. (And Dean too, when he tried it, which it was pointed out was Sam's fault due to the promise: since Chuck made it clear that Dean wouldn't have chosen it for himself.) Based on the narrative, the brothers are always stronger together, and that's when they save the world. Therefor that type of "maturity" from Sam is irrelevant in terms of the show. It might look pretty, but it's not the nuts and bolts of the show.)

 

And in some ways for me, it's the opposite with Dean. The showrunners may be saying that Dean's decisions are rash, selfish, blah, blah, blah, but in actuality, this is the type of behavior the narrative seems to show is noble and good. It's why in the plot proper Dean's often rash decisions usually work while Sam's well-considered ones usually fail. It's why we often see Dean's point of view and the motivations for the things he does explained while Sam's motivations are often glossed over. It's why it has been implied that no matter what Dean is going to do as a demon,

we're going to wonder which brother is the real monster - meaning that the writers are going to likely portray what Sam does as worse.

And as others have pointed out above, it's what the show actually shows that is the most relevant and important. Anything else is just lip service, in my opinion.

 

{excerpts}: In s8, Sam spends exactly 0 seconds looking for Dean or Kevin at all, and that was made out to be a healthy thing because Sam moved on and honored a stupid non-agreement but then it was bad because Sam realized he needed to do something about Kevin.

 

And all of that was supposed to be heroic and loving brothers saving each other by the end of s8 

 

Only now in s9, that's retconned into being a totally selfish act because Dean chose Sam over closing the gates of Hell.

 

That's why I have trouble believing that Carver has this grand plan.  Or if he does I don't have much faith in what he'll do. I mean he turned Dean into a fucking demon because....they never did that before?  Well, of course, they never did that before because fuck that.  LOL

 

I'm not bitter.

 

I don't think it was made out to be healthy that Sam didn't look for Dean - at least not on the show. As I mentioned above, I think the show plot and character actions and words pointed to the opposite actually. The commentary, in my opinion, was American Idol damning with faint praise rather than the real opinion of the showrunners.

 

And I believe that the show still thinks that the end of season 8's finale was the heroic thing, even as they protest/imply otherwise.

 

As for Carver's grand plan, to me it appeared to be to try to make the show into some sort of soap opera no matter what he had to do to the characters to get there. I was just so relieved that Amelia didn't turn out to be pregnant, I just put that first part of season 8 in a box and closed it up. Because it made almost no sense.

 

{excerpt}: I've been saying for some time now that I never thought Carver liked Dean.  And for me turning Dean into a demon was complete character assassination. I mean that is pretty much the literal worst thing you could do to one of the two lead characters  in the SPN universe that has been heroic and saved people and hunted things.

 

I disagree, first because as I said above, it appears to me based on plot that the writers are on Dean's side in terms of what's noble for this show - family loyalty and foolish bravery. Also it was made perfectly clear before Dean became a demon that Dean didn't want to become a demon even if it meant he would die, potentially damning him to hell or purgatory again (heroic sacrifice) - and additionally that Sam likely would've tried to save him anyway (hypocritical behavior and/or lying). Contrast that with the end of season 4 where it was shown that Sam knew he might potentially become a monster, and he decided to see his plans through anyway, whereas Dean would've even risked losing Sam by locking him in the panic room so that Sam wouldn't become a monster. So which is what the writers truly agree with, I don't know for sure. But I do know that if it was wrong for Dean to supposedly save Sam via Gadreel, then it was wrong for Sam to say "I lied," so my guess is it's that the brothers are supposed to sacrifice and go to those lengths for each other? If so, then Dean becoming a demon would've happened one way or another, since as Sam said, he would've tried to bring Dean back. I think they are both going to look "bad" :: writer wink, wink:: (since I think this kind of total family loyalty is actually what the writers consider noble and good, despite their "protestations.").

 

What the commentary says and what they are showing are two varying things, in my opinion, and it is what they are showing that is the main message.

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Awesome04000, I completely get what you are saying about "damning with faint praise".  I felt that how they handled Sam in S8 really had that feel to it as well.  I'm not so sure about S9. 

 

 

Once a show is over, that's when I dig in and when I feel I can adequately evaluate whether they've been successful with their vision if they had one and even manage to explain it.

This is why I binge watch too.  Since I binged watch S1-S8 I really felt more in touch with the broad strokes of the story than the details.  As I said back on TWOP, weekly watching is a bit of an experiment.  Surprisingly, I'm loving it.  Not as awesomesauce as binge-watching, but the live tweeting makes it more fun for me.

