Sunday, March 18th, 2012
I discovered Supernatural on Netflix as the sixth season was airing on television. By the time the seventh and current season premiered, I was already caught up to season six. I quickly devoured that season as well and I’ve been able to watch most of this season as it aired.
That’s been nice, but what would be even better is if the show was worth my time. Seasons one through five were all great and the story really came to a pretty neat ending, but they decided to bring it back for a sixth season. I was skeptical, but it was actually pretty solid. Not as good as the first five perhaps, but not a huge step down.
Season seven, however, has been a huge disappointment and it’s for more reasons than I can ever hope to identify in one blog post, but here are the main points:
- The villains suck. This season’s baddies, the leviathans, are totally lame and the CG that goes with them might be even more so.
- The story sucks. The plot just doesn’t work. The villains are so “sophisticated” that Sam and Dean don’t have any idea how to bring them down. That’s really nothing new, but this time it’s more like they are trying to fight a global corporation. How can two hunters combat that?
- The writing sucks. The last episode (the one with the real estate agents) was so bad, I almost turned it off. This season has been full of one-shoot episodes (which is normal), but they lack the creativity and wit that we saw in previous seasons. I mean, the episode with the clowns…what were they thinking? And all the “dick” jokes are horribly cringe-worthy.
- There’s no suspense anymore. Sam and Dean have died so many times now, you never worry that they won’t pull through.
- Sam and Dean are miserable. They’ve seen it all and they are both clearly sick of their situation, but can’t find a way out. Their despondence is so tangible, it transfers to the viewers. There’s no hope for a happy ending any more.
- There’s nobody left. The writers have killed off every single decent secondary character. No Castiel, Bobby, Rufus, Jo, Ellen. Sam and Dean are just depressing. I need some other characters to insert some comic relief or at least take the focus off the protagonists for a minute.
- There’s no fun. All of the things that made the show awesome are gone. The Impala’s gone. They no longer play rock music each episode. Even Bobby’s house was burned down. There’s nothing left and it’s depressing as hell.
Overall, I’m just really disappointed with this season. One of the things that made me fall in love with the show was the writing. For a long time, it was fantastic. The writer’s had an excellent sense of humor, but also knew when it was time to be serious. Now, all that is gone.
I guess I should have seen it coming. I mean, what show in its seventh season is still as good as it was in the past? There are some (Seinfeld maybe), but not many. Most fall apart well before then and get cancelled.
I don’t think there are many episodes left to the season so I’m going to stick with it. But if the show comes back for an eight season, it better step it up or I’m done.
Sunday, March 4th, 2012
I’m making it official: I’m giving up on Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga.
I’m really pretty disappointed with this decision, because there are a lot of reasons why I like the series, including:
- Interesting plot. The fate of the world is on the shoulders of a bunch of kids from a small town. It’s a classic underdog scenario, but a well-loved classic. I also like the whole “wheel of time” concept too.
- Rich world. Jordan’s a pretty talented world-builder. There are a lot of rich cultures and interesting locales that add a lot of depth to the story.
- Brandon Sanderson. I recently read and enjoyed the Mistborn trilogy. I have full confidence that the finale of the series is capable hands, now that the reigns have been handed off with Jordan’s passing. I want to see how it ends and how Sanderson’s touch affects the story.
Unfortunately, there are several key factors that are making this completely impossible. To start with, I can’t get through the 5th book, Fires of Heaven. But it’s the same reasons that are preventing me from finishing that book that have made me decide to quit, including:
- The series is too long. 14 books is a lot.
- Each book is too long. The paperbacks tend to be 800 pages or more.
- Not enough happens to keep my interest. I can’t read a novel like Brent Week’s The Way of Shadow which is full of so many twists and turns that it makes your head spin, and then read The Wheel of Time which pauses over every detail and moves at a sluggish pace.
- The writing is terrible. There, I said it. Robert Jordan has a great imagination, but his writing is not up to snuff with the fantasy authors that I really enjoy.
- There’s no trust. The characters constantly lie to and keep secrets from each other. Instead of working together, they are constantly at odds, even though they are all working towards the same goal. That’s just stupid and it’s not a good enough reason to draw out the plot.
- All the women are cruel. Seriously. There isn’t a single female character that is likable in the slightest bit. They are so mean and stubborn that I don’t even understand how the human race survives.
- All the men are morons. Apparently, men are completely incapable of understanding women at all. It’s almost offensive.
- There’s no romance. I never thought I would need this in a book, but, damn, you can’t have that much sexual tension and no action.
- There’s no action. The world is in an uproar and all we get is one, maybe two fights a book. And these are long books. I need more battles, more fights, more ambushes, more scuffles…just give me some action, man!
- I’m really sick of reading about dresses.
There are more reasons, minor ones that also contribute. For example, the reason I had to stop reading Fires of Heaven was a scene between Siuan Sanche and several Aes Sedai. Siuan, the former Seat, has been stilled and the Aes Sedai now see her as completely and utterly useless. How is that even remotely possible? How can an entire group of seemingly intelligent and powerful women think that, just because a woman can no longer access the Power, that she has no more use? Was her brain also melted? No. Then, why?
I don’t know, but it’s that kind of terrible writing that has made me decide to stop reading the series. Like I said, I really enjoyed the overall plot and world, so if you can get past the little things, then you’ll probably actually enjoy the series. I can’t so I guess I’m just going to have to read the plot summaries and call it good enough.