Itâ€™s Christmas in July! What a better way to celebrate than to re-experience for only the second time the twisted, gory, heart-wrenching, fast-paced, cynical, and downright brilliant version of Christmas the Supernatural way. Kripke and Co. are a bunch of sick bastards, and we love them for it.
I tried in an exhaustive number of ways to get this review down to a reasonable length, but this episode contained an overwhelming attention to detail, and itâ€™s impossible to overlook most of these elements that made up one of the most outstanding episodes of the series. It went all out, beyond the usual great writing and acting, giving us several unique camera shots, extreme set decoration, a brilliant cast of supporting characters, loads of eye catching background details, and even a clever cover story as to why Ypsilanti Michigan was looking so lush in December.
The writer of this episode, Jeremy Carver, gives us his first solo script here, and I must wonder how many Andy Williams Christmas specials heâ€™s seen in his lifetime (I assume enough to drive him crazy). As with his other masterpiece, â€œMystery Spotâ€, this script is very diverse, offering snappy and outrageous (in a good way) dialogue, a multitude of jabs at the history of Christmas culture, a progression of scenes going at a wild yet seamless pace that blended laugh out loud moments, powerful emotional ones and very disturbing ones, and a compelling story involving Pagan lore that sucked us in from beginning to end. Plus, it ruined Christmas. What could be better?
Before I get started with this week's recap, I want to send my thanks to all of you who read and sent comments regarding my little copout from last week for "Red Sky At Morning". The feedback was fantastic and it seems many of you agreed with my choices for worst episodes. The best episodes list will be coming in a few weeks, and I'm sure I'll get far more disagreement on that one.
Anyway, "Fresh Blood" holds a special place for me, since it's the very first Supernatural episode I saw live. As I've mentioned before, I spent most of October and November catching up on season one, season two, and the first six episodes of season three. As a matter of fact, the hubby and I watched "Red Sky At Morning" on the TiVo that night before taking on "Fresh Blood", holding up our arms in triumph that we finally reached the pinnacle.
I tried. I even forced myself to watch "Red Sky At Morning" again, hoping to find someway to do a review that didn't sound like an insensitive berating of what is clearly the one off episode of the season that every show is allowed. Even Eric Kripke himself admitted that this was not a good one, so for me to give a detailed criticism of something that is already known to be bad would be the equivalent of doing a restaurant review on McDonalds. Pointless.
My mind instead got distracted by a nagging question during a mood of reflection (really, it was an intentional diversion from another boring day at work), just how bad was this episode? Did it compare with the truly stinky from the other seasons? When I look at this episode in that light, turns out, it wasn't the worst. It was the best of the worst. So, I present the top five worst episodes ever of Supernatural, from bad to just plain awful.
Episode five already? Wow, time is flying toward September, er October, er we really don't know. Just to keep everyone in the loop about the latest controversy, we don't know exactly what date Supernatural will be back in the fall. Initial reports had it the same week as when all the other CW shows premiere, the first week of September. Then, TV Guide reported last week the date for Smallville and Supernatural was actually TBA. Now Spoilerfix and The Futon Critic have it listed tentatively as October 2nd. To throw even more accelerant onto the confusion, Jared Padalecki said recently they are going to start filming early, on July 2nd. But, speculation is that's because of the potential SAG strike and many shows are going back early and not because of an earlier premiere date. So who knows? My conclusion, it's an agonizing wait no matter what.
Before I get started, I beg for a few paragraphs of self indulgence to get an issue off my chest. This is something that has been stewing for a while now, but considering it's still happening during repeats, well, I just feel like bitching. If you just want the episode review, please skip down to the next heading.
Ahem. Enough throwing Gossip Girl in my face CW! If I see another promo for Gossip Girl obscuring my view of a Winchester, I'm driving to LA and smacking Dawn Ostroff myself. I'm not in your target demographic and have no interest in your all teen network. I wouldn't even be watching this silly network if it wasn't for Supernatural, Smallville, and Reaper being pitifully stuck on it, left to flounder on their own while all I read is about is how the ninth ranked show is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Last week The CW only aired two original shows, Friday Night Smackdown and Farmer Takes A Wife. They were one and two respectively in the ratings last week, but Smackdown (4 million) is going away in September and Farmer Takes A Wife barely drew 2 million. It was almost beat out in the ratings by a Supernatural rerun (1.83 million), one that aired for the third time. Their precious Gossip Girl barely cracked a million on Monday. How is that the most buzz worthy show on the network?
I hate The CW. I hate how a brilliant, incredibly crafted show, with its fantastic acting, top notch writing, great directing and jaw-dropping story telling, not to mention critical and fan acclaim, is stuck with a network that insists on shooting itself in the foot. I saw the overall ratings statistics for all of the networks for the 2007-2008 season compared to 2006-2007, and with the exception of Fox, everyone has double digit declines. The CW, however, has declines in all demographics of 20% or more, making it easily the champion for most bleeding of viewers. Their precious 18-34 demographic lost 26%. This is the coveted market? They've thrown all their network resources toward a target demographic for a 26% decline? All networks are reporting increases in advertising upfront dollars except The CW. They stayed flat. Face it CW, most cable stations are kicking your butt in the ratings and revenue department right now, let alone other networks.
This network, no matter what image they like to project, forgets that Smallville and Supernatural are their top two scripted shows, yet they continue to alienate viewers by telling us we want to be watching teen trash instead. Reaper drew much higher ratings than Gossip Girl but almost got cancelled. Smallville is likely in its last year, or it should be considering it's clearly run its course, so I beg you Warner Brothers and ABC Television Studios, for all decency and fairness, find Supernatural and Reaper a new home and let this network crash and burn with their elusive and fickle teen demographic.
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