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  • "I'm Sorry, Have You Met Me?" I'm LK!

    People, like Piper, pop up in the strangest places.
    Naturally, we are curious about them.
    With this in mind, it’s should be fun to learn more about the writing staff here at The Winchester Family Business.

    So...WFB's writing staff was challenged to select eleven questions to answer from an extensive list.

    When you are done reading, we would like to challenge you to answer a few of the questions that our staff member answered.
    Long-time visitors or new ones...
    We'd like to get to know you better, too.

    Welcome another brave writer who accepted the SEASON ELEVEN/ ANSWER ELEVEN CHALLENGE!

  • “I’m Sorry, Have You Met Me?" I'm Nate!

    Too much time passes and old friends seem like strangers.
    Not enough time can make strangers stay strangers.
    With this in mind, it's time to POP by for a visit with our Contributing Staff at THE WINCHESTER FAMILY BUSINESS.

    The WFB Writing Staff was challenged to select eleven questions to answer from an extensive list. 
    When you are done reading, we would like to challenge you to answer a few of the questions that our staff member answered.
    Long-time visitors or new ones, we'd like to get to know you better, too.

    Welcome another brave writer who accepted the SEASON ELEVEN/ ANSWER ELEVEN CHALLENGE!

  • “I’m Sorry, Have You Met Me?” I'm KAREN!

    There are people we've heard of, but never really got to know (Like Sully was to Dean). 
    Sometimes we run into old friends and realize we've changed and we need time to reconnect with each other (Like Sully and Sam's friendship).
    With this in mind, it's a sensible idea to visit with our Contributing Staff here at The Winchester Family Business.

    The WFB Writing Staff was challenged to select eleven questions to answer from an extensive list. 
    When you are done reading, we would like to challenge you to answer a few of the questions that our staff member answered.
    Long-time visitors or new one, We'd like to get to know you better, too.

    And, I hope all y'all are thirsty....

    Welcome another brave writer to accept the SEASON ELEVEN/ ANSWER ELEVEN CHALLENGE!

  • A Deeper Look at Supernatural Season Eleven Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester.  Let’s face it, his character is iconic.  The big brother, the protector of all bad, the macho hero in the leather jacket with the smart mouth… He’s that “no chick-flick” moments kind of guy that underneath it all has a soft and tender side who loves chick flicks and makes women (and some men too) swoon.  That tender side is most evident when his brother is involved and his quirky angel friend with some real self esteem issues.  Hell, he’s even the main voice of reason to the freaking King of Hell himself.  

    I’ve traced Dean’s journey of growth and despair ever since season three, a season where he hit a point of “self actualization.”  Since then his journey has been captivating.  So what happened in season 11?  Oh man, what did happen? Instead of any kind of growth, we got a meandering Dean Winchester cliche who more found himself in situations based on happenstance than any sort of destiny.  He was walking the walk, talking the talk, and it all ended with Dean playing family counselor, providing off the cuff advice to save the world.  He didn’t get to play hero a lot of the time or be the bold and brash leader we have grown to love.  He was just…there.  You know that the writers clearly hit a wall in season 11 when they had no idea what to do with a character that helped define their series.  

  • A Deeper Look at Supernatural Season Eleven Sam Winchester

    I’ve really struggled with putting together my “Deeper Look” articles this season, both for Sam and Dean.  We were given 23 episodes and that is usually plenty of time to do a deep character examination. Season Eleven went a different way though, different than any other season before it.  Character development was a sorry after thought.  That’s been a troubling trend in the last few seasons but season eleven really dropped the ball.  Turns out it is the worst season yet for characterization. 

    The potential for Sam and Dean’s characters to do epic things and grow as human beings was there at the beginning.  TV writers often like to push their characters into spirals with the eventual goal of moving them forward (you can’t go up without going down sort of thing), so the setup was there, but nothing happened.  Dean was intended to fall into a serious low this year with his attraction to Amara, but that didn’t quite happen the way it should have.  Instead of a spiral, he quietly slipped into a boring holding pattern that did little to no justice for his character.  But I’ll cover all that in my segment for Dean.  This analysis is about Sam.  

