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My dear friend Mo Ryan, with whom I've had face to face passionate discussions for both The 100 and Supernatural, wrote a very bold review about last night's major development on The 100. In it, she shared some thoughts about why she quit watching Supernatural after season 10. I've got to say, I'm in total agreement. Here are her words:

I watched “Supernatural” for 10 years before finally giving up, and I didn’t give up immediately after the show killed off Charlie (Felicia Day’s character). But it never sat right with me, never, in part because it was one of the worst-written episodes in the history of the show (and this is a show that once featured a demonically possessed truck). A great character — who is also a lesbian — got a stupid death in a crappy, astoundingly tin-eared episode for no reason. Truly, there was no defensible reason, and it really bothered me in a number of ways. But I finished out the season, even though the show had done other really dumb stuff in the past (do not start me on the pointless death of Rufus).

Various patterns had finally gotten to me, I realized the summer after Season 10 ended. Charlie’s death wasn’t just dumb, sloppily handled and pointless, it fit part of a pattern within the show of women dying in questionable ways so that men can feel (transitory) pain.

I just haven’t been able to bring myself to watch the show this season, because it’s let me down too many times and in too many ways when it should have known better. There was no excuse for the show going down that road the way it did; it was simply lazy, bad writing. “Supernatural” had just shown me, one too many times, that it didn’t care about things that matter to me. That’s OK — it doesn’t have to care! I also don’t have to watch.

There were only so many examples of sexism, large and small, that I could be expected to take, and I found after Season 10 ended that I had reached my limit. I was done, for the foreseeable future. I’m not ruling out the possibility of going back to the show again — I might! I hear the show has tried to correct and change some elements that bothered me. But after a decade of trying to digest, ignore and forgive slights, dumb patterns and problems, I just couldn’t justify the use of that mental energy for that purpose anymore.


Here's the link to the article (MAJOR SPOILER WARNING if you watch The 100 and haven't seen the episode yet).

http://variety.com/2016/tv/columns/the-100-lexa-dead-clarke-relationship-13-1201722916/

It's funny, I was so in agreement I went back and read my scathing review of "Dark Dynasty". I realize that I still haven't forgiven the show for going down this path, allowing the sloppy writing by a pair of notorious sloppy writers who will never be fired, even though I am watching season 11 and enjoying it better. For having no sensitivity to a popular fan character just for the sake of plot.

Has Supernatural solved these issues in season 11? Has the powerful female motif in this season been an attempt to address the accusations of sexism that surfaced from season 10 (and before)? Or, do you think they don't really care what happened in season 10 and have moved on? Or, is Supernatural trying to hard to address things that "matter to fans" after all the backlash from this? Do you agree with Mo's thoughts in general?

I don't have any answers myself, but I thought this would make a great topic for discussion!
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eilf
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Wow, I emphatically disagree with virtually every word pertaining to SPN in Mo Ryan's review. While I agree that Dark Dynasty was not a great episode, my objections to it had nothing to do with Charlie's death; I disliked the character and was not sorry to see her go. And while Mo Ryan and many Charlie fans felt there was no purpose served by her death, it served the purpose of triggering Dean's murderous rampage, and it also solved the problem of where to go with Charlie's character. RT had turned her into the ultimate Mary Sue, a huntress without equal; in comparison, the brothers seemed inept and not all that bright. But Charlie was a laughably unconvincing hunter IMO, and maybe Carver felt the same way. More importantly, since the brothers can never be killed off, the only way the show can maintain some dramatic tension, and have any stakes in what the brothers do, is if other recurring characters are killed off periodically. Even if I were to agree that Charlie's death was pointless, I would love to know what Mo is referring to when she points to a pattern of "women dying so men can feel transitory pain." From the very first season, the brothers have felt a great deal of pain at the deaths of women AND MEN whom they cared about. You can always argue about whether the show should've killed off certain characters beloved to the viewers, and whether there was sufficient justification for plot purposes, but SPN has been an equal-opportunity killer. So what constitutes this ostensible pattern regarding women? The deaths of Ellen and Jo were the last female deaths which truly had an enormous impact on Sam and Dean, and it was a fabulous scene that provided a fitting send off to those characters. Yet even if one thinks that theirs were meaningless deaths scripted solely to provide pain to the brothers, the five year gap between those deaths and Charlie's most certainly belies the notion of a "pattern." Do the deaths of Bobby, Rufus and Samuel amount to a pattern of ageism? Or do the deaths of Rufus and Gordon reflect racism? Nope. The deaths of SPN characters have cut across all lines of race, gender, age, and sexual orientation. Women have fared no worse than any other group. Quite honestly, I am always baffled when viewers complain about the lack of women on SPN. It is a show about two brothers in which there are only two other regular characters. That those characters are males doesn't bother me in the slightest, because the show has a long history of portraying women as rich, non-stereotyped, fleshed-out characters. And what I love is that it does so in a matter-of-fact fashion. Countless strong women have been depicted, from law enforcement personnel to hunters to bad guys to working women to mothers, etc, and rarely are any of them reduced to stock types, like damsels in distress or femme fatales. There have been more than enough strong women characters on SPN to generate not one, but two articles on the kick-ass women of SPN. I also have found SPN to be remarkably free from sexist attitudes. Have any characters ever made sexist comments? Of course, but never have I perceived such remarks to reflect sexism among the writing staff. In the cross section of humanity that the brothers have come across, there were bound to be some sexists. Other than in the most egregious circumstances, sexism (along with many of the other "isms";) is largely a matter of interpretation. I vehemently disagree that there have been "many instances of sexism, large and small," on SPN. Were that truly the case, I would have stopped watching long ago. Have there ever been isolated instances of sexist writing on SPN? Perhaps, though none leap to my mind. But even if there have been some instances, they are greatly overshadowed by the overwhelmingly positive portrayals of women on SPN.
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Sharon
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Shows kill people off I have never found SPN better or worst than anybody else. My issues with the show esp since season 9 are something completely different than what Mo Ryan seems to have a problem with.
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Didi
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I agree with S&D, the show is an equal opportunity killer. I expect the show to continue to have female guest stars and female baddies, therefore my expectation is that there will be female deaths. Just as there are male deaths. I have noticed this season a female guest star has killed or assisted in the kill in almost every ep. I'm not sure how I feel about that. In the past the boys have usually killed the MOTW. This year we've seen Claire, Eileen, Delphine kill the bad guy. They have more kills combined than Sam and Dean. I can't remember if Sam even killed any MOTW yet this year.
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percysowner
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Yes, the show does kill off both men and women, but there is another way to look at it. Which recurring characters AREN'T killed off and are brought back. That figure skews overwhelmingly male. Bobby did die, but he was on the show for 7 seasons and Jim Beaver was offered a role as a regular, which he turned down. Crowley and Cas both remain on the series in large now regular roles. Only Jody and Claire are women who were introduced before Swan Song and are still part of the show. I count Claire, but she was gone for so long from the story that I see her as different from the short part she had in The Rapture. Lisa is the only other female from before Swan Song who is alive, physically, but she was mind wiped which I view as a death of personality. Ben suffered that also.

