#9 - Bugs Attack - "Bugs"

It's not uncommon in the history of network television. Some of the funniest moments end up being the unintentional ones.

In the case of "Bugs," and particularly the scene in the attic where the bugs inexplicably manage to chew through the cedar roof and attack all while Sam, Dean and family watch like morons with no line of defense but a can of bug spray and a lighter, the fright factor is so absurd it turns out funny. By the time the bugs do get through, which is pretty much in no time, all that's left to do is flail arms and wait until dawn, which thank heavens comes two minutes later. I've seen sunrises before, and no, they don't happen in seconds. It's a wonder the show wasn't cancelled after that.

The scene itself isn't the real funny part though. It's the stories told by Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Kim Manners on filming that scene. Those interviews are infamous and funny as hell. "The Bee Story" is so legendary in fact, supernaturalwiki gave it it's own page. Here is an excerpt from one interview:

Jensen: Jared and I responded well to him. He directed in a fashion that we really liked. It's a set where guys can be guys. He was not someone who directed behind a screen by the telephone somewhere in L.A. like "do it over and over and lets close up and move on to the next set". He was in there. A story about another episode that he directed, Bugs. This was a scene where we had to get into this tiny, little room with 65,000 bees. And the whole camera crew and the set crew got this full body bee outfits on and it is "Alright, Jared Jensen, hop on in."

Jared: And don't swat them, cause that makes them angry.

Jensen: And I'll give it to Kim, he said, "You know what if you guys do not have bee suits on, I'm not either." And he went in there in shorts and a t-shirt and a monitor and sat down on a box and directed us from inside the room with bees crawling all over our faces. It's that kind of relationship with Kim.

What's funniest of all those was after all that trouble, the bees didn't even show up on the film. They had to CGI them in. Here is Kim Manners' take:

"They bring in six hundred bees, or however many bees, and I was like 'Oh my god, I can't wait to see the dailies!` But you watch the dailies and you can't tell there's one bee in that room - they just don't read on camera or they were too sluggish. (...) And you just start laughing because you put your crew in a room with hundreds of bees and then you can't even tell if there are any bees on camera. It's a bizarre job sometimes."

You be the judge, but this scene is so bad I have to laugh. It certainly can't be taken seriously.

Top Ten Funniest Scenes - #10
The mood among the fandom lately has been downright sour. Dean fans vs. Sam fans, Jensen fans vs. Jared fans, Ruby haters vs. Ruby lovers and my favorite so far, The CW haters vs. The CW haters. No lovers in that mix.

So, to lighten the mood, especially since come late February the winter weather has rendered us downright miserable, I've come up with the perfect hiatus killer. It's time to recall with delight the Top Ten Funniest Scenes for all seasons of Supernatural.

When chopping down a massive list, I usually come up with arbitrary rules to make the process easier. Not this time. I watched, and depending on how hard I laughed, that's what made the mix. Remember also, these are funniest scenes, not funniest episodes. So, while Hell House in its entirety is a treat, I couldn't single out one scene that stood above the rest. Same with Ghostfacers.

Considering it's a long hiatus and the arduous process of sharing video clips is involved, I'll be revealing one episode a day for the next ten days. Today, it's a bonus, for I'll also share my choice for Honorable Mention as well as #10.

Honorable Mention: Hell Hazers II, Again!

Some of the best comedy comes from self depreciating humor and inside jokes. "œHollywood Babylon" was loaded with those devices, making some funny laugh out loud lines. My personal favorite is Sam running at the mention of seeing the cast of The Gilmore Girls. When recalling the episode though, only one scene stands out. One that not only makes fun of the very genre that makes Supernatural thrive, but makes light of the ludicrous writing that plagues so many sequels in horror and other action genres. In other words, redundancy can be funny. So can inserting scenes from other episodes that were never quite on their game, turning them into really bad movies.

This is on the list mostly because of a personal slant, thus the honorable mention ranking. Recently I attended McG's panel for Terminator Salvation at New York Comic Con. In one of the questions he made fun of himself for getting his start with the Charlie's Angels movies. So, when I pulled out this clip yesterday to share for viewing, I finally got that inside joke and its hysterical. Considering this episode contained several slams on McG, even giving the shallow producer of Hell Hazers II that name, the mention of the Charlie's Angels movies becomes ten times funnier.

#10 - Count Dracula orders pizza - "Monster Movie"

A guy paying for a pizza with a coupon is not funny. Count Dracula paying for pizza with a coupon is borderline strange. When Count Dracula's diabolical session of cheesy torture with Dean, dressed strangely in lederhosen, is interrupted by a pissy pizza delivery dude not at all intimidated or impressed with the whole Vampire act, doesn't care if garlic is on the pizza, and wants his money now because he has other deliveries, that's amusing. When dastardly Count Dracula finally does pay, pulling out a coupon from his costume, it's hilarious. Comedy is all about timing, and that punchline wins.

Very good TV Guide.  My hats off for this brilliant scoop.  At last, the rumors can be put to rest.  I needed a good laugh today.