    Half a season of effort went into Sam.   The rest was throwing him into clichéd MOTW case mode, acting out of character, and then just outright pretending he wasn’t a relevant character.  I’m not happy that Sam became waterboy for God instead of hero, but that’s not what has made me unhappy about his character overall.  It was the writers not following through on what they started because the writing got lazy and disorganized as the season progressed.   Once the “big reveal” about Sam’s visions happened in episode nine, which honestly wasn’t all that big a reveal since fans are smart, Sam was pushed more and more to the background until he was utterly useless in the end.  That’s exactly what shouldn’t be happening to one of the two main characters.  

    Where did the writers go wrong?  Let’s look at some key episodes. 

  • Accepting Your Nominations! The WFB Supernatural Season 11 Fan Choice Awards

    Another “Supernatural” season has come and gone and you know what that means.  It's time for our annual awards!  Season Eleven especially is offering some very interesting choices.  Categories that have been thin in the past have plenty of potential this year!  

    Ever since season seven a certain number of award categories have been set aside by me and offered to you, the SPN fans.  It gives you all that chance to be heard - the good, bad, and the indifferent – because I care.  Before I can come up with a final vote though, I need nominations!  I mean after all, do you really want me picking options?  (Muhahaha...)

    As in prior years, I have pre-selected 16 award categories where you all will eventually select the winner.  Below are those categories.  Just list your nominations for each category in the comments through 11:59 pm ET on Wednesday June 22nd.  The most popular nominations in each category will be chosen and used for the final fan vote (five to seven per category).  If we don’t get enough nominations in a category, then the rest become admin’s choice!  

    Fan vote results will be announced first as part of our "Supernatural Season Eleven Awards" series.  As with prior years, there will be several Editor's Choice awards this year too.  I have so much to say!      
     
    Here are the categories.  Remember, only nominations from season eleven episodes will be accepted. 

  • Alice and Nate's Take On...Best and Worst Supernatural Season Finale

    It all started after the season eleven finale aired.  I declared in my review on "Alpha and Omega" that season 11 is the worst finale in series history.  Nate Winchester begged to differ, and told me in an email why there was another even worse.  That naturally led to some back and forth and it eventually evolved into a whole “best vs. worst” debate.  The end result was just too good not to share.  

    So what are our choices for best season finale and worst season finale in "Supernatural's" history? 
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 11.17, "Red Meat" aka a Hurt!Winchester Visual Fiesta

    I’ve been reviewing “Supernatural” a long time.  I started way back in season three and a few hundred episodes later I’m still looking at each one of these episodes under a microscope.  It’s amazing how many of these eps, especially in the hands of lesser writers, become paint by number affairs.  Tell a standard MOTW story by using the same formula – Sam and Dean play Feds and interview witnesses, engage the MOTW, suffer a setback, maybe get a lesson learned, and then triumph over their adversary, ready to live another day and do it all over again. 

    This was NOT that episode. 
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 11.20 - "Don't Call Me Shurley" aka When Metaphysics and Psychology Collide

    Eric Kripke and Robbie Thompson get together in a bar and…tell me if you’ve heard this one before. 

    Oh my, my, “Don’t Call Me Shurley” really went in a ballsy direction, didn’t it?  I’m personally stunned.  No doubt this is a polarizing episode because it basically listened to six years of non-stop fan complaints and decided to do something about it.  While that might thrill some, it also upsets others.  No matter what side you fall, one cannot discount what this episode brings to the table.  
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 11.01, "Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire"

    The words “Season Eleven” just about says it all (insert your own “This one goes to 11" joke here).  In one way you’re just shocked that your favorite show is still on the air and that you have something to look forward to on your Wednesdays each week.  On the flip side, the show isn’t what it used to be and the MOTW storytelling and over-sweeping arcs can get tiresome at times.  It’s a “been there, done that” sort of thing.  Luckily, “Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire” brought something to the table we haven’t seen in a while.  It turned out to be an enjoyable, yet familiar hour. 