 

But as I said above, I agree, the show STORY is what they put on air. That's the canon. But I do think Carver & company are playing around with using an engagement style that is different than other shows.  I don't know of any show that metas as much as this show metas in the history of meta. 

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The problem I have with them trying to use the commentary and BTS to move us to think something vs what I think has played out on screen does not enhance the experience. It tends to work the opposite because it's like NO showrunner, don't try to mansplain what I've seen. (sorry it feels like mansplaining) to a primarily female audience. Don't tell me the characters I've been watching for 196 episodes are selfish dicks, when I know better.

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The problem I have with them trying to use the commentary and BTS to move us to think something vs what I think has played out on screen does not enhance the experience.

 

Exactly. This is my problem with the commentary. I think Carver does have a (vague) vision of sorts - the flip side to Kripke's story arc of choosing family (i.e. the extremes of toxic codependency, complete with horrible consequences or whatever... to be resolved by finding some kind of *healthy balance* by the end of his three year arc). I don't even hate the idea itself. Yes love for each other saved the world that one time, but is it always the right choice? It could have been interesting, but it was just soooo badly executed, since it was basically a sudden unexplained 180 (family = BAD now!! Leaving your brother to die = maturity!!). *eyeroll* It isn't connecting with the audience, so he keeps using PR opportunities as a forum to justify his crappy writing. Just, no. What he intended to write? That's not what happened onscreen. It's like, he wanted the audience to sympathize with Sam and blame Dean this season, that's the story he wanted to tell - but a lot of the audience still adores Dean and blames Sam. And now he is just stamping his feet and stubbornly insisting that we are watching it wrong, when the truth is that he is just not a very good writer and didn't get his point across. 

 

/end rant. I turned into a super bitter Dean!girl lol. It's not even that I need validation from his commentary or anything like that. Just that this is making me quite pessimistic about the direction of next season, and I was actually excited for once after so many years. Ugh. 

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It's like, he wanted the audience to sympathize with Sam and blame Dean this season, that's the story he wanted to tell - but a lot of the audience still adores Dean and blames Sam.

I think you are right -- he expected more sympathy with Sam than he got. Personally I could see the 'man behind the curtain' in the way Sam's hurt turned into Dean isolation.  So I could still empathize with Sam because 1) he deserved empathy and 2) the miscommunication contrivance machine was on "SuperHigh" setting.  But I do agree, I think Carver thought he did a better job then he did. 

 

I'm expecting Dean to be a super-asshole at the start of S10 because 1)demon and 2) corrective action by Carver.

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Once again - my opinions only coming up - standard warnings for such apply...

 

Awesome04000, I completely get what you are saying about "damning with faint praise".  I felt that how they handled Sam in S8 really had that feel to it as well.  I'm not so sure about S9.

 

Oh it's definitely more prominent in season 8 for me as well. Season 9 is more subtle so to speak. More like saying well Sam has a right to be angry... while at the same time sympathizing with all Dean is doing (because it upholds the family first thing the show seems to love) in the narrative, and making sure that the audience understands Dean's point of view and to further that: making sure that Sam is a complete jerk about it (so it's almost like Sam "deserves" what he got: see how ungrateful and non-understanding Sam is... i.e. a repeat of season 4 stuff.) So they give with one hand with words: "Sam has right to be angry," and take away with the other hand with actions: having Sam act like a non-sympathetic, unforgiving jerk who on top of that end up being a hypocrite, because in the end he'd do the same damn thing. So perhaps more lip service than damning with faint praise in the case of season 9, but the result is pretty much the same in my opinion. What they are saying in the commentaries is not what they are showing in the show.

 

{Excerpt}:  It isn't connecting with the audience, so he keeps using PR opportunities as a forum to justify his crappy writing. Just, no. What he intended to write? That's not what happened onscreen. It's like, he wanted the audience to sympathize with Sam and blame Dean this season, that's the story he wanted to tell - but a lot of the audience still adores Dean and blames Sam. And now he is just stamping his feet and stubbornly insisting that we are watching it wrong, when the truth is that he is just not a very good writer and didn't get his point across. 

 

/end rant. I turned into a super bitter Dean!girl lol. It's not even that I need validation from his commentary or anything like that. Just that this is making me quite pessimistic about the direction of next season, and I was actually excited for once after so many years. Ugh. 

 

I'm not so sure that Carver's main intent was to have the audience sympathize with Sam and blame Dean at all. If that is what Carver really wanted that would've been really easy to do. He could've had Dean do all the things that he did and then have Sam 1) forgive Dean, 2) be understanding about why Dean did it (both of which could have been in character for Sam based on previous seasons [not including season 8] and Sam's experiences - see Sam's forgiving Castiel as an example), and 3) not have Sam verbally attack Dean in the worst possible way, taking away 3 years of character growth and resetting him to season 4 - which to me already wasn't explained all that well as to why Sam was acting that way).