Once in a while, it's beneficial to look backward before going forward. Sure "After School Special" isn't embroiled with the presence of angels and Ruby leading Sam toward the darkside, but it is welcome look back at Sam and Dean's history. Thanks to crisp plotting that mixes all the elements of horror, drama, action, and comedy perfectly while giving thought provoking character studies, this episode is a big winner.
It's taken me a while to wrap my hands around this one since there's plenty to examine. That instantly earns kudos for Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin, the writers of this episode, for I love being challenged to think.   Also worth noting is a brilliant first time Supernatural appearance for director Adam Kane (credits previously are Pushing Daises and Heroes). He offers a few new tricks that add huge depth to the unfolding of this very busy story.  
Just about any opinion of Supernatural these days is unpopular, so I'll state up front I loved "Criss Angel Is A Douchebag." Not just for the title either. This episode excelled in all areas; the writing, the directing, the acting. What puts it above others is though the superb guest acting. Who knew a magic themed episode could be so gut wrenching?
Yes, the story showed another slap-you-upside-the-head parallel between Sam and Dean and the guests of the week. While such parallels are heavy handed at times, this week's managed to give the season plot a huge push forward. 
BTW, considering the word is used so much it even made it to the title, I should share the official definition of "douchebag" according to the Urban Dictionary. "Someone who has surpassed the level of jerk and asshole, however not yet reached fucker or motherfucker." I'm sure everyone's grateful for that clarification! 
The writer is newcomer Julie Siege, whose previous effort was the decent "It's The Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester." She turned out a better script this time. The director is Robert Singer, who has a knack for bringing out the emotional elements of the story. He again excelled in this one. The guest actors are the fantastic Barry Bostwick, John Rubenstein, and Richard Libertini, plus a surprise guest I'll mention later.   

For Sam fans, as promised, I'm taking on the common concerns many have voiced over the younger Winchester brother recently. I've been struggling with this analysis for a week now, unsure how to capture my views into coherent thought. Then I saw "Criss Angel Is A Douchebag" and all the pieces fell in place. Poor Sammy!

First, the ground rules. Any analysis of Sam's character will not come at the expense of Dean. This isn't pitting one brother against the other. Second, I won't be blasting the writers, Kripke, directors, casting, etc. I'm going off what we've been given, and will avoid comments that harp on supposedly lazy writing.

This works simply: I list a common complaint in bold and then give my analysis.

The best horror shows I’ve ever seen were psychological thrillers, where some twisted bastard skillfully freaked me out with mindbending twists as opposed to a hockey mask and a chainsaw. So, I had to admit the idea of Supernatural tackling such a concept in "Dream A Little Dream of Me" was pretty intriguing. How could I not embrace a story that involved the Winchester boys doing a little mind screwing of their own?

The episode didn’t disappoint me, delivering a thriller with a strange combination of vivid imagery, a very creepy yet believable villain, Shaman folklore involving Silene Capensis, big character development, a shocking look into Bobby and Dean’s heads, and a scarier glimpse of what Sam can do if in one’s head.

In preparing for this review, I thought about how I could wow everyone with some intense dream analysis drawing from the vivid symbols provided in this episode, but I backed away as soon as I tried to explain peacocks on the wall and sex with Bela. Some stuff just needs to stay unexplored. The writer of this episode was Cathryn Humphris, who stepped in to finish a story first started by Sera Gamble. I wonder if, when she was given the concept "Sam and Dean go dreamwalking in Bobby’s head," her first instinct was to run screaming. Or maybe it was homicidal, and the multiple uses of a baseball bat as a weapon might be a subtle message of her own about being tasked with this theme.

Sure, it was a repeat, but weren't we all a little excited on Thursday to go to the TV Guide and see our beloved show Supernatural listed in the lineup again? I got a little emotional, and I didn't even care what episode was on. The CW played a cruel joke on us for six weeks, and I'm glad it's over.

The episode chosen for repeat viewing was "Malleus Maleficarum", a graphically gross tale about shallow suburbanites who unwittingly sold their souls to the devil via witchcraft all in hopes of getting a better mortgage rate. The writer of this episode was Ben Edlund, who makes my short list of writers whose warped mind I most want to emulate when writing my own stuff. This wasn't his best script (that honor belongs to season two's "Nightshifter"), but I still enjoyed his unconventional view of witches and demons, and he delivered plenty of drama for the Winchester boys. There was one element in particular that made this episode stand out from others, but first let's cover the other stuff.

Wow..whoa...erm...geez...I guess that's one approach to family therapy.
From the word go, in the previews nonetheless, the message is this is gonna be an angry one. Another clue, the title, "Sex and Violence." There's definitely that.   
I didn't get to see this one live, much to my dismay. While traveling I kept looking at the clock once it approached 9pm, frowning, wondering if I could convince some bar owner in the sticks to put it on for me. The next day I downloaded the episode from iTunes and luckily I was busy at the New York Comic Con that day, for it took five hours over the slow but free wireless connection. That evening the hubby and I huddled by the laptop and watched with anticipation.
Once we picked our jaws up off the floor, we watched it again. 
This week's theme is not uncommon in the history of man. Underneath sex and violence lays mistrust, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and restlessness. Put it in the Supernatural universe though and the results are downright explosive. Cathryn Humphries is no stranger to depicting the Winchester brotherly strife in her scripts and again she went deep and raw. Unlike her brilliant "Metamorphosis," she didn't need obvious parallels, finding the perfect antagonist to screw with needy men and bitter brothers.