    Was the episode a barnburner?  No.  Was it better than “We Need to Talk About Kevin?”  Yes.  Was it better than “I Think I’m Gonna Like it Here?”  Oh yes.  Was it better than “Black?”  Light years yes. 

    It felt like a “Supernatural” episode to me for starters.  The story flowed well and I never lost interest.   The dialogue was great (no one does dialogue better than Carver).  There were light moments.  The side stories didn’t dominate or distract too much from the main action yet they were enjoyable as well.  I think ultimately though, this episode kicked off the season with a premise of which we all can get onboard.   It’s everything I’ve felt that’s been missing in this show for a while now.  “Hunting Things” is only half the bumper sticker.   We need that other half. 
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 11.02, "Form and Void" aka Dark vs. Light

    "In the beginning, there was only dark. You ask me, the light's winning."

    Okay, you got me.  I snagged that line from “True Detective.”  Still, isn’t is appropriate?  The phrase “form and void” comes from the bible, the second chapter of Genesis.  “And the earth was ‘formless and void’ and the darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.”  Given what we saw in this second episode of season eleven, it looks like we’re starting over with Genesis.  The battle between darkness and light, good vs. evil, sin vs. purification.  We’re in for a heck of a ride.  

    Looking back at seasons nine and ten, “Supernatural” hasn’t had a lot of luck in weaving multiple stories together.  A lot of times one will stand out while the others turn out to be slow filler.  That is not the case at all with “Form and Void.”  All three stories stood out and blended together perfectly.  Each one had a purpose and played a major role in building the new storyline.  Not once did I look at my watch or wonder why my time was being wasted with a secondary character when there’s a Winchester in peril in the A plot.   Not that I wouldn’t have been happy with an hour of Sam struggling with the idea that he’s about to die, but what we got was good as well.  

    As things progressed I got more engrossed in the outcome, and by the thrilling end the theme was clear, where there is darkness there is light.  Light is not a half bad thing when you’re a Winchester.  Let’s look at each individual story, from dark to light.  
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 11.03, "The Bad Seed" aka an Angel and a Demon Walk into a Bar...

    Umm… yeah.  Okay, let’s do this. 

    Allow me to start this review with a rant against the very thing that I think is sinking network television.  Our time as TV watchers is very limited.  More and more shows are out there competing for attention, not to mention the vast network of social media that causes massive distractions in our free time space.  That being said, there is no room in our TV viewing for filler anymore.  When an inferior, poorly constructed, momentum killing hour of television happens in a TV show’s season, that does not help the viewer in maintaining any kind incentive to keep watching said TV show every week.  Our standards can be higher because the competition with tightly written 13 episode a season shows on cable is fierce. 
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 11.04, "Baby" aka Working on Those Night Moves

    I was a little too tall
    Could've used a few pounds
    Tight pants points hardly reknown
    She was a black haired beauty with big dark eyes
    And points all her own sitting way up high
    Way up firm and high

    Out past the cornfields where the woods got heavy
    Out in the back seat of my '60 Chevy
    Workin' on mysteries without any clues…

    Okay everybody, join in!  Workin’ on our Night Moves…
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 11.05, "Thin Lizzie" aka Fake it til You Make It (or Feel It)

    Back in season four I wrote a cheeky full length recap for what is easily one of Jeremy Carver’s stinkers, “Family Remains.”  Out of the numerous things that I chastised, one was how little we saw Sam actually doing anything.  He said he was going to the attic, and then showed up later with a report.  I was so put out that we didn’t get that attic scene that I wrote it, right there in the review.  