 

And for me, it isn't like this was a close call - the dialogue and Sam's actions here were not at all subtle. They were brutal and deliberate (as @SueB mentioned: working the contrivance machine). For Carver to be shocked that these things would be taken as non-sympathetic to me seems ridiculous. When you have one brother telling the other that he's always been selfish, only does things if he doesn't have to take the consequences (even though that brother went to hell for 40 years as a consequence - like the audience would forget that), and that he basically always screws everything up, you're pretty much throwing the "total ass" door wide open and aren't really all that concerned about the audience seeing the brother saying that as sympathetic - at least in my opinion, you're not. To me what you're hoping for is to have it both ways - try to milk the situational sympathy for Sam and at the same time garner sympathy for Dean, with the later one being much more important based on the amount of character dinging on Sam used to accomplish it (IMO).

 

To me what Carver now seems to be lamenting and/or trying to correct in these commentaries is that his have his cake and eat it too ruse didn't work - which duh, in my opinion. As for getting his point across as you mention, I think Carver got his main point across just fine - which in my opinion was sympathy for why Dean did what he did - but he's annoyed that he couldn't get away with his partial character assassination of Sam to do it, so now he's giving the usual lip service to Sam's character after the fact like he tried to do in season 8 even though it didn't work then either, and he learned nothing from that then.

 

And I'm not so sure about your prediction for season 10, SueB, because again, I don't expect Dean's actions not to be balanced out by more crappy behavior from Sam so that we'll have sympathy for Dean and/or to make sure that Dean doesn't look so bad in comparison. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if they have Sam sacrificing puppies and kittens next season (not a spoiler - ;) ) though I'm sure the season 10 commentaries will explain that Sam did it because he thought it was necessary and besides the puppies were abandoned anyway.

 

(Mcolleague - I guess I've turned into a somewhat bitter Samgirl since season 8.)

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I'm not so sure that Carver's main intent was to have the audience sympathize with Sam and blame Dean at all.

 

Hmm maybe intent is not the right word. I think Carver assumed the audience would sympathize with Sam and blame Dean. He thinks that Sam is right, Dean is wrong - and he didn't expect or understand so many people siding with Dean and being mad at Sam. To him, this is the wrong reaction (to me, this is because of his bad writing but whatever). He assumed we would agree that what Sam said in The Purge was a "harsh truth". That's clearly how he sees it, that what was said there was truth - and he keeps reiterating this in interviews, Dean was selfish, Dean brought this upon himself. Instead, a large portion of the audience had a WTF this is utter BS reaction to that conversation - since as you say, noone was likely to forget about the forty years in hell. I mean, Sam WAS wronged and deserved some sympathy, I don't even disagree with that. I think Carver just really overestimated how far that sympathy would extend. Also he is just so completely out of sync with how most viewers see Dean, and Sam was Carver's mouthpiece, so, some collateral damage there. 

 

As for the rest of the season, Dean did a lot of very unsympathetic things too IMO, way more than Sam. Letting Gadreel possess Sam, Kevin dying, all the violence later even towards women, and his declaration of a Deantatorship - I think these were unambiguously very unsympathetic things. Dean is just a really resilient character with the fans when it comes to the character assassination, partly because Jensen is an appealing actor, and partly just because the fandom was so starved for a Dean mytharc by this point that everyone was too busy cheering to care what he did lol. 

 

Anyway, we are not really disagreeing on too much, AwesomeO4000. I don't like Carver any better than you do, and he hasn't done either character any favours. 

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I agree that we are agreeing on more than not, but this...
 

and Sam was Carver's mouthpiece,

 

just seems odd to me. With everything that Carver had Sam do in season 8, I don't see this... or at least it doesn't make sense to me.

 

The rest of this post moved to the writers and showrunners thread.

Edited by AwesomO4000

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But as I said above, I agree, the show STORY is what they put on air. That's the canon. But I do think Carver & company are playing around with using an engagement style that is different than other shows.  I don't know of any show that metas as much as this show metas in the history of meta. 

 

And, this might be part of the problem; they seem to get caught up in the "gag" and let it overrun the story anymore--but that's probably a personal thing and wasn't at all what I started to say.

 

Moved to Supernatural Smackdown thread...

 

Do we need a Supernatural vs other shows thread?

Edited by DittyDotDot

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