Last night, we were treated (inflicted with?) to a backdoor pilot for a spin-off series of Supernatural, the oh so cleverly titled Supernatural: Bloodlines.
In the words of my wise cohort:
Who are these people? Nobody cares. -the Collectiva Diva
I found myself firmly in the realm of not caring, just like the Diva and our own Moosefriend. I paid more attention to the very important discussion I was having on Twitter re: JarPad’s hair than the show. Even now, I feel no desire to rewatch the episode; I’m indifferent, and here’s why:
- The beauty of Supernatural is that from the pilot episode, we found ourselves caring about the characters. We found ourselves caring about Sam and Dean Winchester, and when Sam’s girlfriend Jess dies at the end of the pilot, we found ourselves mourning with him. The emotional connection to the Winchesters started because the show was just the Winchesters, at least at the beginning. The showrunners gave us time to get to know the main characters before branching out, and that’s something that Bloodlines could take a note from. Too many characters in the pilot = a confusing mess for the viewer.
- We knew this was a backdoor pilot, but even for that, there was a surprising lack of Winchesters. The showrunners are greatly mistaken if they think we tune in every week to watch monsters and ghosts kill people (that’s what horror movies are for). No, we watch for the Winchesters, and last night, it felt like they were guest starring on their own show.
- The main character, whatever his name is, is not Sam Winchester. One dead girlfriend plus a run in with Dean and Sam does not a Winchester make.
- Heavy handed parallels aside (see my review of #Thinman for how I feel about that!), my biggest problem with this backdoor pilot was its placement in the overall arc of the season. The past two episodes: “Meta Fiction” and “Alex Annie Alexis Ann” have been fantastic in terms of building up the tension to this season’s finale. By putting an episode at this point in the season that is so wholly devoid of Sam and Dean, it kills the tension. It’s the writing equivalent of missing your own wedding because you were asleep.
Do I need to say that I won’t be watching this show? I love SPN and the boys, but “Bloodlines” annihilated the possibility of me enjoying this spin off because of pure, unadulterated boredom. So, instead here are 10 better alternatives that the Collective bloggers came up with last night:
1. Charlie’s Adventures in Oz
Try and tell me you wouldn’t watch that show, and I’ll call you a liar. Here are three good reasons why this should happen. One, we know and care about Charlie, meaning that the all important emotional connection to the audience is already present. Two, Felicia Day has the talent and onscreen presence to carry a show as its lead character (seen “The Guild?” If not, you should). Three, it’s a new side of the supernatural (see what I did there?) that we haven’t seen yet, and after 9 years, that’s kinda important.
2. Ghost Kevin Tran & Momma Tran Carrying On with the Family Business
Okay, so this one I came up with mostly because I miss seeing Osric Chau’s face on my tv weekly, but I stand by my idea. Momma Tran is a bad ass, and Kevin is smart…even if he is dead. And we already care about these characters, the Winchesters care about them, and I think that a ghost teenager and his fierce mom are infinitely more interesting than a monster mafia.
I don’t really care for the Ghostfacers, but their web series was amusing, and I’d certainly prefer it to the apathetic drivel I witnessed last night.
4. Castiel & Crowley as Humans
This could be a half spin off/half crossover with Being Human. Mostly, I think I just want to see Crowley crying over black & white movies and Cas trying to make slushies.
Jokes aside, I think the writers had a big opportunity with these characters this season that they didn’t take: what does it mean to be human if you’ve spent centuries (or millenia) as something supernatural? Aside from the physical adjustments, what does it do on a mental, emotional, and spiritual level? How do you adjust to mortality (and…perhaps, morality)? I know that SPN is Winchester-centric, so a Cas & Crowley spin off would be kind of perfect to delve into these questions.
5. The Lives of the Fallen Angels
We’ve seen glimpses but no true exploration of what happened to the angels after they fell. Cas, our normal representative of all things Heavenly, has been noticeably lacking this season, so we cannot use him as a gauge. I want to know what it is like for the angels to be cut off from Heaven, and how they interact with humanity now that they’re reliant on them.
6. The Story of Cain
Not Beekeeper!Cain (although that is more interesting than “Bloodlines”), but I want to see the Cain that wielded the First Blade, that trained the Knights of Hell, that left it all behind for a woman named Collette. Tell me that story isn’t compelling. Try.
7. The History of the Colt
We got a glimpse of its history when Sam & Dean went traipsing through the Old West, but what about after? What happened to it between then and the time of “Dead Man’s Blood”? Who had it? Who used it? Who took responsibility for it? It would be something new: to focus on an object rather than a character, but who is to say a Winchester (*cough* Henry*cough*) didn’t know about the Colt long before John did?
This brings me to…
8. The Men of Letters
Think Mad Men meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I think we’ll all die a little inside. (Special thanks to @exorcisingemily on Twitter for this idea!). What I love most about this idea is that it will 1) still include the Winchesters and 2) give us valuable insight into the SPN canon. Also, picture it: Gil McKinney & Alaina Huffman on a weekly basis, rocking 60s fashion.
9. Young John Winchester & Bobby Singer Hunting Things
I speak for the entire SPN fandom when I say that John Winchester is a dick. But, he somehow became friends with Bobby, and that’s interesting. I want insight, I want hunting, and I want John writing down things in the journal that he passes onto his sons.
Also, Bobby. More Bobby.
10. Jody Mills & AAAA Hunt Monsters (also featuring: Hunters High)
For a good portion of last night’s episode, I was on Twitter plotting with @exorcisingemily and @mrstserc the ideal spin off set in Sioux Falls.
Last week’s episode was a great set up for this: Jody Mills proving that she can handle the supernatural and still maintain the compassion we know her for. Also, AAAA (I’ll never remember her name) is an ideal candidate for Hunter’s High (alongside Krissy and the like). A young generation of hunters, the legacy of the Winchesters?
So, TPTB, let’s consider an alternative to “Bloodlines,” okay? If the response I saw on Twitter was any indication, the show is going to get axed in its freshman season.
Bonus option: “Casa Erotica” with Gabriel (but maybe that one’s for Skinemax…)
What SPN spin-off would you like to see? Tweet me your ideas @dearcollectress