    What does that story have to do with “Thin Lizzie?”  Thank you new writer SPN Nancy Won, you finally gave me my Sam in the creepy attic scene.  It was marvelous.  So was your first episode. 
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 11.06, "Our Little World," aka One Busy Continuity Fairy

    I’m smiling right now.  Oh sure, “Our Little World” was a good episode, but that’s not the reason.  Its episode six into this eleventh season and except for the notorious episode 3, this season has been amazingly awesome.  And it’s all due to the one thing that I’ve been picking apart in my reviews since season six.  Writing.  Will wonders never cease.  
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 11.07, "Plush" aka Be Vewy Qwiet, We're Hunting Wabbits

    I get it, not every episode can be an epic winner, especially with a 23 episode season, but really? When the show has so much momentum right now we get this?  In the words of Sheriff Donna, “You betcha.”   

    I shouldn’t be so harsh though, because “Plush” was not a total waste.  Sure, the script was.  It was a total disaster.  Penned by writers Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder, the script was littered with bad jokes, horrible dialogue, agonizingly slow pacing, and plenty of opportunities lost for anyone that loves the CSI classic, “Fur and Loathing.”  The things they could have done!  But yeah, instead we got a wimpy, mostly filler ghost tale about what happens when a grown man likes to dress in animal and clown costumes.  Bad things people.  Bad things.

  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 11.08, "Just My Imagination" aka Manicorns and Mermaids and Air Guitar, Oh My!

    Oh show.  The things you think of when killing a Manicorn.  And digging into old childhood wounds to solve a current problem.   

    “Just My Imagination” is an excellent bridge of these recent MOTW stories to the big mytharc midseason finale happening next week.  More importantly, it contributed to the overall strength of this season and I never once uttered the word “filler.”  That’s an extraordinary feat given the high amount of filler by episode eight we’ve gotten in prior seasons.  The episode offered a refreshing change while integrating recent character struggles into the storyline, rather than relegating it to one conversation in the car.  In other words, Jenny Klein did her homework and compared notes with others.  
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 11.09 "O Brother Where Art Thou" aka Getting Screwed With Their Pants On

    Why don’t I start with something positive?  After all, whether I like it or not, this was actually one of Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming’s better scripts. “O’Brother Where Art Thou?” was a big improvement over last year’s “The Things We Left Behind.”  There, I said it.  

    Still, I'm not sure what my true feelings are.  It wasn't a brilliant hour.  In the end, it left me cold.  Maybe because when I look at the predicaments that both Sam and Dean were left, I'm not on the edge of my seat blown away.  I'm trying to process how freaking depressing the whole thing was.  How unfair.  How no matter what these guys do, the universe is screwing them with their pants on.  Again.  There are only so many distressed looks and single man tears I can take.  

    The same problem that plagues Brad and Eugenie scripts in general really hurt this episode.  The dialogue was awful.  The pacing was atrocious.  The plotting once again inspired more “WTF” reactions than actual awe.  But it wasn’t a total train wreck (were there any train whistles in this one?)  Luckily the acting delivered, Rowena very wasn’t annoying, and the direction was gorgeous.  I just wish that there was better material to work with.
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 11.10 - "The Devil in the Details" aka The Expendables

    Oh Castiel.  You adorable, well-meaning, caring, sad, misguided, pathetic and TOTALLY OUT OF YOUR FREAKING MIND AGAIN angel.  I get there wasn’t time to talk this over with Dean but…really?

    Nah, that sounds like I have displeasure with the episode.  I don’t at all.  I quite loved it.  Yeah, once again we’re left with some “fudging the rules” headscratchers, but I’m not ready to call a total foul.  What we were given works in the terms of pushing the story forward in a mind blowing way.  We like mind blowing. 
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 11.11, "Into The Mystic" aka The Golden Girls

    How about I get one point of contention out of the way first.  They named the episode “Into The Mystic” and couldn’t get the Van Morrison song?  I love that song!  It's actually one of my favorites, but I guess in a way I’m glad it wasn’t a killer song.  That might have ruined it for me.  However, given the MOTW, there was one song I ended up singing just as soon as the word was uttered: 

    Stonehenge! Where the demons dwell
    Where the banshees live and they do live well
    Stonehenge! Where a man's a man
    And the children dance to the Pipes of Pan

    Yeah, I know, it was already used in season two’s “Simon Said.”   But it was kind of perfect, no?  Okay, no.