Then we have the angels. We had Naomi and Metatron, Naomi is dead, Metatron is still kicking. Hannah was female and when she inhabited a male vessel, she still exhibited a more feminine personality and she died. Tessa was killed off.

Then there are hunters. Jo, Ellen and Charlie are brutally murdered, Cole and Garth are doing just fine. Bad guys? Lucifer is kicking as is Crowley. Ruby, Eve, Abaddon and now Rowena dead as door nails. (I suppose Rowena might come back, but as of now, dead, dead, dead).

I am delighted that Jody, Donna and now Claire and Alex are still alive. I'm also aware that Kim Rhodes has stated every time she receives a script, she asks if she is going to be killed off. We haven't heard similar concerns from male guest stars.

There are no female characters that have had the extended storylines that male characters have. The imbalance does give me pause.
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cheryl42
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I'm sorry that Mo Ryan lost her love for the show. I used to look forward to her reviews on Huffington Post.

I will only say this about the show. I think the last 1/3 of S10 and this season has been fantastic. As far as the killing of female characters I think it may seem that more male characters have been killed off as opposed to female but the ratio of recurring male to female characters seems to favor males. So I guess to be accurate you would have to do a total count of all recurring characters and do a percentage. But it does seem like female characters don't hang around very long.

As far as Charlie goes I think the overwhelming majority of fans and critics were shocked to absolutely furious over her demise. But it seems that Eugenie and Brad hated her. They took a clever self sufficient woman who had mastered the art of vanishing off the face of the earth, fought in a war for 80+ years along side a skilled Hunter and descendant of a MOL's and turned her into an idiot. Then they brutally butchered her and dumped her in a bathtub. Now that might have bordered on anti feminism by the producers. When Ellen and Jo died it was for the greater cause of saving the world (and I will never be able to watch that scene without a box of tissues handy). Charlie died because E&B can't write their way out of a paper bag. I wasn't sad or shocked I was pissed as hell.

Hmm...I guess I'm not over it.:(

As for T100 I stopped watching when the adults hit the ground (in the most absurd way) and it became the Clarke show. Characters being killed off at breakneck speed didn't thrill me either. As you can see from my comments about Charlie "shocking" deaths do not make a story better for me.
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njspnfan
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I agree with some of Mo's views and conclusions on S10, but not the way she reached them. For the record, The second half of S9 and the entirety of S10 will go down as the low point in Supernatural for me. The writing was inconsistent and sloppy and at times cringeworthy. They crapped all over canon and took fan and convention servicing to new heights (or depths as the case may be). Supernatural is a show about Sam and Dean Winchester, two brothers, both male. The other male and female characters are secondary to Sam and Dean Winchester who happen to be two brothers, both male. As far as Charlie, I would agree the death was senseless and stupid and lazy writing. It had Robert Singer's and his hack writer wife Eugenie Ross-Leming and her writing partner Brad Buckner's fingerprints all over it.

Where she loses me is when she starts bringing an agenda to the table. Yes, Charlie was female, and lesbian, but her death was not misogynistic or sexist or anti-LGBT on part of the show. Charlie was a victim of bad writing and bad decisions by the showrunners. Using this logic, I guess killing Rufus in Season 6 was antisemitic because he was Jewish.
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