← Back Thoughts and writings on media specifically. Might make a sorting system for it later, but for now it's just gonna stay jumbled.

I think everyone should have at least 1 piece of bad media they like. One of my reasons is that I think bad media inspires the creation of good media. I mean this in two ways.

  1. You look at bad media and you think "I could do that, hell I could do it better" and because humans are spite filled creatures you might actually go on to create something better. An example might be the several novel length fanfics I've read for Fallout 4, an ultimately mid-tier game. Fallout 4 might not be all that good, but it sure as hell has inspired some things that are.
  2. When you get to thinking about how you could do bad media better, it gets you to thinking about why that media is bad. For example, my 1 bad media of choice is Supernatural. Now the reasons why Supernatural is a bad show could fill a library, but the core isssue of Supernatural is it's lack of a cohesive narrative. No arc truly has a full, satisfying finish. But because every arc is poorly handled in it's own special way, you really gotta understand narrative structures when making the good Supernatural that only lives in your head.

Bad doesn't always mean boring. Most boring media, no matter how good, often just fades into obscurity. And so when we're drawn to bad media, it's often because inspite of it's problems it's atleast entertaining. So bad media teaches us both the pitfalls of writing, and how to make stuff that's fun.

May 3, 2022

Because Supernatural recycles arcs so often, it keeps asking questions and then by having to ask it again and again inadvently answers it. The 2 biggest are "is every monster/inhuman thing evil, and do we have to kill them?" and "can Sam and Dean find happiness and satisfaction in their lives?"

The one I'm really thinking on right now though is the happiness one. The show establishes this idea that there's a normal and safe apple pie life and then there's the hunting life. And the show does a lot to establish the idea that the life of a hunter is miserable. The Winchesters repeatedly tell other characters to leave the life, that if they get a chance they have to take it, that the hunting life sucks. Some examples are:

  • Season 2 episode 6, where Jo joins Sam and Dean on a hunt, and Dean spends the whole episode trying to convince Jo that she shouldn't start hunting, that she should quit while she's ahead.
  • Season 3 episode 15, Rufus Turner is introduced. He's an older hunter who's lives alone and spends his days drinking. He's presented as a cautionary tale, that any hunter that lives to old age will turn into a sad alcholholic.
  • Season 7 episode 11, where Sam helps a teenage girl who's hunter father has gone missing. Dean spends half the episode telling her she shouldn't want to hunt, and that she should enjoy being a regular teenager
  • Season 9 episode 12, Garth, one of their hunter friends who has been MIA the past year pops back up, and it turns out he's a werewolf now. He's gotten married and joined a small family of peaceful werewolves. At the end of the episode when Dean has gotten past the whole werewolf thing, he tells Garth that he's got a good thing and that he shouldn't give it up

So out of the 2 options, it seems like the obvious choice would be not to hunt. And yet they don't quit, why? The biggest reason is obligation, it's the family business. The second reason, is that Sam and Dean are like square pegs in round holes when living the safe, normal life. Something always rips them away from it, constantly re-enforcing the idea that they simply can't have happiness. Choosing hunting is better than facing the idea that they're stuck in it. And on a meta level, this is because the writers want to push their plot forward. Which isn't really that big a problem, if only the writers were aware of the tragdey they had written. Tragic, because no matter their choices, they'll always end up hunting. Always stuck in the worst of 2 options.

April 25, 2022